A brief glimpse at comments, Part One

This year will marks year eight of blogging for me, and I am coming up on 2,600 posts. I am still having fun, but like Wendy’s chili, it does tend to repeat. Just for diversion, I am going to try something different for a while. There are lots of good writers out there, but the most fun I ever have is in the comments. I love to wrestle it out and mess it up with people. I like what Lizard said to one of his commenters the other day, that if you are thin-skinned, you really ought not to engage in blog commenting. It is a contact sport.

It is the comment sections that drives me, I guess. With that in mind, I thought I would reprint some of the more revealing comments I see and dissect them here, maybe four or five at a time. I do so with the following caveats:

  • I will do so to make a point, and not to criticize individuals. It is not one-upsmanship. I will do so with respect.
  • I do not care about high-traffic blogs like Kos or Huffington Post that draw hundreds of comments, as they are unreadable. Everything is lost in volume.
  • Ideally, I am interested in what commenters think, how they think and not how I respond to their thoughts. I need to get out of my own head.
  • No linking. I will repeat the comment, but if I link, the link appears at the blog, and it looks like I am trolling for response. That is not my intention, so I am going to talk about people without their knowledge. That is the lesser evil, in my view. I’ll try to be kind and fair.

So here we go. Let’s start with Pete Talbot, as he was the most enraged at the 4&20 post about the Ukrainian airliner shootdown, then I’ll move on:

Mark, you dumb fuck, if you actually read my comments you’d know that I consistently question the U.S. role in wars, foreign policy and covert operations. In this specific case, the evidence points to the separatists. Why else would they be impeding the investigation (inhibiting access, removing bodies, not handing over the black boxes)?… [separate comment, same thread] The fact that you are capable of having these thoughts (U.S. and NATO behind the downing of Flight 17) points to what is widely known as “conspiracy phobia.” Just point to one shred of evidence and I’ll pay attention.

I am most interested in the words “I consistently question,” as right in front of us is evidence of absence of questioning. It appears that the duty of diligence is satisfied when the writer acknowledges a general manner that there has been US misbehavior in the past. But with each new incident the US starts with a clean slate. So Pete never thinks to question or suspect the US, and has to be reminded to do so by dumb fucks. OK, that’s personal.

I would call this attitude “all’s forgiven, always,” an outgrowth of the mindset I call “We’re rational, they’re not.”

Jesus, I’m doing poorly here.

Sandy Schmidt-Pepos, at Intelligent Discontent concerning Senator Walsh’s recent exposure of plagiarism:

All the more reason I am voting for Walsh. That and the votes Daines has taken by voting for corporate welfare all the while cutting important programs to help the poor. He is the richest member of Congress who doesn’t represent my interests. His supporting the cuts to VA benefits, cuts to Medicare and Social Security and his lack of compassion for women’s rights. I won’t be voting for him.

Not much substance here, but it appears behind those talking points is the old moral superiority clause that keeps Democrats supporting their own no matter what, because that no matter how bad their guy might be, the other guy is worse. Last I read, 249 of the 550 in Congress are multimillionaires, by the way. Sandy is only aware of the one? I would call Sandy’s mindset “partisan above all.”

Moon of Alabama, Cole M. Holefield, on “Israel again and again shells refugee centers”:

I will state once again, for the record, the people of Palestine are caught between a rock and a hard place, and the only viable solution at this point is an international effort to evacuate non-militant Palestinians treating them as refugees and developing a plan that allows them to immigrate to various cooperating countries — including Russia, China and all the Middle Eastern countries not yet in flames. There can be no One State or Two State solution to this juggernaut. Palestinians, as part of this effort, need to reject The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) and move on. There is no going back. If Palestinians stubbornly refuse such an international gesture, they’ll seal their fate by tying themselves to Hamas because their goal is to eliminate Israel as is stated in the Hamas charter of 1988.

Moon has one of the best comments sections I’ve ever seen, lots of critical minds at work. Not so much here. Holefield is not seeing the bigger picture, that the numbers are staggering in size, the second largest refugee crisis in the world after the Kurds, and that the countries he lists do not want the Palestinians any more than he wants them here. Palestine is their homeland, and he sees no contradiction in kicking them out. Hamas, fulfilling many functions, is the government of Palestinian community, and just as we’ve no choice but to deal with Netanyahoo and the dark shadows behind him, so too are we not allowed to dictate to them who their government should be. I would suggest that Holefield’s mindset is “imperialist.”

Montana Cowgirl, Larry Kralj, regarding choices for US Senator in Montana:

[Former Governor] Brian [Schweitzer], I beg you as a loyal supporter, DO THIS FOR THE STATE WE ALL LOVE! Kick the living SHIT outta that little fruity pretender, dipshit daines! We need, no DEMAND, that you throw your hat into the ring! Please do it for one term, like Sen. Cornhole Burns SAID he would do! I’ll send you money if you need it!

See your duty one more time, Brian. That’s all we ask!

I’ve long said that a person can be either a Democratic or Republican in our system, and build a voting record and public image that pleases the base for each party, and achieve the same objectives. In politics, words do not matter and virtually all votes are on matters where the outcome is known. So I think Larry sees the public image cultivated by Brian Schweitzer as a meaningful representation of the real man. Schweitzer is glib, funny, cagey, and can misdirect a football team all the way to victory. I think Larry is supporting a public image rather than a man. I would call this attitude “lipstick politics.”

Maybe true of me, maybe of all of us.

OK, enough. How’d I do? Too much of me? Not enough of them? Yeah, I agree. I’ll try harder.

About Mark Tokarski

Just a man who likes to read, argue, and occasionally be surprised.
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