Shouting into the Storm Rantings, ramblings, observations and musings from the insipid to the sublime

Friday, August 09, 2002 :::
My friend over in Japan sent me the link today to a DC-area blog group, Beltway Bloggers. Very cute, I thought, I should check this out. Clickety click I went. Seems like a very well done site. Little photos to link to everyone's blog. There seems to be a nice bulletin board feature so members can leave quick messages. What really grabbed my attention is that it seems to be a very social group, with photos of recent get together at bars in Old Town Alexandria. "Fantastic", I think to myself, "A new way to meet new people, who all have an affinity for expressing ideas through blogs." And maybe, just maybe, get someone other than Chris in Japan to read this with any regularity.

And then I tried to sign up.

I understand that when you set up a social group, you have every right to set up guidelines. I can also see the merit in wanting to have a vague idea of the opinions of those associated with your group, as you wouldn't want someone advocating ideas well outside of your moral compass. I wouldn't want to have a link here to someone who advocates the mass slaughter of millions in the name of entertainment or over the top religious beliefs(Ralph Reed and the Christian Coalition, I'm looking at you). That said, I was a little taken aback by Rule #1 on the signup page for the Beltway Bloggers, which says to qualify, you must:

1. Believe in individual rights, individual liberty and capitalism (No Communists, Socialists or Democrofascist)

Somehow, I don't think my anti-corporate, anti-Dubya, anti-Republican ranting would go over well.

I can't help but wonder, what is the point in that? Isn't one of the unwritten goals of the Internet and blogging to freely express opinions? I'm always searching for a unique viewpoint, especially if it is well-written. These people, in true conservative Republican fashion, have decided that there is glory in homogony. Kind of like the old waspy Country Club mentality. Let's close our eyes(proverbially speaking, of course) and imagine the hip, happening meetings this crew must participate in.

"I tell ya, those damn liberals are ruining this country. After all, they have taken over the media, and do nothing but slander us poor abused conservatives. That's why Rush is right, Ann Coulter is a brave soldier for our cause, and my TV is glued to Fox News." *all around the table grumble in agreement, sipping their gin and tonics*

"And another thing, why should we be worried about the homeless or unemployed? This is a free market country. If you aren't succeeding, it's because you just aren't working hard enough. Like the Deity of Ronald Reagan said, people are only homeless because they want to be." *All nod, checking their pagers for the latest stock quotes*

"Yeah, those damn liberals and their loose morals caused all of the corporate barons to lose focus on the big picture, and cook the books in the name of stock profits. That's all Bill Clinton's fault, anyway. He should have been treated like Mussolini and dragged through the streets tied to the back of a cart in disgrace" *Here, Here, they chant in unison*

Unfortunately, that last tidbit about Mussolini was said by former Supreme Court Justice nominee Robert Bork at a banquet for conservative personalities on the eve of the coronation of George the Younger. And this is what they called Kommpasionate Konservatism during the campaign.

They would all leave the trendy bar and go to their brand new Volkswagen Jettas, and drive off to their cozy Georgetown or Dupont circle apartments.

Now, if you are a member of the clique over at Beltway Blogger, take a deep breath. This is what we call sarcasm and parody. Both useful tools in illustrating an alternative point of view. Besides, I'm just using my belief in, as you put it, my individual right to free speech. Tah tah, all.

::: posted by Chris at 4:52 PM

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Rantings, ramblings, observations and musings from the insipid to the sublime

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