Dear Matt Walsh,
It’s not you. It’s me.
Or was it the other way around? Yeah, that. It’s totally you.
Sorry. I was confused.
Do you remember when we first met? It was back in August, just after the VMAs. You had just written this piece, angrily dismissing Miley Cyrus and the vacuous pop culture she represents. I found your acerbic wit and brutal honesty refreshing. I was impressed by how efficiently you disposed of worthless culture.
But then I came to realize that you do that to everyone.
See, the thing is, I’m starting to realize you’re just a polemicist. A talented and witty polemicist, sure. Maybe even an insightful one, occasionally. But even the best polemicist in the world is good for only one thing: making his readers really mad — either really mad at him, or really mad at people who disagree with him. And mad-all-the-time just isn’t something I want to be.
For instance, you’ve got this recent post, where you scold everyone who’s opposed to puppy murder but okay with abortion, as if those people hadn’t engaged in any thinking about their position, ever.
Or this one, which hinges on the obvious false dilemma of whether we should let kids play outside or subject them to an endless battery of cradle-to-grave standardized tests.
Or this one, where you accuse secularists of total historical ignorance, as if they hadn’t noticed that the Declaration of Independence has the word “Creator” in it.
I could go on.
And see, the problem isn’t that I disagree with you. Actually, I agree with most of your basic points in all three of those posts. The problem is that you make me want to pump my fist in the air and go “Yes!” like some idiot sitting courtside and swilling Bud Light at an NBA game.
And I’m pretty sure that’s not healthy.
It’s not healthy for me to think that my position is the only reasonable one, and that everybody who disagrees with me is an idiot. And it’s not healthy to think that if someone disagrees with me, the only possible explanation is that she’s not thinking as hard as I am.
And it’s not healthy to be angry all the time.
See, this might be naïve of me, but I’d like to think humanity can do a little better than calling each other stupid on the Internet. I’d like to think we can have intelligent discussions, find common ground, and move forward on important issues.
And I don’t think reading your blog is helping with that. Whether I agree with you or not, all you do is make me mad. And what’s worse is, you’re funny and charming while you do it. You make me like being mad. And I don’t want to like being mad.
So, I feel terrible for doing this. But I’m breaking it off, before we get too serious.
I know you probably don’t even think you need me. After you read this, you’ll just go off to one of your other millions of readers for some rebound action. You’ll probably even say you never knew I existed.
But I know better. We had something special.
Just know this: I did love you once, if only for your manly stubble and your alpaca grooming tips. But we’re just not good for each other.
But hey, we’ll always have Cyrus. No one can take that away from us.
[Follow-up post HERE.]
Other stuff you can read, if you’re brave:
Hey Guys, I’m a Young Person and I Have Opinions (Rachel Held Evans, Millennials, Etc.)
Donald Miller Left Me Standing at the Altar, in More Ways Than One
87 thoughts on “A Break-up Letter to Matt Walsh”
Perhaps the next step is realizing that the “points” he makes don’t have any substance other than angry polemic to begin with?
Maybe. Care to elaborate?
Generally, emotionally laden language requires an unwillingness to incorporate the insights of opposing points of view, which this post here accurately observes is a regular habit of Matt Walsh’s blog.
The problem is that once you start thinking about the strengths and possible validity of the opposing point of view, your own point of view changes somewhat to incorporate these insights. Suddenly, the emotional tone changes — you can’t see these people as enemies, stupid, or evil anymore — but with it so does the substance of your position.
To elaborate more we’d have to go into specific issues, and I don’t want to write that much right now :).
I think you and I are in 100% agreement there, James. Sadly, the blogosphere doesn’t really reward that kind of thinking — witness that this particular post (which, let’s face it, is kind of silly) has been shared on Facebook more than 460 times, while the one immediately preceding it (where I genuinely try to find a way to move forward on a divisive issue) has only been shared 27 times. Sigh. What can you do.
Can I still really, really like this even if I don’t really know much about Matt Walsh other than that the name sounds vaguely familiar?
I never object to people liking stuff I wrote. So, sure.
I broke up with Matt recently myself and this is exactly why.
We should start a support group.
This should have a ‘like’ button. hm, I think I might need a break from fb.
Me too – and also in open letter format. All good things must come to an end I guess!
I did as well. I discovered I was increasingly unhappy with his gross generalizations and oversimplified reality.
I agree with you about Matt Walsh. I came here because of a facebook post. However, having now read a couple more of your posts, I don’t see any difference between you and Matt Walsh.
Hey now, we’re totally different. He wears glasses.
I like to think of Matt Walsh as a conservative in post-modern drab. He appears… I don’t know… really cool. But, he’s really no different than your average ultra-conservative, Piper/Driscoll fan man.
Yeah, except he’s Catholic instead of Calvinist.
I’m not sure if that’s better or worse.
Yes, I read this. If you’re breaking up with me, I’m going to want my CDs back. You can keep Now That’s What I Call Music Volume 19. Volumes 18 and 20 are better, anyway.
Really, Matt? Eighteen and 20 are better than 19? Are you INSANE??
You see what I mean? It would never have worked out. We’re just too different.
Now now boys, let’s focus on what’s important – who gets the wagon wheel coffee table?
Bwahahaha! That reference just made my day. Harry+Sally 4ever 😉
You wrote exactly what I was thinking. Poor Matt Walsh. If I hadn’t been around people like him for most of my informative years, I might have been taken in. 😛
Yeah…honestly, he’s funny enough that it took me a while to realize I was just reading warmed-over right-wing polemics. That was a sad day. I wish he’d use his powers for good. 😛
Thank you, I think you’ve put a finger on what it is about Matt Walsh’s writing that kinda bothers me sometimes. Though I do seem to agree with him on many subjects, sometimes I’m just too tired to get some really good outrage going, and it just ends up being a bit depressing more than anything else.
