A Yahoo Speaks Out

Posted Oct 19, 2002
Last Updated Oct 26, 2011

After recently being diagnosed as a Yahoo by a caring reader, I was struck with a sense of panic. My first impulse was to run down to OSU and subject myself to an intensive battery of on-the-edge medical experiments to save my life. I probably would have done that, but a few of the more sober people around me said I should probably hold back.

So I did the next best thing. I opened up my large dusty tome called Webster’s and looked up Yahoo. It turns out that Yahoos are a race of brutes from Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. They are uncultivated, boorish louts.

Panic really set in. I had thought that a Yahoo was someone who was overdosing on E-Rays (terrible rays emitted from monitors displaying too many instant message windows and chat rooms). Surely the doctors could have cleansed me of E-Ray exposure with some drugs, but how in the world would I find a way to lose my brutish yahooism?

First, I set out to find the cause of my situation. I had to get to the heart of the matter, discover the history of my life that led to this tragic dilemma. So I did what any brute would do in this situation: I drank myself into a stupor and wallowed in misery over the injustice of fate.

A week later, after the headache disappeared, I realized that I was acting just like a Yahoo, and I needed to change. So I watched Oprah Winfrey, got into Tae Bo and started yoga. Unfortunately for me, my brain wasn’t ready for this high octane remedy. I developed what experts call massive depression.

I was about to jump off a bridge when a friend saved me.

"Wait,” he said. "Is the woman who diagnosed you as a Yahoo qualified to make that diagnosis?”

"She must be,” I said. "She found some of my printed opinions to be totally brutish. She advised that I quit writing my thoughts this very instant.”

A light bulb exploded above his head as he jumped up and down in epiphany. "Well I think that her opinion about your opinions to be totally brutish. That means she must be a Yahoo too.”

Oh man, it was like a ten ton truck had suddenly rolled off of my chest. Why fret over the opinion of a Yahoo? Then I realized that if having opinions makes me a Yahoo, and that about everyone I know and love has opinions, and that we’re all Yahoos, then being a Yahoo isn’t that bad after all.

This whole scenario reminded of a quote by former U.S. Senator James A. Reed. Reed said, "Intolerance … is the child of ignorance.” People who want to ban all the Yahoos from printing ideas, feelings and thoughts seem a little intolerant. Well, you do the math yourself.

Reed said, "If my country means anything to me … it means that its Constitution is broad enough to protect every man in the right to his faith, every man in the right to his opinion, every man in his liberty of speech, in the right of peaceable assemblage, and in his privilege to print his honest thoughts.”

Reed must’ve been a Yahoo too.

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