When I was following the 2008 primaries and then the Presidential election, Daily Kos was one of about a dozen websites that I checked almost every day for political news. I never bothered to sign up with DKos; I was happy to be a non-member who just lurked and watched.
I wrote my first DKos comment on March 27, 2009. I had to wait 24 hours after I signed up (or maybe it was 48) before I could comment. I signed up because when I was a kid, I grew up in Fargo/Moorhead. In March, 2009, I felt an overwhelming urge to explain to Kossacks the utterly flat geography of the Red River of the North, which was flooding at the time. Here’s my first comment: More about the geography.
And now, one year later, I find that I’ve written 3133 comments (wow, an average of 8+ per day!) and 64 diaries (approximately one diary every six days). And I’m happy to say that, after posting 3133 comments, I haven’t gotten a single hide-rate. Not one. Not ever. I’ve never gotten an HR.
I’ve never received a hide-rate as a member of DKos, but I’ll admit there is one black spot on my record. I got a warning from Meteor Blades because I HR’d somebody’s tip jar and MB got a complaint. MB said I had to explain my HR and I did so. I wrote a reply to the diarist saying it seemed like concern trolling and MB said OK. But I didn’t back down and I didn’t remove my HR.
I suppose I’m conflicted in my psychological reaction to authority.
I was/am the oldest of seven kids. The oldest child often acts as the "little adult" who tries really hard to be accepted by grown-ups. If my parents weren’t around, I’d keep an eye on my younger siblings. I always got good grades and I was always polite to my elders. Maybe that’s why I’m so proud that I’ve never gotten HR’d after writing 3000+ comments on DKos. I’m following the rules and I'm being nice. I'm a good little boy.
But, on the other hand, when I was a teenager, I figured out that sometimes adults are just fucking idiots. Here are three stories from my time in Junior High School (when I was about 13 or 14 years old):
- The PE teacher tried to claim that short hair was part of the "required gym uniform" and he took me to the Principal’s office to get me kicked out of gym class. The Principal didn’t disagree with the gym teacher, but he called the school board they said, "No, you can’t require boys to cut their hair." On the way back to gym class, the gym teacher mumbled under his breath about the fucking liberals on the school board. He hated me after that (and I hated him).
- That same year, I wrote a three-page essay for a civics class where I used the phrase "scared shitless" and the teacher told me he’d change my grade from C to A if I rewrote the page and removed that phrase. He said that using bad language showed a lack of vocabulary. I refused to rewrite the page and took the C. I pointed out that people who use the word "shit" have one more word in their vocabulary than people who don’t use it. And this disproved his "lack of vocabulary" theory. QED (quod erat demonstrandum).
- Also, in Junior High, the Principal made me stay after school for something I did. I said, "I didn’t know that was against the rules." He said, "Well, I just made it a rule." I said, "You can’t punish me because the Constitution of the United States forbids you from making an ex post facto law. You can’t make a rule after the fact." I lost that argument and served my time in what I considered unconstitutional detention.
When someone in authority tries to push me around, I’ll push back. When Meteor Blades said, "either remove the HR or explain it," I explained it and the problem went away. Thanks, MB, for not being an overbearing asshole.
Rescued is better than Rec-List
I’ve written a few diaries that made the Recommended List. Which is cool. It’s like winning an election. Making the rec list means people liked something you wrote.
What’s even better, in my opinion, is seeing a diary scroll off the list with a few dozen comments and then, later, it gets rescued and gets a brand new audience. I love the Rescue Rangers. Plus, I’ve discovered some gems just because a diary was rescued.
"Top Comments" is good, too. There are a lot of really smart and really witty people on DKos.
But let’s talk about me again.
My Best Writing
I’m proud to say that I have written the following DKos diaries:
11/5/1916: The Everett Massacre (Bloody Sunday): A diary about the IWW (Wobblies) and a massacre that happened on that day in history.
Relax and Have a Beer and I’ll Tell You About Beer: Trivia about beer. Posted on Labor Day (which is a good day for beer drinking).
A History of The English Language: This is my longest (and maybe my best) diary. All sorts of stuff about the English language. With maps and examples of Old English.
