Blogs, in many ways, are contentious versions of the larger world, so it probably shouldn't be a suprise that so-called "community" blogs reflect the tendency that we humans, as a herd species, have of demanding a common conformity and uniform direction of "rogues" who don't follow the direction of the herd.
Many of us didn't want this to be so, myself included. There was something exciting about large "communities" like Daily Kos when I first found it, and the addition of diaries served to make it seem more like a real community, but without all that pressure to dress like everyone else or go to the same restaurant, like we have to deal with in the meat world.
Of course, without superficial things for people to build cliques around, they found other things, and as that blog (and others of the big boy bloggers) became more closely alligned as a "netroots" army aimed at helping the Democratic Party, those cliques began to enforce a MESSAGE conformity. The latest version of this went up last night at DK, with the usual bullying and use of the silly rating system to try to use community shunning to reinforce group behavior.
Cross-posted at Liberal Street Fighter
Frontpaged at Booman Tribune (thanks Susan!)
"He feels it, Kurt, you see? He feels pain. "
Kurt replies, "ah hell, he volunteered."
I can't believe what I watched last night.
Homecoming, Joe Dante's entry into Showtime's Masters of Horror, is a black humored takedown of Bush's criminal war, the media and the religious right. Basically, a winger advisor comes up with the bright idea that he wishes dead soldiers could come back to tell peaceniks that they died for a worthy cause.
Back up of the digital mat and jabbing: Liberal Street Fighter
Once, a few years ago, I was waiting to pay at a small little market near my old apartment. In front of me there was a guy paying, and then behind him a woman with two young boys. One about four, the older one about seven. This was a small market, and they were pushing and shoving and play fighting, oblivious to the world around them. A stockboy came in with a teetering stack of boxes on a two-wheeled cart, his arms shaking with the strain as he tried to ease past the two boys without hitting them. His mother paid no attention to the man's plight, so I finally said, rather sharply, "boys, could you step aside so this man can do his job?"
You've Gotta Fight, for Your Right, to have a REAL Party -- Liberal Street Fighter
It is easy, here in the land of the Personality Cult and "There is no 'I' in team" and office environments plastered with motivational posters to blame the system or our "leaders" for the sorry state this culture festers in, but that is too simple, a cop out. How easily we forget, or run away from, the idea that this is a government of We the People .... David Sirota sums up the real problem:
The disease is simple to understand: It leads the supposedly “ideological” grassroots left to increasingly subvert its overarching ideology on issues in favor of pure partisan concerns. That may sound great at first glance. Democratic Party officials always talk about a need for “big tent unity” and subsequently try to downplay ideology. But as a trait of the grassroots and not just the party, Partisan War Syndrome could be positively devastating not just for issue advocacy, but also for Democrats’ political aspirations as well.
Devil Horns from Liberal Street Fighter
Oh, this is just WAY too fucking funny, in a black humor sort of way:
Does it matter that David Ludwig -- the 18-year-old alleged killer of his 14-year-old girlfriend's parents -- was a huge fan of hardcore Christian rock?
Nov. 24, 2005 | On the night of Oct. 6, David Ludwig, 18, and his 14-year-old girlfriend, Kara Beth Borden, went to church. There was no sermon, though -- at least not a traditional one. David and Kara were at the Lancaster Bible Church in Manheim, Penn., for a Christian rock concert. As the punishingly loud guitars of Audio Adrenaline and Pillar strained the limits of the church sound system, the kids screamed and pumped their fists and banged their heads. "Pillar and Audio A rock my face off!" David wrote on his blog the next day. Kara spent almost all the money in her pocket on a Pillar sweatshirt. She was wearing it the morning of Nov. 13 when, police say, David shot and killed her parents and fled with her at his side. (google cache of his blog here).
Damned kids and their rock ... oh, wait ... SAVED kids and their BLESSED rock music!!
Liberal Street Fighter
... I'm gonna dig myself a hole
Gonna lay down in it 'til
I satisfy my soul
Gonna let the world pass by me
That's about how I used to feel after the noon rush on this day every year. Just ... let ... me ... hide.
On THIS Black Friday, only the second year I'm not rushing around through crowds after over twenty years as a retail clerk, manager and/or buyer, I'd like to put in a word for those long-suffering folks confronting voracious Americans on this most holy of days in the United States of Mammon.
Show them some damned thanks, would you please?
Disgusted, no longer amused: Liberal Street Fighter
The war on women takes another beachhead, this time in Indiana:
Ind. Court Upholds Abortion Waiting Period
The Indiana Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a law that requires women seeking an abortion to get counseling about medical risks and alternatives, and to wait at least 18 hours after the session before going through with the procedure.
The court ruled in a 4-1 vote that opponents of the law could not pursue their lawsuit, which argued that privacy is a core right under the state constitution that extends to women seeking to end their pregnancies.
Silly girls, you obviously haven't THOUGHT about what it is you want to do. Here, dear, take a look at some gruesome photos and listen to a person give you state-mandated details about the procedure, then go home and think about it for a couple of days.
Shouts from Liberal Street Fighter
Jeralyn Merritt blogs a chilling quote from this piece in the Denver Post, written by civil rights lawyers John Holland and Anna Cayton-Holland:
Four years later, many just want to die. They starve themselves for long periods of time and attempt bloody suicides. The government responds by forcing tubes down their throats. People are trying to kill themselves to get out of custody, because they have no legal recourse. "They won't let us live, but they won't let us die," one of our clients explained.
It's increasingly unnerving how many aspects of dystopic stories and novels of decades past are coming true, and this passage reminded me immediately of Harlan Ellison's I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream. It opens:
Liberal Street Fighter
There is a grave and growing danger that will undermine the spirit of "teamwork & morale" that our military units need to operate effectively in battle:
Group Trains Air Force Cadets to Proselytize
A private missionary group has assigned a pair of full-time Christian ministers to the U.S. Air Force Academy, where they are training cadets to evangelize among their peers, according to a confidential letter to supporters.
The letter makes clear that the organized evangelization effort has continued this year despite an outcry over alleged proselytizing at the academy that has prompted a Pentagon investigation, congressional hearings, a civil lawsuit and new Air Force guidelines on religion.
After all, why let something pesky like laws and the discomfort of other servicepeople get in the way of some good harvesting of souls?
Liberal Street Fighter
We hear it often, the assertion that protests at home destroyed troop morale in Vietnam, and that peace protesters "hurt the troops". This convential wisdom, a cultural ointment smeared on any debate about war, seeks to "explain" why the United States lost in Vietnam.
It is, frankly, crap. The photo to the right has the following caption:
An American infantryman mourns the death of a fellow soldier in Haktong-ni, South Korea, August 1950.
What does broken morale really mean? Isn't it just a form of grieving, a sudden acceptance or realization that a "noble cause" wasn't worth the cost in blood, in treasure, in lost limbs and shreaded souls? It is a byproduct and a part of all wars, and the protests at home were only one of many reasons for soldier's lost morale in Indochina, reasons as numerous as there are
It's not just a choice, it's a question of freedom -- Liberal Street Fighter
In some of the good news that came out of Tuesday's election, one of the more heartening was the rejection by California voters of Arnold's parental notification ballot initiative, though I suspect that the rejection was as much or more a reflection of the rising unpopularity of the Governor. In fact, something that Arnold said about the initiative before the election underlines the true reason that such laws are on the books in forty-four states. As quoted in the Village Voice -- Roe v. No, Arnold said:
"I wouldn't want to have someone take my daughter to a hospital for an abortion or something and not tell me. I would kill him if they do that."
There it is, the ugly little core at the heart of such policies: control and the threat of violence.