Sunday, October 12, 2008

The disturbing decline of the Delaware blogosphere: a very unfortunate Around the Horn (even if it's not Friday)

I've noticed a change in my own blog-checking habits over the past several weeks, and I don't know if it's just me or the reality of the last month of a divisive political campaign.

I automatically used to check out Delawareliberal first and several times a day, because it was where I could find edgy, thought-provoking, and (dare I say it) funny banter going on.

These days visit several other spots first, and my visits to DL are both shorter and less engaged. Why? Because the combination of invading neo-con commenters with the stridency of some of the major contributors has led to such pleasant exchanges as a post dedicated to labeling another blogger racist by donviti, whose own sense of provocative humor is generally so far out there that he makes John Belushi doing Samurai bartender on the SNL look positively pro-Asian. Or I can find Delawaredem and jason periodically spewing the idea that anybody who is not a liberal or progressive Democrat is somehow a non-American, poor-person-hating, rapacious bastard who--if the occasion is right--deserves to be.... [well, DD said he shouldn't have said it, not that he didn't mean it, so I won't go there....]

Meanwhile this all makes Pandora's post on potential white conservative violence if Obama wins look positively Solomonic.

Is it just me, or has Liberalgeek been conspicuous by his absence in most of these deeply intellectual conversations?

Not that Down with Absolutes has been such a prize lately, either. Dominique: we get it. You find Obama and his supporters at best disquieting, and you are still in a state of shock that people attacked you as a racist for moving from Hillary to McCain. But for God's sake, can't you write about something else once in awhile? At least stop pretending to be shocked, surprised, and dismayed when the trolls come out and wish your son would die a painful death.

kavips may or may not read this, after I criticized one post for stereotyping Republicans in a fashion that would have gotten the author nailed as a racist if it had employed similar analogies about African-Americans. (Of course, jason, who has posted many similar vulgarities, agreed that the post was spot on.) Meanwhile, the commentaries that I visit kavips for--like detailed examinations of the situation in Georgia, or environmental issues have, quite simply, disappeared beneath a whirlwind of intellectually shallow partisan posts....

Ironically, Tommywonk covers a lot of the same ground, but does it in his usual calm, intellectually honest fashion. Maybe that's why he doesn't get a lot of comments. These days, you've apparently got to fling shit far and wide in the DE blogosphere to get a conversation going.

Nor do I find much to read as I move further right. Delaware Politics, aside from rsmitty's brilliant RINO post, has been ... pretty damn sterile lately; Delaware Curmudgeon has uncharacteristically dwelling on a lot of GOP talking points lately [although she keeps beating me to the punch with good stuff about Tyler Nixon]; and Hube hasn't quite gotten it that nobody really cares about the inconsistencies of the MSM's treatment of Obama. Where the hell is the Spanish video of the week and a review of An American Carol.

I call bullshit.

And I'm sure it can be called on me as well.

The peak of the Delaware blogosphere this year IMHO was when we all banded together about imminent domain, when we actually spent some time looking for common ground rather than shit to throw at each other.

Yeah, it's an election year. Yeah, it's a big election year, and a lot is at stake no matter what your political ideology.

But if we allow them to make it ALL about elections, political parties, and the divisive nature of the American political discourse ... we all lose.

Here's the ultimate irony: Uncle Dana at Delaware Watch is usually the grumpiest and most acerbic of us all. His posts literally bleed outrage and offended sensibilities. Yet this week only his post on the Sheriff in Kent County IL who has called bullshit on illegal foreclosures comes close to representing the real strength and intellectual vitality that used to inhabit the Delaware blogosphere.

It is also the only post in that blogosphere this week worth linking to, which is why there aren't any others in this post.

Think about it, folks.

God, I can't wait for this election to be over.

25 comments:

kavips said...

You too, huh?

And I thought it was only me that noticed it....

But face reality. We are all political animals on this circuit. And with two weeks to go, we are within our two minute warning, with the outcome still in jeapordy.

Now is not the time for Monday Morning film reviews..or stringent analysis, or hypothetical postulations... That will come November 5th, when after a week of "ha, ha, I told you so's" we will all get friendly again....(until Congress and the General Assembly get sworn into session come January).

Right now, there are tasks at hand; decisions to be made, and from the sidelines, one must expect some cheering to drive the enthusiasm level higher...

Perhaps, accepting the inevitability, picking a side to cheer for, and just enjoying the game would be an appropriate response... After all, that is why we bought our tickets....

