Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tribes

I've been blogging for over 2 years now. For the most part it has been an enjoyable experience, however at the same time, it has exposed me to the less admirable things about the Netizens of Bloggerville.

People believe that blogs are an Internet expression of free debate and open minded argument back and forth. I must be reading the wrong blogs then because, from what I have seen nothing is further from the truth. The typical political blog comes down on one or the other side of the aisle and woe be unto the individual who dares to post a comment that is opposition to the feelings of that blogs particular herd.

It works for both left and the right. Go to a Democratic supporting blog and post a comment in defense of GWB or opposed to gay rights and you will be greeted with a stream of epithets, if your comment is not actually deleted. On right wing and / or milblogs if you try to voice an opinion that you are not expected to have, because you are or were once in the military- you get castigated beyond belief. Particularly by some narrow minded folks who think that their military experience somehow gives them the right to judge yours. Its sad because what it implies is that the reading public is not capable, in general, of rising to a higher plain.

Now its no secret here, that I am not a fan of the war in Iraq. I have not been since 2002 when the country set off down the road to war without end. Now were I just a reader of the Daily Kos or any other left wing item, well I would have lots of like minded company. However I don't. There are some thinking bloggers who are on my daily reading list who do not share my conviction and in fact want to try to convince me of the error of my ways. That's OK. Its interesting, helps me to think and allows me to voice my opinion. At least in general its done with respect.

Not everyone shows that respect though. For some its like they have a particular quest to convert me to some other point of view, one that, based on my particular life experience will never accept. When they cannot convert you, they simply fall back on simple name calling-especially when it comes to the fracas in Iraq, because it has gone on so long and has aroused such passion in so many individuals. Anyone who questions or tries to draw a conclusion that is different is branded with a host of epithets, which get more pointed as a particular comment stream goes on and on.

Which is why, at this particular point I also make it a point to read the expat blogs whose links are on the right side of my page. They provide a more personal point of view generally and also when they do comment on the politics of where they live, it provides an appreciation of why its good to be an American sometimes. Lately I have been finding myself going here, more often than I go here. Perhaps it has to do with learning slowly but surely that there are only so many fights I can pick at any one time.

I think its sad although it is not unexpected. People tend to hang with like minded people. And its easy to slot people with others expectations of what they should or should not do.

Still, it could be something different-something a lot better.

Just my .02-Your mileage may vary.

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