Another call to community
By way of Delaware Libertarian, I found my way to a post from Bryan Shields about a return to community. Now, I thought it would be a rallying cry for us DE bloggers to come a little bit closer together than we have in recent months. In that regard, I was disappointed though I’m certain the rest of the post had a merit of it’s own.
See, the thing is… I’ve gotten used to being disappointed when reading the local blogs. Bile, invective, and hubris: these are the new laws of the land. I fondly remember when DWA was the sherriff, and while you could bathe in the snark of one of Mike’s posts, you didn’t have to search hard to find real meaning in what he was saying. Commenting was rapid-fire, snotty, and intellectual. Even when someone disagreed with you, it was in a way that challenged you to think.
There were many DWA commenters that owe their inspiration to blog to Mike Matthew’s, me included. Mike inspired my passion and humor, Dana Garrett inspired my intellect, and Dave Burris inspired my willingness to listen to the enemy. There was a blogging explosion and for the most part, quality surpassed even the amazing quantity that 2006-2007 provided us.
One blog had a rocky start. I remember Jason Scott being a great commenter. His command of the issues was well tempered by his snark, and he was more well-suited then most to start his own blog, which quickly became a wonderful counter the the right-wing juggernaut of First State Politics. Then, Jason burned out, temporarily leaving the reigns to upstart Liberalgeek, and thus it came to pass that DE Lib became a multi-contributor bastion to the left.
Fast-forward to the 2008 elections, which began in early 2007. I think the furor of Hillary vs. Obama was where it started to go to shit. Democrats were so radically divided, and I don’t think anyone could have predicted the width of that divide. Poison normally meant for the right-wing talking heads was immediately aimed at other liberals. Our snark became ugliness, our intellect all but disappeared. I don’t know how it became so divisive, but the question of Clinton vs. Obama was the catalyst of more filth and blind sheepdom than anything I had ever seen in my life. And I went to Catholic church.
Then, Obama got the nom. The invective between the Obama and Clinton supporters did not wane, but more was added against McCain or Obama. Those suporting the other team were no longer just deluded, but they were evil that must be decried at all costs. McCain wanted to keep us in Iraq for a century and Obama wanted to give all our money away. Either way, it was the end of the ficking world, wasn’t it? And, just about every person in the DE blogosphere jumped in on that shit, fed it, strengthened it, and made it into a monster.
Now, we’re shitting where we eat. We’re so used to constantly attacking the other side, that we are confusing our allies for enemies. Anyone who states an opposing view becomes the avatar of the opposing side and must be dealt with quickly and harshly. We cannot give the benefit of the doubt EVER, because now the real war starts. And, in the middle of this, the Delaware blog community died with hardly a whimper.
We have a few fortresses connected by roads paved in eggshells, and woe betide the one who inflicts the slightest crack in a pure, white shell while visiting another fortress. The slightest hint or suspicion of a transgression elicits complete and fatal retaliation by blindfolded cannoneers.
Some jump into this fight, guns blazing and red or blue flags held high. The rest of us shake our heads in sad bewilderment and wonder where all of our friends have gone.
PS: This post inspired by the latest shittiness inflicted on the community.