On the other hand, writing a post we can later read about how we behaved when the game got hot... could serve our communities interest just as well......

Oops... got to go...we just got the ball.....

downwithabsolutes said...

I think the one word that fits the DE Blogospher at this point in time is "joyless."

Great post! I gave you a profanity-laden shout-out on my blog.

Hube said...

At least you call yourself out, too. There's actually quite a few people who enjoy my pointing out the inconsistencies of the MSM. If you don't, fine! That doesn't make it "bullshit." Besides, I've plenty of non-political posts lately. I think you just have a misguided sense of "balance" here. Really.

That said, WTF is "imminent domain?"

Joe M said...

I've made my position in agreement fairly clear lately. I'm just riding it out and writing about things that I enjoy, while avoiding all the vicious bullshit that seems to be going on. If that means I don't get to socialize as much online, then so be it.

It's not really a social scene that I can imagine being a happy member of right now anyways.

Anonymous said...

"At least stop pretending to be shocked, surprised, and dismayed when the trolls come out and wish your son would die a painful death."

If anyone finds that it is acceptable to let someone wish a painful death in theses blogs, troll or not making the statement, let me know.
Or if we are to expect such comments, and not to express displeasure and outrage.

Just for the record, life would be so much simpler if we could act like the spider that kills what bugs it. Is that where we are going?
Paul

.

Pandora said...

Okay, I'll admit it. I am obsessed with the Presidential election. I can't help it. It's a sickness. With that said I, too, can't wait until this election is over. Has there ever been so much drama, so many twists and turns during a campaign before? Everyday - sometimes two or three times a day - something crazy happens.

Everywhere I go people are discussing the election. There is no escaping it. There's also no escaping the escalating emotions - which, I've admitted, concern me greatly.

I think things in the blogosphere will settle down after the election. Right now November 4th is too close... and too important. It's boots on the ground time.

Joe M said...

Pandora,

Steve is not tired of discussions of the elections. He's tired of the same repetitive, vitriolic arguments that seem to be so pervasive anymore.

Hell, look at the treatment of mike w. on DE Lib. When he makes a bad argument, he gets flamed. When he makes a good argument, he gets flamed and baited into making a bad one, at which point he gets banned. It's ridiculous, and this kind of behavior has edged out rational commentary on the the DE Blogosphere.

That's the problem: not the fact that people are talking about the elections, but that they don't have anything new or interesting to say about it.

Tyler Nixon said...

Damn well said, Joe!

Anonymous said...

Fuck you Republican a-hole!!

I'm soooo sorry you widdle feelings are getting hurt because American patriots are not allowing right wing idiots to set the terms of the debate anymore.

jason330

Anonymous said...

That was directed at Republican Steve.

Joe M said...

Well, Jason, if the terms of the debate are to be childish name-calling and temper tantrums, I think I prefer the right-wing to set the terms of the debate.

I recall a little whiny sh!tfit that you threw during the DNC when Mike Matthews made the mistake of ripping on Olbermann. Do I need to refresh you?

"WHY ARE YOU TAKING THIS AWAY FROM ME??? F*CK F*CK F*CK F*CK F*CK!!!!"

Yes, there's a "debate" we all need to hear! In fact, I remember seeing that debate on the playground in Kindergarten, though I recall the candidate had a little more restraint when it came to unhinged profanity. I guess he didn't want to miss out on recess for the rest of the week.

Anonymous said...

kavips, dwa, DL, steve,DP, et al-I think I'm done posting for a bit too. Getting more done around the house. Normal contributors have lost their humor and in some cases humanity. I know they say it's a blood sport; but I don't do blood and soul. Tired of the sound bytes, extractions, and then annilhilation of diverse opinion. Much truth to the pen is mightier than the sword, and many of us have become blog carnage. I wanted discussion and debate on all sides. It's degenerated to napalm news, and none of us are safe; friend or foe. Get some perspective writers. We are each only one vote. Is the hate worth keeping or losing that vote?

Anonymous said...

Joe, I like you but that was weak. Bringing up something out of context from a live blog episode? What next? My drunk driving charge from 1985?


The crux of the matter is that Republicans don't like that the is on the other foot.

Well tough shit.

-jason330

Joe M said...

Out of context? I disagree. Mike stated an opinion about Keith Olbermann, and rather than rationally discuss it, you flew off the handle. But, if you want something more current, how about:

"Fuck you Republican a-hole!!

