[In lieu of the weekly "Snide Remarks" Classic, today we bring you a special anniversary feature. There will be more special features in the weeks to come, leading up to the official "Snide Remarks" 10th anniversary on Sept. 29, which is recognized by most major religions as a high holy day.]
Almost since the beginning, one of the most entertaining parts of “Snide Remarks” has been the angry letters that people sometimes write in response to it.
The perception is that I get these letters frequently. In truth it’s been ages since I got one. Ever since the column became online-only, where it could not assault unsuspecting readers from their morning newspapers, it’s been read pretty much only by people who like it, or who at least know what they’re in for.
But back in the old days, when it was in The Daily Universe, the student paper at BYU, angry letters were commonplace. In fact, of the 64 columns I wrote for the Universe (1997-1999), 22 of them got angry letters. That’s 34 percent! BYU is a hotbed of righteous indignation, and probably always has been.
I wrote 305 columns for the Daily Herald (1999-2003), of which 57 inspired angry letters. That’s only 19 percent, although it’s worth noting that the Herald’s website allowed people to post anonymous comments during much of that time, and nearly every column got at least one negative comment. In fact, there were some people who hated “Snide Remarks” so much, they read it every single time it was published, just so they could comment on how much they hated it. I AM NOT MAKING THAT UP.
(I only wish that, when the Herald administrators redesigned the website a couple years ago, they had not deleted all the old threads of anonymous comments. Many of them were classic.)
In all, 81 columns have elicited angry letters. Here I have chosen my favorite eight. I hope you find them as entertaining as I do.