Friday Night at 8: Thinking Outside of the Box


I know this is going on the front page and I will try the best I can to make every effort to earn that privilege, given my subject matter.

We’ve had some uproars with Underdog’s essay, where he is grappling with how to respond to authority on a blog.

Today I encountered a bit of that as well and was challenged as to my own thinking.  I imagine this, in a way, like Underdog was the big brother, getting kicked around first so that by the time I got dealt with it was far less being kicked around-ish.  As the youngest of six children, well, my parents were pretty worn down by the time it came to tell me what to do.  Heh.

I don’t consider Meteor Blades primarily as someone who posts at Daily Kos, someone who has taken on the job of Moderator in Chief, even though he has accomplished a great deal in that area.

To me, he is much bigger than that.  Just google him.  I’ve seen him post on one particular website which was begun as a hate-Daily-Kos site – he was excoriated and sarcasm and bile was dripped all over him.  It didn’t seem to faze him much.  I’ve seen him at Booman.  And of course he has posted here as well, since the beginning of Docudharma.  He came here as well to DD to pay Underdog the respect of addressing his concerns.

Underdog was amazing in how he allowed all of us to experience his innermost feelings in a very difficult situation.  He opened himself up fearlessly.

How much authority are any of us willing to obey?  What is obedience, anyway?  If it is voluntary, then that’s a far different experience than if we are either forced or coerced or tricked etc.

We all have to make the choice, of course, to whom we offer fealty (in the old fashionedy literal sense of the word).  But this week really showed me there’s a more expansive way to view this.  Expansive, as in the refreshing land of Out of the Box.

I’m not going to comment on this blog or that blog because the conversation transcends any particular website adddress, imo.  And I’m going to describe it in my own words, not quote or do the usual bloggy link thing because it transcends that, too.

Meteor Blades asked Buhdydharma what is to be gained by a certain kind of confrontation of what we oppose done in a particular strong confrontational style.

He made it clear that this was not an order or command, yet he didn’t deny it when Buhdy pointed out his voice now has the power of command whether he liked it or not.

A powerful lefty blogger approached another powerful lefty blogger and they engaged.  It was awesome (she said in a child-like wonder kind of way).

It opened my mind and I started thinking, wow maybe I can communicate in many ways, not just one way, when confronting what I am fighting against.

Not that I know what that would be, of course, just the notion itself was both frightening and liberating.

Budhy said it a while back — now that Bush doesn’t hold power any longer we have opportunities we haven’t had for a long time.

I had no idea I was in the box until I saw many fellow human beings waving to me from out of the box.  But this week, these three examples, Underdog, Meteor Blades and Buhdydharma, resonated with me as a story I need to tell, the kind of story you tell as a child and just believe, not worrying about anything except the wonder of the new view.


Autumn weather is winding its way throughout the Great Five Boroughs of New York – which are:  Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, the Bronx, Manhattan.

Happy Friday … and Happy Harvest to all my fellow Docudharmoniouses.


Skip to comment form

  1. … a story about me.  The three bloggers I mention are just big giant movie screens for the child in me to project big giant stories of swashes and buckling and such.

    So this is not some accurate kind of depiction or even a meta diary.  It’s just the story of a child.

    • TMC on September 26, 2009 at 02:30

    and a very real learning experience about authority, expression and communication. That diary started out as an amusing diversion while making another cauldron of chicken soup for the infirmary I am running here. It turned into quite an education, just like Underdog’s essay did the other night.  

     I think that MB is still trying to get comfortable with his new position. It is as much a learning experience for him as for us.

     Yes, it is quite chilly here tonight, especially being near the water. I needed a sweater this afternoon for my walk on the beach and had to close the windows tonight.


  2. blog, especially when that censorship involves prohibiting any discussion of two of the most important issues of the last 8 years.

    There is no excuse for that.  There is no excuse for tolerating that.

    Progressive principles are meaningless if we don’t stand up for them.  


  3. quite a bit today, although I completely missed that particular exchange you refer to, kitty. (I found it now and have read through.)

    I really wish I could express my thoughts with more clarity and focus, but my mind wanders around and my fingers follow.

    I was… mmm …impressed, hugely impressed, earlier today while reading something a friend wrote… not on a blog but in notes (whatever). I asked her if she blogs but no, she doesnt, and I can understand why (partly). She’s Out There doin’ it. But her writings reminded me…

    Ive mentioned before about being a DFH and stuff, back in the 70’s, more of a peace activist really, since I didnt do drugs or nuthin’. heh. But I drifted away from all that in college, and then the 80’s arrived. But those are my roots. Specifically, I was active with AFSC (American Friends Service Committee) and I still have a strong bent that way I guess.

    Heres some of what my friend wrote that rang my bell.

    During questions, one audience member commented on the stereotypes and anger and asked how we could win over our opponents rather than demonize them, to truly build the peaceful world we are envisioning. Every one of the speakers said one of the following (paraphrased) : they do not have time to convince people, it is dangerous to take time for that, some people are so evil they can’t be changed and are beyond redemption, and evil is evil!

    Adding to that was the day’s update on events in Tegucugalpa, so I left in tears, feeling quite depressed. So much pain and violence in Honduras, and then we waste our privilege here with hatred against each other. This kind of division is not what I’m working for. To me, nonviolence includes rather than excludes people. The system we live in tries to divide us. We are giving in if we let that happen.

    I walked home thinking about stories of radical transformation I’ve heard from {various places}. I believe we should all be angry at the many deaths caused by our current economic system. We should all be angry at the life-and-death decisions made by a few for the entire world. However, to say that opponents themselves are evil rather than their actions, to say that anyone is impossible to change, and to say that people are not worth our time, is to say that someone is no longer human. I will not say that something is beyond God’s ability, and I keep on seeing and hearing proof of God’s ability to transform impossible situations and people who have committed truly evil acts.

    In our nonviolence workshops, we’ve been talking about the two parts of active nonviolence, resistance and constructive change. One involves saying “Stop!” while the other, taking most of our time and energy, involves reaching out to those we are resisting. Many people here are great at saying “Stop!” but don’t seem to share my vision of building a community which includes the people I don’t like. Where is the love in their vision?


    This stuff is HARD.

    But we have to figure it out.

    Then do it.

    • Robyn on September 26, 2009 at 03:31

    …I could find the words to write about “detachment.”  Sacrificing attachment in the name of seeking something higher is something I always try to bear in mind…though it is very difficult even when one is consciously seeking to do so.

  4. I’m a big hearted guy so I do regret saying a couple things about MB.  I respect him and know it isn’t just him who has made the rules over there.  Perhaps it was just one of those days for him.  In a way, I’m glad there is this discussion, even tho I’m surprised I was in it.  I don’t know what I’m going to do yet, no hurry. But I do know I’m going to try and research and write more.  I’m kinda hooked on this stuff now.  

  5. in one of his quick replies. I had to take my hat off to pay my respects to somebody who is that well learned who can quote GK at the drop of the hat like that in a blog.

    Even during the worse of the primary war days, I would go back to Big Orange just to read Meteor Blades, DarkSyde and MAD.

  6. On the other hand, the comments section was full of people spouting hostile crap.

    What a zoo!

Comments have been disabled.