Mailvox: friendly enemies

A sympathetic left-wing columnist weighs in:

actually i was sorry to see your syndication deal falling through. because you are one of the best writers in america. i say that, you know, as an opposite number sometimes ideologically but i recognize brilliance and intellect.

This made me smile when I read it today, not because of the compliments, but because it made me think of a few emails I received three weeks ago, when some readers were aghast that I’d praised the liberal New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. However, I’ve come to respect Kristof over time, and in fact, I make it a point to check out his column on a regular basis now. I might disagree with the man most of the time, but his warmth and personal integrity quite frequently shine through his writing and make it a pleasure to read.

By the same token, I might loathe Charles Stross’s politics and religion – he’s a pagan Eurotopian – but I am a great admirer of not only his fiction, but his technological vision as well. Furthermore, from following his blog, I’ve found I kind of like the guy. These are “enemies” who are easy to love.

And as all of you know, there are those who are nominally on my ideological side for whom I have neither respect nor regard. I suppose there’s something to be said for those who write the right things for the wrong reasons, or who accidentally stumble onto the truth from time to time despite themselves, but I’ll leave it to others to say it.