Monday, November 17, 2003

Bringing The Wrath?

A wild weekend of blogging it was. So much so that I actually used the word "wrath", referring to myself. A little overwrought perhaps? Sure. But this is what happens when the San Diego Chargers get my hopes up and then shatter them.

It was a long day. And a fruitful one. Productive. For I didn't just get angry at another blogger for being, in my opinion, spiteful and petty. I channeled that anger. Constructively. Apparently, somewhere along the way I sent an email to the LA Times too. A letter to the editor. They called me this morning, and said that it's scheduled to run tomorrow. We'll see. She emphasized "scheduled", and you never know until the paper is printed.

In retrospect, some of the pettiness in the blogosphere bothers me, and I find it symptomatic of the larger problems of political communication in America. People are less concerned with the ideas, and policies, then they are the personalities. Depending on who's doing something, the value of an action or proposal seems to vary.

I especially get annoyed when assumptions are made about someone. Or a pithy personal attack is launched as a means to undermine another's credibility. I used to run into this over at Kos all the time. Exchanges like this actually occurred as a method of "counter-argument", or meta-commentary (paraphrased from memory)...

"That freelixir is just a little too excitable."

"Yea, he/she sounds like an overeager college student."

"Oh, definitely a teenager or college student."

This kind of crap really does go on. Or quick jibes about being a "troll" or "freeper", when it's clearly undeserved and unsupported. As for being excitable, I'm guilty. That's why I'm here in the first place. When the war propaganda was starting to peak, I couldn't take it anymore. Couldn't stay silent or on the sidelines anymore. So I wrote this.

That's excitable. And sober. You can practically taste my outrage, and see the smoke coming out of my ears. I'm tired of business-as-usual, and exercises in military futility to solve problems that could have been addressed previously in a more civil and egalitarian fashion. Especially without informed consent.

I'm not sure if many people ever read this, as that was my first mass emailing, but I did get some great feedback on Craigslist (along with some attacks by war supporters), where I simultaneously posted to Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Chicago.

When I realized the war was nearly a foregone conclusion, a few days later, and that dissent and demonstration was meaningless to our leadership, I crafted this essay, in an effort to bridge ideological divides and difference and find common ground and vision. Ever since, I've been around The Agonist, Daily Kos, Counterspin, Atrios, and Cal Pundit (among others), bringing these ideas and a consistent vision to the debate.

If you care to get to know me, you need only read those two pieces. They explain why I'm here, and what I'm all about. Base any derision against me on the ideas presented therein, or anywhere else on this site or elsewhere, but please end the personal sniping and attacks.

As John Kerry likes to say, the "politics of personal destruction" is for losers.