Thursday November 30th, 2023 - 01:50:28 AM

Writing Lesson for John Cryderman
March 27, 2009 - Austin Wright

In response to some criticism I levelled at Mayor Hope, John Cryderman submitted a letter to Chatham This Week, ostensibly on Hope's behalf. As published in the March 25, 2009 issue, it is a perfect specimen of defamation, and is being dealt with accordingly. It's hard to believe that this comes from the same thin skin that threatens to SLAPP others with litigation for posting some fair comments about matters of public interest that were debated in an open session of Chatham-Kent council. Not half as toxic as Mr. Cryderman's malevolent musings, but at least it was the truth.

Several people have commented that once the personal attacks were filtered out, Cryderman's article didn't really say anything at all. It certainly did little to defend the mayor, which was probably the excuse he used to justify composing such an abusive piece of work in the first place. That kind of debating style is unbecoming of a man of John Cryderman's claimed intellectual stature. It's rather disingenuous for somebody with political ambitions to debate on such a primitive and libellous level.

Now I have a soft spot for somebody in need of help. Just last week, some poor woman in Iraq lost her high-ranking government official husband, and needed me to get his secret $70 million bank account transferred to Canada, for which I would be rewarded. Then I found out I would only get to keep $7 million, so I told her that wouldn't be enough because I was a Capitol Theatre supporter. She mentioned something about being able to relate to a cratered landscape, and apologized profusely that I was from Chatham.

There might have been a language barrier. So my altruistic intentions will have to be directed elsewhere.

I decided to help my good old friend Mr. Cryderman improve his debating skill to the point where he makes a point - without disdainful provocations. The safest way to do this is by critiquing the letter he wrote about me in response to a letter I didn't write about him. It's been a couple of years since Mr. Cryderman last consulted with me to proof his editorial drafts and offer suggestions, so it looks like the ideas need a recharge. Some remedial work might work wonders.

I'll begin with the words he wrote, followed by a demonstration of some respectful debate to politely prove him wrong, and highlight ways he could have expressed himself using different phraseology. That way he might learn how to more effectively counter an opposing opinion with something sounding a little less harsh and personal. After all, if your entire audience is put off, then you probably won't persuade anybody's point of view over to your side.

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