Distinctive Voices

Whenever Dean Dad writes something nice about me, I get so tickled.  I always leave the link open and check back over and over just to make sure he hasn’t changed his mind.

I imagine him like some young Gregory Peck, saving the world one small right thing at a time.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Molly Ivins’s death and reading all the commentary, which can mostly be boiled down to: one of our great liberal truth-tellers has died and what will we do now?

Well, it seems obvious. 

We go forward.  We do what must be done because there’s no one else to do it.

Newscoma has an excellent post today about the whole Briley affair and her gut instinct that there’s more to this bill than just some third-year law student playing “I can craft legislation when no one’s looking.”

I have one Rep. and one Senator who represent my district. I’m going
to be asking about this when I head to the TPA next week. My questions
will be simple.

What is the buzz in the General Assembly about bloggers and blogging
rights? Are members of the house and senate worried about us? Who is
talking about or are we, as bloggers the only one talking about issues
like this?  Is there a sense of fear of political bloggers creating a
discussion that mainstream media in the state might not be covering?
Does the political machine just see bloggers as instruments creating
“malice intent?”

Is that how they see bloggers? Being that I work in both journalism
and keep this little site on the side for my own amusement, I know that
some people in journalism are very leery of the blogging community. Not
all of them, but some. I also know that with the power of blogging’s
influence during recent elections and political scandals has created a
very big voice.

Do you see what she’s getting at?

That what we’re doing here, for whatever reason, scares people in power; that’s her sense, that what we do is making folks nervous.  That’s pretty extraordinary.

I was thinking about this yesterday as I was sewing the legs on the LiBEARtarian* and I was thinking about what, aside from him being all camouflage would make him identifiably a libertarian and I was thinking that he should have a hat.  And then I thought, “Well, and it’ll need to have a brim, because no serious shooter would be caught dead without a brimmed hat when shooting.”

Why the fuck do I know that?  Because Say Uncle said it and it stuck in my brain.

Do you see what I’m getting at?  That, I think, gets at the heart of what makes blogging so “dangerous.”  Yes, it’s true that a lot of the blogging landscape looks just like the landscape out here, where people are split along party lines and one side yells at the other but the other’s not listening.

But also, here, I can make connections with people who are on opposite sides of the political fence**.  And I can, at least, get a feel for where they’re coming from.  And when some legislator does something asinine, regardless of what party, I can hear about it and rally and be rallied by folks who may not share my party affiliation to act against it.

I do think that’s got to be unsettling.

And I’m glad of it. 





*Yes, I swear, I’m almost done with that god damn bear, which means we’re almost done with Craft Time With Aunt B. 

**Shoot, I even read Nate, the Pan-Galactic Blogger Blaster, with some regularity, because I find his comments over at NiT have become remarkably sane and thoughtful lately.  (Though, I think this only adds credence to my theory that he’s some kind of G-man.  Ha, good thing Briley’s legislation isn’t passing.  You start throwing idle speculation about a guy like Nate being a G-man and, if he’s not, he and all of those Vox Day nuts are hunting you down and beating you to death with a worn copy of The Fountainhead, which is bad enough.  Imagine if he could come after me with the weight of the Tennessee legislature behind him!) 



10 thoughts on “Distinctive Voices

  1. > what, aside from him being all camouflage would make him identifiably a libertarianYou could put a bong in one paw, the carcass of some endangered species in the other paw, and a necklace of severed politicians’ ears around his neck. That last isn’t quite true. The Libertarians don’t actually want to make it legal to kill politicians; but the spirit is right.

  2. Shoot, I even read Nate, the Pan-Galactic Blogger Blaster, with some regularity, because I find his comments over at NiT have become remarkably sane and thoughtful latelyYou’ll just LOVE his latest on women in the workplace.

  3. I read that about career gals vs. mommies or some such nonsense, which, I believe, only further proves my point–that he cannot be what he claims to be and so must be someone who benefits from folks believing he is what he claims.Indifferent children, I am having a good time putting ears together. Possibly I could work him up an ear necklace.

  4. This is amusing. What is it that I claim to be, that I cannot be?I’m not trying to start a fight here. I would really like to know.Oh.. and on the libertarian clothing… there’s really nothing. I mean.. commie’s get Che shirts… libertarians don’t have an equivelant. if you wanted to show you were a capital L Libertarian though… as in Libertarian Party… You could just carry around some Ganja.That could be a problem of course.

  5. I’ve been reading you for some time, Nate. I found you through Vox Day (who I found, of course, through Pandagon), gave up on him, stuck with you because you’re local. And I have a working theory based on nothing more than my looney left-wing conspiracy loving nature. But here’s the basis of my conjecture.You1. Occasionally, you seem brilliant, level-headed, and kind.2. In spite of all your "Oh, I hate women" posturing, you seem very in love with your wife and fond of your female commenters and, in spite of all your "I hate working women" posturing, you seem incredibly proud of her as a person and as a doctor.3. You don’t really seem negatively hung up on being a stay-at-home dad. That’d be hard for a lot of men, but not you.4. The bits you let on about your family make it seem as if you’re very proud of folks who can discern right from wrong and do it.Things That Don’t Quite Make Sense1. If you are really a foaming at the mouth right wing gun nut who hates women, why would your fabulous wife stick with you?2. If you weren’t incredibly smart and interesting, why would a doctor stick with you?3. If your grandfather really was responsible for doing the forensic work on the Birmingham church bombing–a thing both easy enough to check out and a thing you seemed incredibly proud of–and it had a big impact on you, how could you really turn around and joke about blowing up your church just because they taught your kid the pledge of allegiance?In other words, it often seems that the bombast with which you scorch the internet doesn’t match with the clues you leave about your real life.Thus, I speculate (and I reiterate, it’s pure speculation based only on my wishing it were so) that you are working for the FBI or maybe the ATF and, while you may even be conservative (as so many government employees are)in real life, online you’re a decoy–saying the most outlandish things you can think of in order to draw folks out of the woodwork and make them feel comfortable with you and where your agency can then more easily monitor them.

