(This spilled out of my head as a comment on another site, but after re-reading it, thought it deserved a spot here, for any of my fellow bloggers lurking in the audience....)
"Over the holiday weekend (while not much was happening on blogs), I wandered back into two usenet forums I used to frequent. Not surprisingly, the same ditto heads are still there, spouting their same vacuous bullshit (global warming is a myth, evolution is deeply flawed, torture is just fine, thank you) and like a moth to a flame, I've been responding to these idiots. All it's doing is raising my blood pressure and stirring my (formerly latent) insomnia.
Why? For the love of everything holy, WHY do I do it???
Well, not because I have any illusions of changing the minds of the especially dim, but rather for the benefit of the observers. I figure chances are, more than a few of them are "moderates" for lack of a better word, and the kinds that we all know are out there -- Too Busy With Living (bill paying, kid raising, etc etc etc) to catch anything more than soundbytes. And heaven forbid those soundbytes come courtesy of Faux News.
I wandered in originally while I was finishing school. The arguing was good for my paper-writing and I always like a chance to work on my debating skills, no matter what the incentive or environment. But after a couple of years, I was frustrated blind by some of these people, to the point in which I could easily envision decking any one of them squarely in the jaw on our first encounter. So, I split. I don't need that, my son and husband don't need that. Hell, my PETS don't need that. Mommy really doesn't want to SEEK OUT Xanax at this point, you see.
Morbidly curious on a slow holiday weekend, my resolve faltered. (Forgive me father, for I have sinned)...
Maybe my recent return had a little more to do with hubris than I'd like to admit [...]
...exchanges with adversaries does wonders for clarifying one's own perspectives and arguments -- I'd be lying if I didn't confess to taking sincere pleasure in really spanking some of the especially moronic with LOGIC and FACT (Wonder Twin Powers Activate!). I was smugly satisfied watching them try to change the subject mid-thread after a particularly sharp & substantiated lobby from me.
But, the victory was hollow -- it always is. I walk away from those exchanges so disheartened, so disappointed, so demoralized... And I'm reminded why I finally got off my ass and thought "I should go find out what this blogging thing is all about". This is not to say that I'm content to live in an echo chamber (my ego isn't THAT fragile), but seriously, getting to read the contributions from Genuine Progressive Citizens on a variety of leftie blogs has renewed my faith in people. I hate to sound schlocky, but it's true.
I LOVE you people.