Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The word "gullible" does not appear in Webster's Dictionary!

All this commotion about the golden-voiced Ted Williams naturally led me to thinking about the other Ted Williams, the sweet-swinging slugger for the Boston Red Sox, whose departure from the game was covered so well in this New Yorker article by John Updike.  "Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu" would be of interest even to those who never saw a ball game, since it was so well-written.  Updike knew what we was talking about, and his essay was published in the finest magazine known to man.  

To my mind, there have been three landmark accomplishments in the field of publishing, which is to make public one's thoughts:
  • Steve Gutenberg's invention of movable type, which made printing possible
  • Mr. Xerox's invention of the photocopier
  • Al Gore's invention of the World Wide Web
It was the last of those that has led to so much misinformation and confusion, though.  It's nothing new: before everyone was on Facebook, everyone whose face was not in a real book was photocopying nonsense, such as the flier that kept going around urging people not to buy the soap-and-cosmetic products of a certain firm because "the president of the company went on the Phil Donahue Show and proclaimed that he is a devil-worshiper and that's why the corporate logo has a picture of the man in the moon."

See why I am not mentioning the name of the company?  I don't want to start the goofiness all over again.  

But I got a certain email the other day for the 43rd time.  This one shows up almost as often as the ones used to from the various descendants of kings and potentates of emerging African nations who died and left a fortune of "1.2 million USD" and you could be duked in on a big chunk of that if you would be willing to violate both the laws of the international banking community and the international common sense community.  So in the spirit of getting the facts out there, it's time to remind everyone that the Cindy Williams who was once some sort of minor figure in the Congressional Budget Office, the Cindy Williams who wrote an op-ed piece in the Washington POST several years ago claiming that soldiers were not entitled to a raise in pay, is NOT the same Cindy Williams who once played Shirley Feeney in "Laverne and Shirley."

She didn't do it!
Somewhere along the way, someone got all worked up about this article, and then said,"Why lookit!  This was written by someone named Cindy Williams!  Clearly we can assume that she is the same Cindy Williams who was once a famous actress!"

And so began the emailing, all designed to make sure that all right-thinking Americans knew just how screwy this woman is and to make sure that we all shun the Cindy Williams Film Festival at the Rialto, should there ever be one.  And she didn't write it!  But it has besmirched her name and reputation, just because some hothead made a hasty error.
She says:

"I've done everything to try to squelch it, but nothing seems to work...I have people writing and calling me, even my friends, asking: 'Are you against a pay raise for the military?' And I reply, 'You know me, I'd fight {in the military} if I could, because I am such a patriot. It's been really worrisome. It's terrible to malign people like that. I don't know where to go to say I didn't do this."

Maybe she should appear on Bill O'Reilly or Glenn Beck's show, two reliable outlets for truth seekers.

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