13 May, 2008

You (With An Unfortunate Segue Into Me)

This post could turn into a wankfest, and you should feel free to skip it.

Still here, eh? Well, pour yourself a drink. Pour me one, too. Make mine a double. Thankee kindly.

I'm enjoying this blog immensely. I love my burgeoning community of freethinkers, iconoclasts, Elitist Bastards, and philosophers. Putting together the Carnival of Elitist Bastards has been more exciting, fun, and deeply rewarding than I had any right to expect. The response has been immense. One day, I'll have to have someone shoot a video of me jumping up and down in glee when another blogger signs on. Each and every one of you are precious to me. You've been my rope: before you, I was sinking fast. Won't go into it. Just one of those crises we all experience from time to time, when another year passes and everything you've thought you'd accomplish has failed to get accomplished, and the niggling doubts start to chafe.

I blame Bush. Before his tragicomedy of a presidency, I was perfectly happy to live in an apolitical bubble. Had my writing to do, didn't I, and no time for political bullshit. Didn't know a damn thing about the Wedge Document and other such appalling assaults on intellect in this country. Before Bush, I had no idea just how far the neocons and the frothing rabid religious freaks had gone in their mighty efforts to destroy everything that was good about this country.

Bush brought that all to light by being so bloody outrageous that even an apolitical SF writer had to sit up, take notice, and sputter, "What the fuck?"

Eventually, the outrage spilled over, and ended up creating a blog, because I would have exploded if I didn't do something. It's not like I'm thinking that this blog will change the world. I know that I'm not a cool voice of reason logically and carefully deconstructing the arguments of irrational fools. Plenty of others do that better than I. No, I needed to voice my outrage, and I know that some of the people who battle this bullshit every day need that catharsis. They don't have to worry about being accommodating or politically correct or understanding or civil here. It's a cantina. You can let it all out, and use whatever language you like in doing so.

No problem with that.

And we have to get up a good head of anger, because we won't defeat the voice of unreason with appeasement. One thing I've always known about dogmatic sorts: they'll take your kindness, courtesy and accommodation and use it to brutalize you. You can't compromise with the uncompromising.

This cantina reserves the right to refuse courtesy to those people who are so divorced from reality that they'll see courtesy as capitulation.

I think the regulars understand that. When the opponent has completely disregarded all evidence disproving their reality-challenged views, refuses to even agree to disagree, and doesn't understand the meaning of "live and let live," there comes a time, after all of the civil discourse, when you find yourself with no other recourse but profanity, insults, and disgust. But none of that is aimed at the good, reasonable folk who disagree with some fundamental conclusions but have no trouble reaching an accord. In other words, folks who can say, "I've got my Bible, and you've got your Dawkins, and we're all good here" have nothing to fear.

Thankfully, there's still plenty of those folks out there. Some of them even fight shoulder-to-shoulder with us against the assaults of narrow-minded, anti-science, anti-anything-that-doesn't-fit-their-absurdly-limited-understanding fuckers. They can see the dangers as clearly as we do. When you let power be taken by those who are so convinced they're right that there's no room other ways of thinking, other ways of believing, and other ways of life, you might as well bring the wood to your own burning.

And this all drives me crazy, because I am, at heart and despite the impression this blog may give, one of those people who would prefer to think the best of other people and would love to give them plenty of room to do whatever makes them happy.

That only works if the other bugger doesn't decide that your scoodging aside on the bench means they get to take the whole damned bench. And the ground you're standing on.

It's gotten so much worse. It used to be you could just brush the buggers off the bench and get on with the sunbathing, but that ended when the far right got its grubby hands firmly on the reins of power and dug in the spurs.

Hence the anger. Hence the disrespect. How the fuck can I respect a ruling party that thinks torture is fine as long as it's them doing the torture? How the fuck can I live and let live when the get-God-in-the-classroom-by-hook-or-by-crook crowd decides that their morality dictates the science my future doctors and researchers learn, not to mention which cures can and cannot be pursued? How the fuck can anyone expect moderation and fairness when our media's idea of "fair and balanced" is to present he-said-she-said fights in the sandbox, without taking the very grown-up step of determining who's lying through their teeth?

I wanted to be apolitical. I wanted to be kind, gentle, compassionate, and all sorts of other soft and fluffy things. Wanted to be reasonable and fair and erudite. And profane. Damn it, I love the word fuck and always have.

I wanted so many things, you see. And then Bush came along and let all of the lunatics out of the asylum, and I found myself drowning in this sea of insanity, and all I could do to keep from going under was scream out.

Imagine my surprise when so many of you heard me.

Imagine my delight when so many of you answered the call for Elitist Bastards and set themselves no less a goal than making the world safe for reason and intellect again.

You're my hope and my inspiration. You make me believe that there will come a day when I won't need to write so many diatribes and can pen a few more odes instead. We'll be able to push the lunatics back to the fringes where they belong and give ourselves time for being and dreaming and enjoying the finer things in life.

You give me hope that we'll create a world where religious strife, political bellicosity, and rampant ignorance hold a lot less sway than they do just now. You may never know how much that means.

Many years ago, I read The Authority by Warren Ellis and fell in love with Jenny Sparks. I live by her words: "Bugger this, I want a better world."

We can make it happen.

We Elitist Bastards can help lift the whole world.

Believe it.

1 comment:

Matt said...

Thanks, Dana. It's cool that you can be so angry and upbeat ... even down-right hopeful in the some moment. It's the liberal burden but wouldn't have it any other way.

Great title too.

I believe. Never surrender. Peace out.