Letter writers share their opinions, not mine

Humongous stinking opinionated uproar, editorman, what’s up with these letter writers?

Our letters to the editor section allows our readers an opportunity to share their opinions with other readers. I don’t, can’t and won’t make decisions on what letters to print based on my personal opinion. Actually, in the case of letters to the editor, my opinion of a letter writers’ opinion doesn’t count a bit. I try to follow our guidelines printed each week in the paper.

As any newspaper reader must recognize, we print letters from all sides of the political spectrum. Check out the letters in today’s section. Truth be told, I’m neither a bornagain liberal bomb thrower nor an alt-right proponent of some kind of amazing, impending return to greatness. I’ve voted for Democrats and Republicans and even a few candidates from other political parties in my life. And I’m already on record as saying how unhappy I would be whoever won the most recent presidential election — Hillary or Donald. What an absolutely awful choice.

Yes, we print letters from all sides, and I firmly believe we should. That’s what letters to the editor are all about — our readers expressing their opinions. I hope we’ll never be afraid of ideas.

Now almost nobody I know shares my views on many, many topics — certainly not many of our letter writers. For example, here’s a topic I’m actually quite passionate and totally ready to argue about until the cows come home that surfaces from time to time to disrupt my happy home and forces me to throw on a compact disc or two and crank the volume way up high in my own defense.

Cindie and I have argued for years and years and years because I say The Beatles were actually a country act. (I dutifully point out Capital Records in America refused to release “Love Me Do” and the rest of their early stuff over here because the company said they sounded like “hillbillies with accents.” A solitary opinion? Well, the Washington Post called them “imported hillbillies who looked like sheepdogs and sounded like alley cats in agony.” Take another listen to “Love Me Do” and see what you think. Sounds mostly like hillbillies with accents to me.)

Putting all the yeah, yeah, yeahs, do it in the roads, me and my monkeys and I, me, mines aside, Cindie says The Beatles can’t be country because they’re English guys trying to sound country. They don’t have that southern twang and drawl, and their instrumentation isn’t country either, she says.

OK. OK. But take a listen to “I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party,” “Baby’s in Black,” “I’m A Loser,” Uncle Buck’s “Act Naturally” or “Don’t Pass Me By” and tell me those aren’t country songs. Go ahead. I dare ya. Those songs and more are on my Beatles Country Album, and once you grasp the concept, you hear their countryness throughout much of their catalog.

Now I doubt anyone in Lassen County — certainly not any of our letter writers — would ever enter into this debate. (How would they even know about it, except that now I’ve brought it up in public.)

If these folks who allege I only print letters that agree with my opinion are correct, why I’ll fill pages and pages and pages with yes, The Beatles are country letters. I’m waiting for the bushels and baskets to arrive right now.

Actually, I don’t for an instant believe that’s going to happen. While I’m writing a little tongue in cheek today, I want to thank all our letter writers and encourage them to keep expressing themselves in our newspaper. I promise I won’t toss a letter just because I don’t agree with it. I know some people are tired of some writers’ opinions, but I believe our public forum is important for all of us. Rest assured, I’m happy to print your letter, whatever opinion you choose to express. Let’s just all take a deep breath and be real for a moment.

And I would be remiss if I don’t point out Cindie is wrong about the things we argue about. Listen closely and you can probably hear her howling right now when she reads this and discovers I’m about to listen to The Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds” again.