The outpouring of sympathy and affection for Meteor Blades in this difficult time for him(EDITOR'S NOTE: Oh Jesus, I wrote "me" instead of "him." I blame exhaustion. Or being a dumbass. Your pick. Rest of update is at the bottom
) is astonishing, despite being unsurprising. The sheer volume of it, though, was quite amazing.
It was nothing less than I expected from the community of Kossacks.
This really is quite a place, you know.
More on the flipside...
It seems like there's just one furor after another here, you know? The primary fight, the "Shut your fucking pie hole" fight, the Ohio fight, and now a fight over the mojo rating system.
We are undeniably dysfunctional.
And yet....we are unbreakable.
Think of what we, collectively as a group of Democrats, liberals, and others on the left side of the political spectrum, have been through since November 2000. Go ahead and roll it around in your mind. You'll probably be as staggered as I was at the sheer magnitude of misfortune we've been through.
Think about all the scandals that have been forgotten. Think about all the big ones still brewing. Think about all the stupid, venal, idiotic, insane comments that have been uttered by everyone from the "President" to the lowest drooling freeper. Think about all the death, all the loss, all the misery that has occured over the past years.
And yet...we are still here. That fact that we're here at all, shows that we cannot and will not be broken. A lesser group of people would have gone home by now and given up. We will fight them until hell freezes over...and then we will fight them on the ice.
There are over FORTY FIVE THOUSAND of us here. That's a lot of us. A lot of power if we band together and stick together.
I have no doubt that will happen.
Despite our many disagreements, fights, insults, and troll ratings flung about like so much candy from a fireman on parade, there is a bond here I detect that is indescribable. I find myself caring about people who I would not know if I met them face to face. I've never even talked to them on the phone.
And yet, I consider them friends. I've had the opportunity to interact with so many remarkable people--like Meteor Blades, an authentic hero of the 1960's. I've even managed--somehow--to earn the respect of some of them. Me, a dumbass 22 year old from a cornfed hicktown in the middle of fucking nowhere! People like me! Smart people, no less!
I am firmly convinced if the Democratic party makessubstantial gains in the 2006 midterms, we will be at the core of that success. It will be us talking to our family and neighbors. It will be our money, our sweat, our tears.
Perhaps, if the worst of my paranoid fears comes true, it will be our blood. I joke with Carnacki that if worst comes to worst, I'd make my way to West Virginia and we'd retreat into that state's hills together and act as armed guerillas and make them dig us out.
I mean that, though. He'd be an awesome guy to wage war against the fascists with. And so would you all. I'd trust you to have my back in such a situation and I hope you know I'd have yours.
That's what I'm talking about though...in most cases (though that's starting to change) I'm just a bunch of electrons to you and you're just words on a computer screen to me--at the most basic level anyway. But there's so much more. If people who generally only know each other mostly superfically can form this kind of bond...we can be well nigh unstoppalbe once we really get rolling. I don't know if it's possible to find a group of men and women half so fine as those who congregate here.
One final thing: please, don't ever, ever let your wife, husband, son, daughter, brother, sister, mother, father, or any other family member ever leave your sight without letting you know how much you love them. You never know when it may be the last time you'll ever see them.
Never let your parting words be in anger. That's a fear of mine...I could never deal with the guilt if the final words spoken between me and a beloved family member or friend were in anger over some stupid argument that neither of us would be able to remember the cause of the next day.
So, go. Rekindle an old friendship. Call your siblings or parents and patch up that last fight you had when you hung up on each other.
Life's too short. Friends are too precious. Friends like you all.
For my part, I'm going to snuggle into bed next to my lovely girlfriend. Tomorrow (well, later today) I'm going to visit my (maternal) grandfather in his hospital bed, drop in on my (paternal) grandmother, call my mom and then my dad, have an AIM conversation with my brother, and maybe get lunch with a buddy.
The first rays of dawn will be peaking over the horizon in several short hours. They are the fingers of a new life and new possibilities.
UPDATE, 12:23 p.m. EST: Holy crap, people. This was quite a cool thing to sign on and see. I'm thrilled and flattered that this was so well received.
I was going to respond to comments, but my stomach is growling, and I have a date with a greasy spoon diner.
Anyway, first, I wanted to thank everyone for the kind words about me/this diary. Certainly, they made me blush furiously and made this day even nicer than it already promises to be. (SUNSHINE!)
One clarification: I never meant to disparage bickering. I never have been and never will be a "Roast marshmallows around the campfire and sing Kumbaya" guy. (Although roast marshmallows are delicious. A nice golden brown crust. )
I realize bickering and arguing is important to hashing out good ideas. I realize the most loving families fight like cats and dogs sometimes. But I was marveling at the fact that there have been some HUGE, NASTY, GIGANTIC BRAWLS here--and it hasn't weakened the community. At least, I don't think so. Freepers would have fallen apart by now.
Right now, the inimitable guitar and voice of Robert Johnson is floating out of my computer speakers. One of my favorite songs is "Me and the Devil Blues." It's incredible. However, it also contains the following lyric, which is absolutely appalling: "I'm goin' to beat my woman until I get satisfied." Even great art can have a dark, ugly side. Great, important things can have warts. Abraham Lincoln was a godawful ugly man and yet gets my vote for Quintessential American(TM). Just because there are some ugly incidents 'round these parts doesn't negate any of its positive qualities. And, to restate, never think I don't like a good, old-fashioned brouhaha. It's fun to dive in and destroy people with the overwhelming force of my rhetoric and sarcasm. :-)
One final thing: Never fear that the asshole Raybin has left. I could just as easy gnaw off my left arm.
By the way, fuck you.
(Hey, now the Eagles are playing! I've got a peaceful, easy feeling...I love you all! Even Armando! (Don't tell him that.))