Republicans react to swine flu (snark): A humorous thing I wrote that scrolled off the list very quickly. But I think it's funny.
My Norwegian Ancestors: Some stories about my ancestors. But it's well-written, if I do say so myself.
The Three Flavors of Republicans: The three flavors are fiscal conservatives, religious conservatives, and neo-cons. I might be wrong, but those are the three types I can see.
You shall have the body brought to me (Habeas Corpus): This was the first diary I wrote on DKos. I said you can't lock people in a prison and throw away the key (that's the short version).
The 2010 Red River Flood: An explanation of why the Red River floods in springtime. (Scroll down in the comment section to see how utterly flat the area is.)
My Diaries With The Most Comments
I clicked on every diary I wrote. The following DKos diaries got at least 50 comments (listed in order from newest to oldest):
Sunday Blue Laws, 55 comments, 33 tips, 26 recs: I wrote about laws about what you can’t do on Sunday.
Saturday Morning Jukebox #6: Goosebump music, 51, 17, 10 : My diary about music that gives you goosebumps.
Conservatives Prefer Deep Dish Pizza With Lots of Meat, 130, 30, 16: I found a website that lists food preferences of liberals and conservatives.
I’m Getting the Swine Flu Vaccination Because of the Math, 59, 18, 17: I believe that vaccines are good because they prevent disease. A few people disagreed with me.
Seattle Anti-Beck Protest (Photo Diary), 160, 402, 229: I took a digital camera to a Glenn Beck event and, afterwards, I learned how to upload photos to DKos. People on DKos like pictures. They give you lots of tips and recs for pictures.
The Myth of Political Correctness, 70, 9, 11: "You’re PC!" is a phrase used by right wingers, but apparently some liberals also believe the myth.
Grandpa Stories (Let Me Tell You About The Old Days), 98, 45, 15: I’m in my 50s. Looking back on the old days – heck, I could tell you stories!
BREAKING: Health Care Scandal in Kent Conrad's ND (updated), 287, 683, 782: At the time, everyone was pissed at Sen. Conrad. The Fargo Forum got a copy of an unpublished report from the ND Insurance Commissioner about Blue Cross/Blue Shield of ND. I noticed the article and put it on DKos and emailed Ed Schultz. Later that same day, Ed Schultz (former North Dakotan) mentioned it on his TV show.
Relax and Have a Beer and I’ll Tell You About Beer, 65, 24, 12: This was a good one. A diary about beer.
Sunday Morning Jukebox – Bittersweet Love Songs, 65, 24, 15: People seemed to like it. A jukebox posting with music videos.
Why Are Right Wing Comics Almost Never Funny? (Updated), 176, 37, 19: Lots of comments. It’s true: Republicans don’t have a sense of humor. Their jokes aren’t funny. Fuck ‘em if they can’t take a joke. Fuck ‘em even if they can take a joke.
Creation Science Museum Closes Down, 54, 58, 36: Creationists are wrong. People were happy that a "creation museum" went out of business. One museum down, fifty to go.
I Predict Forty Years of Democratic Dominance, 74, 5, 4: One of several diaries where I tried to predict the future. I’m not very prescient. Lots of comments, hardly any recs.
The Three Flavors of Republicans, 52, 26, 15: An attempt to analyze Repubs. Fiscal, religious, and neo-con. It led to someone else writing a more detailed (and possibly better) analysis of Republicans. But I think I was right about a few things.
Ask me if I care. The answer is no., 87, 59, 30: Several people said "If you don’t care, why are you writing this?"
A Tragic Ending to a Brilliant Life (The Gay Man Who Invented Computers), 229, (I forgot to post a tip jar), 482: Your computer that you’re using? Invented by a gay man. Alan Turing invented computers in the 1930s, defeated Hitler in the 1940s, and then committed suicide in the 1950s because the UK tried to cure people by giving them female hormones. Really. I’m not joking.
A Paean to Baseball, 69, 25, 18: I love baseball and this was one of my first posts. With videos by George Carlin and Abbott/Costello. Baseball is the best of all possible sports.
And that’s it.
Let’s hope my next year is even better.