If everything’s an outrage, then nothing is. Know what I’m saying?
Well, maybe everything is an outrage, and I’m just too jaded or ambivalent to realize it. But further self-reflection even suggests to me that the topics about which I find myself most in sync in terms of outrage level are probably the topics I’m already upset about in some way before reading the post.
Aww that’s sad. He never makes me mad – at him or with him. I just find him amusing. Sorry you had to break up.
I appreciate your sympathy. And now I’m going to go watch TV and eat a gallon ice cream in my pajamas.
I recommend Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream.
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Thank you for teaching us a new word, polemicist. We might have to poke around here some more!
It’s like I’m vocab coach to the world!
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Funny. I just started liking him. Now I see the trajectory. Let’s meet back here in six months. 😉
Yeah, the honeymoon won’t last long. See you in August. 😉
I loved this. Angry polemic blogging tends to bring out the worst in people and that’s why I try to stay away from it. One of my friends mentioned on FB just yesterday how icky she feels after reading the comment section to MW’s blog. No one needs that. I mean, hat’s what the YouTube comment sections are for.
And by “hat’s” I meant “that’s”, although I do love me a random hat.
Personally, I always hit the YouTube comments when I’m looking for a good hat.
Love this. Couldn’t agree more. The internet makes me sad sometimes. It’s usually after reading one of these “us vs. them” articles.
True story. There’s no time to enjoy life when you’re always freaking out about how the world’s going to hell in a handbasket.
You would probably consider me one as well. Interesting. -OM
“Snooze…need more snooze” –Homer Simpson
Reblogged this on famecbl and commented:
This is great!
Loved the letter.
Best bit: “See, this might be naïve of me, but I’d like to think humanity can do a little better than calling each other stupid on the Internet. I’d like to think we can have intelligent discussions, find common ground, and move forward on important issues.”
Not restricted to Matt Walsh alone. Includes everyone who regularly uses social media to voice an opinion.
Congrats on getting Freshly Pressed!
Liked the post!!
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He’s just a man doing his thang.
Interesting. I found him on one of his parenting posts and it was great but then eventually broke up with him twice! I didn’t remember the first time, why I unfollowed, but when I remembered I hadn’t see a post in a while, I subscribed again, and then he promptly lost me when in one of them when he dissed marriage equality….anyway, I don’t miss him and it won’t happen a 3rd time! Love your post.
You have pointed out a problem with rhetoric in this country as a whole. It’s the “either-or” thinking that has created a mess in politics, social media and academics. I think, too, there is the narcissistic angle of treating one’s opinions as if they should be universal and anyone who doesn’t believe the same as “stupid”. The rhetoric needs to be toned down, more listening than talking needs to happen and people must step out of their little bubbles and learn how to imagine a world different than their own.
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Wonderfully stated. I have the same love/hate for Matt. I’ve written him off as too polarizing many times, but then he’ll SUCK YOU BACK IN with quite charming defenses of the single mom… or admitting he’s wrong… or helping his brother raise money for good causes. I’ve wondered many times if he knows he ostracizes the very reader who agree with him by being so shout-y/righteous/angry. But I suppose that’s who he is. I keep breaking up with him, too. Well done, you.
Never heard of Matt Walsh until now. Great piece.
This is a great piece.
I had this discussion with a friend of mine a few days ago. I find his writing engaging and many of his points excellently expressed. But I cannot share his posts both because of their acerbic self-righteous anyone-who-disagrees-with-me-must-be-an-idiot nature and his tendency to write only to those who already agree with him anyway. It’s more of a let’s commiserate over these idiots and affirm our righteous indignation rather than DO something productive or engage in dialogue geared toward actual communication with opposing mindsets.
Ah well, though. At least he is entertaining.
The only thing I find surprising is that you actually agree with him on most points. He’s kind of like Rush Limbaugh for me-I only read him if I’m really in the mood to be pissed off…
Reblogged this on bifalo.
Cool. I still like Matt Walsh though.
Poor, poor Matt. I broke up with him last week too.
actually, it’s weird. but i think if you guys got over your inherent squibbling, both your opinions and input would make a mind boggling combination…maybe re-think the divorce?
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I’m kind of with you on this…usually I only read Walsh when I have an opinion on something, but I’m not sure how to form the argument. Chances are really good Matt has the same opinion as me. Reading his inevitable blog post on said subject I might need an argument for helps me to solidify my feelings, firm up what my points may be. But I do detest the idea that my or his view may be the only correct one and anyone who disagrees is a moron. Sothat alone makes it hard for me to read his blog, too.
Well instead if googling matt walsh ill just ask who is he? Great blog. Entertaining even though I have no idea who the dude is or what he did, I try to stay away from super angry people so you made the right decision.
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Angry all the time is not a good place to be, for sure. I’m trying to make my way out of that mental mess as well, haha. If a person or situation regularly gets you overly worked up, I agree that the best solution would be to limit the time you spend on it. Spend your time on things that lift you up and create happiness instead 🙂
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I like Matt Walsh! We all have different views, but I admire Mr. Walsh’s courage to put them out on the internet, and his ability to express himself clearly and coherently.
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I love Matt Walsh but I love you too! Omg another complicated triangle, what to do?
Can we move to Utah?
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