Friday Night at 8: Meta


(Image taken from The Institute of World Politics advertising their course, “Political Warfare: Past, Present and Future”)

I got the real estate for this short time, so I’m gonna put meta on the front page.  Oh, the thrill of power!  Oh, the temptation to abuse it and then … the sweet surrender!


There’s personal blog enemies and then there’s the blog political opposition and sometimes the two overlap.

Personal blog enemies smear your character, challenge your honor, try to bait you into swerving from your topic!  Oh noooooooo!

It’s a test of character to have these kinds of enemies.

And these are the enemies that are most difficult to deal with when it comes to political opposition.  They will take the side of Hitler rather than agree with you!  Yeah, breaking Godwin’s law, yeah, I’m edgy.

And this is part of politics, sometimes I think it’s ALL of politics.  It’s so personal.

How many of our politicians make public decisions based on personal pique?  Yeah, they have their lobbyists, they’re bought and all, but there’s times they do have some discretion even with their overlords, but they’re so pissed off at us DFHs that they just vote against us because they don’t like us.  I think of Senator Feinstein’s recent remarks, stuff like that.

Well at least it factors into things, I’m sure it does.

So, blog enemies, a good test of character.

On most community blogs it’s considered bad form to “get personal,” but the fact is it happens all the time and “getting personal” is always in the eye of the beholder.

It’s also considered bad form to call out posters (other than famous ones like Digby, et al.) on other blogs or in other essays, in other words, carrying on a fight to many venues, sometimes known as hijacking, other times known as big fat flame wars!

Yet it happens anyway.  The personal becomes the political.  The dynamic of communications becomes the political issue itself.  And I imagine what that must be like if you actually have real power, like if you’re a Congressional Representative or a Senator or a Supreme Court Judge or the President or the Attorney General, on and on all the way down the hierarchy to the petty bureaucrat who can mess up your day if they don’t like the looks of you.

My two cents?  I think it’s a bad idea to call out posters by name, but it will happen just the same.  I think it’s less bad to bring up particular egregious attitudes or positions of individual posters as representative of a political obstacle and expound on that (i.e., gossip).

The difficulty is maintaining the balance, as none of us want this blog to be a reactionary rather than creative force.

I am being selfish, too, in this view, as I find it enormously irritating when, as I’m fighting, my personal enemies play the smear of the cabal at Docudharma and try to paint me a rabid slavering goon who has no individual identity as a blogger.  I am beginning to think that’s a silly thing to be irritated over, though.  There is a certain cachet in being thought of as rabid and slavering.  At this point I may as well accept that to some I shall always be a DFH and stop taking it personally.

So this is my meta, inspired not just by recent events but by my growth here at Docudharma.  I find the community here to be extremely individualistic when it comes to meta — I’ve rarely seen any huge consensus on “civility” or anything like that, and that always kind of amazes me.


A perfect breezy day in the Big Apple, lots of tourist families walking about midtown.  Happy weekend to all.  


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  1. … navel gazing.

  2. I have a thing or two to say here, but Ive been trying to watch Olbermann, w Turley, re the IG Report “Breaking News”.

    here’s emptywheel on the topic.

    • Robyn on July 11, 2009 at 2:41 am

    Do I have any Me-ta…Me ta…Me too?

    I am curious about how my columns have made the Rec List at Daily Kos three weeks in a row, but have gotten 4, 4 and 8 comments respectively here.  And 5, 2 and 2 Recs.

    Curious I am, what with the increase of users we have had here (2029 now).  I ask myself if it is possible that I have offended all of these people so much that they won’t read what I write anymore.

  3. is why I don’t think I will be posting my essays there and why I will be posting them here.

    I am glad I had a chance to break Godwin’s Law with my first essay.

    I always like what you have to say at DK.

    Thanks for you being you.