I'm soooo sorry you widdle feelings are getting hurt because American patriots are not allowing right wing idiots to set the terms of the debate anymore.

jason330"

That's a picture-perfect example of the "liberal debate" going on at DE Lib right now.

Mike W. said...

Joe - Jason's comment is exactly the kind of "liberal debate" going on over there right now.

It's more throwing shit at anything they don't like than it is actual debate right now. Let's hope it gets better after the election. Quite frankly I have a hard time understanding how Jason can be so childish.

Steve Newton said...

jason's favorite tactic, I've finally reasoned out, is simply to make stuff up and treat it like it was somehow grounded in reality.

He seems to have bought into the postmodernist idea that saying something is equally valid as saying something true.

There used to be a term for this in the old days, but I forget it now.

Oh, wait. Yeah, they called it lying.

Joe M said...

"The crux of the matter is that Republicans don't like that the is on the other foot."

I think the original post here and the resulting comments show that some of the bloggers, including Republicans, are not angry that the shoe is on the other foot, but that the lefts opportunity is being squandered by posters and commenters discarding the debate in favor of childish attacks.

Anonymous said...

Cry me a river Joe. Any American who is not angry right now is out to lunch.

I don't know if it registered with you yet = but the accomodationists "libertarians" like Steve Newton have as much to to antone for as any radical Republican.

Now he has the never to say that I am civil?

Fuck that.

-jason330

Joe M said...

There's productive anger and there's impotent anger. Look at McCain's anger issues that they have tried to spin into a positive. If his anger led him to do good things for the country, then more power to him. Instead, it leaves him screaming at volunteers or other congressmen, and calling his wife a c*nt.

The anger being showed by you and other folks is impotent rage, exampled by the fact that you are asking for atonement before concentrating on or even discussing a fix to the problem. Instead of debate, you are resorting to attacks and sarcasm, and that attitude has permeated DE Lib. You may think you've taken the debate, but you've killed it, instead.

Steve Newton said...

jason
it's not your lack of civility that most bothers me, it's the fact that you just make stuff up about people and then scream at the top of your lungs that it's the truth.

tell me, what in your feeble opinion that you can actually document rather than pull out of your fantasy world do I have to atone for?

remember, little fellow, in your answer try to stick to facts, that's what adults do in a conversation, and I'm confident you are bright enough to eventually reach that point...

downwithabsolutes said...

Jason,

I'm with Joe on this. You're off the effing rails here!! The Olbermann comparison is apt. Your problem is that you can't accept ANY criticism of Dems/Liberals because you think we should just pay attention to the failures of George Bush? Dude, get the hell over it! Democrats and Liberals do "bad things," too and just because I'm a liberal doesn't mean I shouldn't call 'em out when I hear bullshit!!

You really need to take a step back, re-read what you've written and then ask yourself if what you said is acceptable. Because all you've done in this thread is pile on a thick layer of BS.

Mike W. said...

"it's the fact that you just make stuff up about people and then scream at the top of your lungs that it's the truth."

Kinda like him calling you a Republican.

G Rex said...

What bugs me the most about the lads over at Del Lib is that they're at their most vitriolic when their candidate has his biggest lead, whether in electoral votes, battleground states, what have you. In one post it's "we're number one!" and in the next, it's "how dare you deny our number one-ness with your doubts?" If that's what liberals are like when they're winning, I'd hate to see them when they're losing! Oh wait, we have.

Brian Miller said...

I don't know if it registered with you yet = but the accomodationists "libertarians" like Steve Newton have as much to to antone for as any radical Republican.

Uh, excuse me. Is an Obama supporter really accusing a Libertarian of being "accomodationist?"

A supporter of "I agree with John Mccain on the bailout" Obama?

A supporter of "I agree with John McCain on gay issues" Obama?

A supporter of "I agree with John McCain on deficit spending" Obama?

Seriously?

Oh lordy.

Shirley Vandever said...

It just seems to me that the left is so much angrier. It is not an informed anger; rather it is spiteful and childish. They might have a better chance of making a point if they were less so.

I am not so much angry as afraid. Afraid of what this country is becoming.

If my posts are Republican talking points, then so be it, but if the Obama/Biden ticket is elected, I will not be angry. I will still just be afraid. I predict a four-year term for the Democratically-controlled President and Congress to drive us into the ground. Less statist minds will eventually prevail, though by then it may be too late to recover.