Funny how an internet 'community' that prides itself on being 'progressive' and 'evolved' so often descends into vile acrimnious name-calling...
Yep, I remmeber way back in the day, a scientist came out with some results that, in his opinion, 'proved' that, on average Asians were the smartest, Whites in the middle, and Blacks at the bottom. Miss Laura very personally excoriated this researcher, calling him a whole host of colorful names. I found (and still find) such behavior a distraction, and when I asked a very simple question, the gist of which was: I know nothing of this guys methods, or if what he says is true, but a) Why insult him personally and b) objectively, if different 'races' have different physical attributes (more melanin vs. less, waxy vs. crumbly ear wax, epicanthic folds, susceptibility to genetic diseases etc.), why is it not possible that they also could have intellectual differences? She and others were saying this researcher shouldn't even be allowed to publish such stuff, and I was asking for free and open discussion. Shoot, I was MOST EXPLICITLY not defending this guy's findings. I WAS defending his right to have an honest inquiry without being bullied, threatened and personally insulted. I was instantly insulted, by several people, Including the author of the diary, and she also informed me, from 'on high', that some subjects were not open to discussion, were beyond the range if civil discussion. Ahh, mine old enemy: PC, the thought-control of the left...
Only problem with this idea that some subjects are clearly too vile to be discussed is... who gets to decide? It reminded me of the researcher in the SouthWest who pretty much proved that there was native-American cannibalism in prrehistoric times (one only has to look at the fortess-like ruins of places like Canyon De Chelle and Mesa Verde to inmagine a people under seige...) He proved this conclusively, using DNA and other evidence. And for his trouble, he was attacked, received death threats, I believe he lost tenure, and his academic career was laid waste. All for asking 'unpleasant' questions.
I pointed all of this out in subsequent posts, and all of it was met with a shit-storm of vitriol that took me utterly by surprise. I mean, I was shocked, am still shocked, by the very personal, acid-tongued abuse hurled my way. When I and a few others ased repeatedly for a civil discussion, especially an end to ad hominem attacks, more spittle came flying out of the ether as a chorus yelled at us to go #%$@ ourselves.
I was a 'red diaper baby', raised by former Communists who believed in free speech. They even believed in constitutionally protected hate speech. They believed what the ACLU believes, and for the same simple reason: No one is wise enough, or impartial enough, to be the arbiters of what ideas are or are not acceptable for discussion. They supported Lenny Bruce's fights, and the American Nazi Party's (not an easy thing for a Jewish family to do).
But here, in out enlightened corner of the blogosphere, we do have arbiters, would-be censors, and most tellingly - they seem to be the ones who really like to attack most personally those they disagree with .
Today, another purveyer of virtue (or at least a self-appointed policer of it) published a diary entitled "Grow. The. F***. Up" which commented vociferously and angrily on the incredible bad taste of those who ignored the Russert love-fest to decry his fealty to the military/industrial/pharma/penal complex. By the way, is it just me, doesn't the title kind of water down her plea for civilty? So, I dug into the Russert blogs and was amazed to find that virtually anyone who had anything 'not nice' to say about Tim Russert was pilloried with zeal, burned with vitriol, slimed, labelled a 'troll', HR'd etc.
Now, this diary is not concerned with whether Tim Russert was a good father or husband or co-worker. Truth be told, it's not even concerned with his 'performance' (an apt word, I think) as a news-o-tainment-man. No, it's concern is with the fact that the mob mentality, the 'lizard brain' and all of those other things we find grotesque in the Hannity/Coulter/Savage/Limbaugh et. al. world... are alive and well here @ Kos.
The level of personal invective hurled at anyone who dares voice a minority opinion is breathtaking.
If we are so evolved, if we are so 'progressive', if we are so damn different, then why do we sound so similar?
My $.02 for the week.
Gentlemen/Gentlewomen, start those flame engines...
Or better yet, try a little tenderness, humility, humanity and civility. Try to forge a community that really does stand out for its support of humane values, enlightened discussion, and a firm agreement to civilly agree to disagree.