Muirhead piece lost its focus

To the Editor:

The title of Scott Muirhead’s op-ed on Frog Level (“A place where two worlds collide,” The Smoky Mountain News, Jan. 25) lures us with a deceptively disingenuous, “A place where two worlds collide head on.” Search as we might, his casually crafted narrative loses focus; and as a consequence, he fails to establish any collision whatsoever. But he has opinion to express, so let’s forgive him his elusive title and move on.

As we do, we discover the world of “the winos and the junkies and the ne’er-do-wells.” Joining them in their world is the “waver” for whom Muirhead dismissively opines that “most people would feel sorry for the waver, thinking him deprived, I don’t.”

The only collision here is between Muirhead’s openly declared values and what he undocumentedly infers to be those of “most other people.”

His noble justification for such callous disregard is that while the waver is “going nowhere,” Muirhead is “headed to the courthouse to pay another tax on my little bundle of burdens” or to some “insurance agency” or “bank” to make a deposit. 

Muirhead then suggests that he must bear the burden of “Worry and Stress” while inferring that Frog Level’s citizens have immunity from any such burdens.

Finally, like Napoleon, who beckoned the Pope only to make him stand aside while he crowned himself Emperor, Muirhead distinguishes himself from Frog Level’s denizens by declaring that he and most of us are “enlightened and aware and playing by all the rules.” Speak for yourself, Muirhead; for you speak not for me!

Tom Ezell


Editor’s note: For the record, the headline for Muirhead’s article last week was written by editors, not Muirhead.

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