The shadows of our own desires stand between us and our better angels, and thus their brightness is eclipsed. -Charles Dickens (1841)
It was with deep sorrow and profound sadness that I read Meteor Blades' farewell diary yesterday.
I think of this site as a living entity, capable of all the greatness and horror that living entities embody - that each one of us individually embody as well. It is replete with all the joy, sorrow, camaraderie and division that a single person possesses. It has its head, heart, and soul.
The character of a soul could never be adequately characterized through words alone - they fail. If I had to conjure up a mental image - and example - of the soul of this site, it would come to me in the form of Meteor Blades.
That soul was first introduced to me on November 3, 2004, the day after the Kerry Presidential loss. I was in a tailspin - it seemed further that everyone else here was in a tailspin. It was Meteor Blades who picked us all up, brushed us all off, brought us together and enjoined us to live to fight another day.
And we did.
He has done this for us - for this community and for this entity - time and time again.
It's difficult to envision this place without its soul. It's sad, and troubling. Because we haven't generally been particularly nice to one another here. Our better angels seem to have been, too frequently, mugged and subdued by the shadows of our own desires. It's made us lose our civility - myself included. The way we've taken to speaking to one another here is really appalling, and frankly embarrassing.
It's not fair that the burden of being the soul of a thriving, change-making entity such as Daily Kos should fall on the shoulders of one person. But I believe it did, and thank God or the entity of your choice that those shoulders were HUGE - mammoth. Watch out, Atlas - because our soul, Meteor Blades, can kick your ass and then pick up the world when you shrug.
Now it's up to each of us to choose - and it IS a simple choice - will we unshackle the better angels of our natures in how we interact with one another, and how we advocate for that about which we are most passionate? Will we pause for a moment to consider whether cruelty and mocking directed at another here is EVER warranted before we unleash it?
It's a choice. We have a choice here - we can call on the better angels of our respective natures to come in and pick up the slack of carrying the soul of this wonderful entity forward - we can pay back the immeasurable, unquantifiable contribution that Meteor Blades has made to this site and to each of its members...
Or we can sink into the abyss.
Which do you choose?