  4. One of my favorite things about DD is the total individuality daily on display. It is in the diversity of ideas where we can sift through and seperate the wheat from the chaff. Besides, ever site has a vibe. Each place has a feel, based on content and layout, but there is an ambiance you find on a site, and white gives you a much more open field than orange or red or blue.

    Be easy with one another. Share ideas, and POV and news and your passions and your lives. That is why I am here, not to agree, but to learn.

    That is why I am here. To learn and to share ideas.

    Be good to one another,

    better, be excellant to one another.

  5. My eyes have never been a big problem, but today was different.  When told to read the chart, I saw:

                 C I A M I C

    He told me to read it again, and I read it the same way.  He asked if I was having personal problems in my life and I asked WTF would he ask me that, who are you really?  I walked out.  Crazy.  

  6. okay, well, its NOT Dunbar by the way.  Olberman, WORST person’d Gov Perry for appointing Dunbar to State Board of Education and I SCREAMED then ran to the google and he is wrong thank gods.

    phew, scared me.

    Okay where was I? ha ha

    Heres the thing. I dont give a shit if someone mentions in passing, snidely or with a major eyeball roll, a poster from orange (or anywhere else I guess) in a specific context, to emphasize a point… its not a major offense. Truth is, with that particular wolfpack, Ive been half-tempted more than once to email buhdy and just ask him to hand over his Hit List directly to me, since I am quite terrible with names, so Ill know who to avoid. You think Im kidding. :-/

    Well, one minor meta thing that’s bothering me is strictly DD.  We do have a fair amount of overlap, some of us do and some do not, still post and comment and UPRATE over at DK. Fine.

    Here’s my peeve:

    When someone “new” wanders over to DD from DK and starts to comment here, could y’all be a little more friendly?!?!?!? Okay, dont be friendly, but can you refrain from attacking them? At least for the first few days?

    I strongly suspect the crossover will increase in the next few months. Some people who still now like Obama and hold out Hope… are slowly but surely beginning to “see the light”.  When they do, do you think they’re gonna say THAT out LOUD at dk? No, they come here. But they test the waters. Maybe they’re undecided still. But showing up at DD indicates to me they are looking to read some other points of view at least. Please dont get all nah nah nu boo boo, we told ya so, in their face. Okay?

    PS Not “you” NPK, just certain people. Sometimes.

  7. Just curious…..

  8. the personal is the political. what is politics anyway but a bunch of people who form coalitions and fight and then come together and then disagree, it’s the body of all of us. We bring to politics ourselves and ourselves are a result of a lot of elements cultural. The calling out seems absurd not like the truly vicious outing of someone who could lose job or face, but we know each other and to not be able to name a problem because it is impolite to be specific in our wars which are verbal seems silly. What we should call each other with venom ‘My respected college’? like the pols do.

    No the problems we face lie with the left’s inability to call it what it is., to stand up and use the L word. Selling them with appeasement doesn’t work. I think that those who are on the fence know a rat bastard when they see one and standing up to them, even using their name is okay it’s needed. They make it personal, no ones fooled by the polite rules that say don’t call out the person.

    Who can read a thread and watch the cowardice and bulling without noticing the names? It’s like the pols accountability, cause and effect. Baiting liberals is easy they are so freakin polite and compassionate, so into being ‘reasonable’ to the other side ,which has no such qualms. I’m tired of being the one who is ‘better then that’ I’m not. Neither are those who bully and hide behind PC.      

  9. Yes. Somtimes everything is personal and then because I am am such a flaky Gemini…. it suddenly isn’t.

    So I jitter bug back and forth about how personally to take things. My guideline is if I am genuinely hurt by something I probably just need to go do other stuff. Since I have no attention span I am easily distracted so the hurt feelings for me are usually minimal that and I am a little fish so I don’t attract much ire.

  10. Peace sign t-shirt.  So what does that make me?  I can say I think it because we worked fucking hard for that peace sign back in the day, and her father is carrying on an agenda that is anything but peace.  It’s like the peace sign means nothing to me when I see that.  

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