  6. Aunt B,On the first set:1. Thanks. That’s suprising.2. I don’t hate women at all. I love women. Neither do I think women shouldn’t work. Neither do I think women shouldn’t vote. Vox and I disagree on that. Where people seem to have trouble with me is, I don’t think women as a whole should be applauded for abandoning family life, in favour of professional life. Everyone acts like this is universally good, and yet when you look at the kids… you see pain. So much pain. I hate feminists. And by feminists I mean people like the little wench Amynda.(by the way… how about her taking all those comments and posts down from her blog? love her or hate her… that’s chickenshit.)3. I don’t define anyone by their profession. Jobs are jobs. Doctor or ditchdigger. Its all the same to me. As far as I’m conserned what someone does for a living, or doesn’t do for a living, says nothing about them, because I have no idea how or why they came to those decisions.4. Right and Wrong is very black and white to me. Those who muddle it up irritate me. I once posted a challenge to any and all to come up with a so-called moral delima. I don’t believe such a thing exists. Good and Right are always obvious to me… and I always have a logical thought process to back up my position. You and I may disagree.. but I doubt you’d fault the logic. You’d fault the givens in the equation.On the things you have problems with:1) I am a right wing gun nut… and so is my wife. Does it really not occure to you that there are women who love guns as much as men do? Come on! Firearms are the great equalizer! Women in general are great shots! Naturally better than men in my opinion. Isn’t the easiest answer here.. "Nate doesn’t hate women at all… and Nate’s wife is a right wing gun nut to?" Just remember… I’m a real extreme right winger. Not the moderate right winger. I’m the one who says you’re in charge of you. I’ll defend your common law rights to my death. I hate it when people use the power of government to force their views on others… which is why I can’t be a republican.2) When she read this she laughed and said… "10-inch dick". That was a joke of course.. but the fact is she wouldn’t have even dated me if I weren’t smart and interesting. So what do we conclude?3) My grandfather did do what I say… and it is easily verifiable. Someday I hope we can talk about it. The man had pictures with two presidents… Carter and Reagan. Reckon he got the whole spectrum between those two. But what does my comment about the church have to do with it? Its just black humor. Jokes like that aren’t offensive to me… believe me.. I’ve posted way worse. Maddox would be proud to have written some of the early stuff on my blog. Check out the archives of may of 04 sometime. No wait.. better not!Come on Aunt B. Is my existence such a problem? You’re a liberal for crying out loud! Can’t you just accept that the world is a lot bigger and more strange than you thought it was? Can’t it just be that maybe everything isn’t cookie cutter?I understand though… Conspiracy Theory is fun… and its proven more accurate than official history anyway… so what the hell?

  7. Betsy, you are incredibly patient. You can dress this asshat up any way you like, he is still desperately seeking attention, and, unbelieveably, getting it. I have never seen so many afraid to call a guy out on his bullshit. Logic? Please, my daughter would hand this moron his ass in a debate. She’s 10. His wife doesn’t read his blog. I doubt she is a doctor, I doubt he’d know anything about tactical training except that it indeed exists. I wouldn’t normally care, but he has been unbelievibly rude to people over at NIT. I don’t find a speck of brilliance in his posts or in the follow-up comments, and i think you are just being way nicer than he deserves. I’ve already wasted too much time on this pathetic, cringing, little milksop. (That was the nicest thing i could think of to say, I’m pretty sure it’s from a Monty Python skit.)

  8. Yeah, but Mack, I think you fail to see my position. I have a religious obligation to be a good host. I’ve said to a number of people privately that I think it would be hilariously awesome if Nate turned out to be working for the Feds (if you read his blog, you know how much he purports to hate them) and I now referred to it publicly.When he shows up here, he is my guest; when he asks that I explain what I mean, I have an obligation to him to explain myself.Nate may well be an asshole or he may just have an asshole internet persona or it may make him an asshole to have an asshole internet persona or whatever. It doesn’t matter. Nate is responsible for himself and people are free to draw their own conclusions about who he is.Yes, he has done some shit that I would call breaking frith over at NiT, but a.) Brittney doesn’t run NiT in a way that deliberately stresses the building and maintaining of frith and b.) he hasn’t here.Therefore, my obligations to him as a host, here, are still in place–to make him feel welcome and to answer his questions, especially about what I’ve said about him, honestly and as best I can.It’s the best way I can see to make this work–for us all to be mindful of the obligations of host and guests and community.Even Loki, when a guest, was fed.Nate, I don’t think your existence is a problem. I just think it’d be hilariously good fun if you were a Fed. It does take all kinds, but you are ideally situated to help the government monitor a community that does tend to make government folks very nervous.And, yeah, Amanda has done some stuff at Pandagon that I wouldn’t especially do, I don’t think, but I think she’s about motivating the base and I’m more about testing my ideas. Those lead to very different policies on how to treat dissent.

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