“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

Jonathan Swift
"The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital." - Bill Maher
"The city is crowded my friends are away and I'm on my own
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go

It's a cruel ... cruel summer"

Friday, September 02, 2005

we dress like students / we dress like housewives / or in a coat and tie

Back in the day, late 80s Dallas, I affected a variety of looks. I wasn’t sure where I fit into the grand spectrum of humanity, so I adopted a kind of punkish prepish nouveau wave-o sort of thing. My hair was sometimes a wedge, sometimes a mullet (sorry; it was the times), sometimes just a can’t-afford-a-haircut unkempt tousle. The look was guaranteed to attract hostile saliva and BMW-generated mudbaths from the frat rats who attended SMU with me as well as Doc Marten stompings from the skinheads who frequented the Deep Ellum clubs I hung at.

So I know something about the fact that hate “is not limited to one side of the political spectrum”. And like our favorite local troll (who honestly isn’t so trollish; it’s just fun to call him one), I bemoan the death of “reasoned discourse”. But like our chief blogger Prodigal Son, I also know that you don’t bring a knife to a gun fight and fear that liberals have lost way too many fights because of a tendency to be nice like Alan Colmes.

But Colmes exists solely as a foil for Sean Hannity. We have our own foil by the name of Curious Texan, and he tells us that he read on Little Green Footballs about a former liberal who

claimed he was so appalled by the insensitive comments many of his fellow liberals made when it was announced that President Reagan had Alzheimer's that he's now a conservative.
Hm. Now I don’t trust much of what I read on LGF and I do think that some quarters of the regressive blogging world known variously as Freeperville and the 101st Fighting Keyboarders work to deliberately invent memes of this nature. Nevertheless, in what's left of the real world, CT is right that progressives do sometimes indulge in these same bad behaviors. You can find it in the liberal blogosphere. But these same behaviors are also a trademark of mainstream wingnuttery from Rush Limbaugh to Hannity to Bill O’Reilly to Ann Coulter to Mona Charen to Charles Krauthammer to Michelle Malkin to the Ghostly VoiceTM of the Amarillo Globe-Republican.

There’s a difference. The blogosphere folks—whether right or left—who spew hate generally do so from behind the safety of a screen name. All of the regressive hate-mongers listed above (except for the Ghostly Voice) feel comfortable using a real name. It amused me that the denizens of Freeperville West seemed to assume that I would fear public exposure of my real name. I think that belief says more about them than it does about me. My name’s not exactly a secret: it’s always been listed under the contributors link and this blog has (rather ironically) been featured on the front page of the Amarillo Globe-Republican with two big ole pictures of me. I use a screen name because it’s fun and makes me feel like a Revolutionary War-era pamphleteer.

But to some, an anonymous screen name is the twenty-first century equivalent of a white sheet.