Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Love Note to my Blogrades

(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.


Geo_Chick said...

LOL, so that's what it takes to get us the love ;-)

Cantankerous Bitch said...

Produce exceptionally well written commentary in praise of lefty politics? You betcha.

Lily said...

Well, they have their pet descriptions for many of us- I've been called a communist, treehugger- told that we liberals would abort a preschooler if we could, that we are godless, immoral, misguided,lesbian nazis... Its a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Thats just the way people apparently with little grasp of English Comp 101 make their points. When ass scratching for facts, why not spew some stereotypical slurs around? That always makes for a good show!
Ask Jerry Springer how to talk to his audience, CB. Maybe if we do a woop woop for the Bill of Rights...they will listen.

Cantankerous Bitch said...

Don't I know it.

The worst for me was in my early 20s when I worked at a metaphysical bookstore. We were picketed by the local thumpers and I "enjoyed" a whole slew of damnations.... It was arguably, a formative experience, contributing significantly to my attitude toward fundmentalists. "You're destroying this community!" "You heathen bitch, how dare you peddle evil here!" "You'll spend eternity in the bowels of hell for these sins" etc etc etc. Thankfully, I've blocked out the really vile comments.

This was, of course, for the egregious sins of selling things like Joseph Campbell books, the Bagavad Gita, crystals & incense.

So, by the time I started arguing with the Freepers of the world, I was pretty jaded to the name-calling. Maybe I should send those thumpers a thank you note?

les said...

Egad!! Crystals and incense??? No wonder the world is in the shape it's in, and you're not even ashamed. As to your original post, you don't even have to go to the usenet--I'm getting afraid to check the discussions at Ks. Citizens for Science, where the trolls haven't changed for months. Perhaps I should restrict myself to the non-digital world. Nah.

Cantankerous Bitch said...

My husband visits places like Right Wing News and argues for sport. Me, I couldn't take it. In a recent discussion elsewhere, several of us were lamenting for having lost our sense of humor over these nitwits.
Remember the 80s, when Regan was president and it was funny to watch the Fundies get their panties in a wad? I'm beginning to miss those days, if you'll believe it.

Lily said...

Well, I guess a key difference is that the right have perfected the art of snark and we have lost our edge. We need to lighten up, not cry every time some pig calls us a name. I will never forget the day a first grader told my kid "I heard your mom is working for the baby killer in the election."
It pissed me off, sure, but how sad is it that this poor child is being taught this way?
As far as crystals and incense, I was not aware that READING ANYTHING corresponds necessarily to such assumptions about lifestyle, that reading books about the role of myth and oral traditions in their historical context (ie Campbell)reveal some tendency to dance in oak tree groves naked holding rocks and newt eyeballs. Come on, Les. Yeah, some metaphysical stuff is kooky. But the 'rapture' is a plausible notion?
If CB admitted to serving burgers and fries in her youth, would you conclude that she watches NASCAR and listens to Toby Keith? See these kinds of conclusions annoy me BUT are indicative of the type of logic that prompts the government to make a fuss about people's library records.
You can weed me out, because I am reading a book about Mario Cuomo. It doesn't get drier than that.

les said...

"Well, I guess a key difference is that the right have perfected the art of snark and we have lost our edge. We need to lighten up"

Yeah. First, you have to recognize snark when you see it. Rapture? Huh?

Lily said...

Now, Les, pet, I don't mean your rapture. Although it might liven things up a bit if you'd talk about that. ;)
I of course mean the folks that think they do not have to care about the planet, pollution, global warming, or much else because they will be spiritually teleported by the whims of God who as we all know keeps tabs on us, heathen or heavenly, as we await the Rapture. Any day now...its coming.. checking watch.
I was not trying to defend CB's work history,certainly she does a stellar job with her own snark on 'all things paisley'.
I was actually trying to make the point that people use assumptions as sugar substitutes in their half baked reactions.. In my case, bring it on, I deserve it. My damn hair smells like patchouli today and I hiked for ten hours up a mountain to a "special" crystal harvesting site just for kicks. I don't buy into crystals per se, but lets face it, how many republicans can hike?
I love their goofy conversations about chakras, auras, channels, and other stuff I don't understand.

Lew Scannon said...

I, too, like to seek out right wing bloggers, if only to point out the obvious Bush lies they have bought into to sell their point. Plus, I do it for sport, nothing makes a rant better than getting your blood boiling before you start!

Lily said...

**blogsmooch to Lew**