Pardon the following rant. I just want to get this on the internet in case folks have had a similar experience on the web.
I love to surf news sites and political blogs. I enjoy the perspective and analysis, and the back-and-forth of posting with other folks around the country.
One of the blogs I've enjoyed a lot for the last few years is Little Green Footballs, created and maintained by Charles Johnson.
I hadn't posted there in quite awhile, when I thought I'd throw my 2 cents in on his "The 2008 Weblog Awards" post. I said (You can read it all if you were so inclined) something to the effect of "I love this site, but I think Charles focuses a little too much on the Creationism/Intelligent Design issue." After that, all bets were off! I was, for lack of a better word, "blog-swarmed". The LGF minions "attacked" me, using profanity and referring to me as a "troll" (Which, in the blog commenting world, is a great insult!). It was late, and there was nothing I could say to ease their anger, so I signed off shortly thereafter.
The next day I went to see what else had gone on, and another poster with the screen name "Motorcycleboy" had written a sharp, but not over-the-top (in my view) parody of LGF's position on the Creationism/Intelligent Design. Once I saw that, I posted that it was funny and accurate (I wanted to defend him, since he had defended me the previous evening). Well, I should have looked at the posts that came just after... Charles banned "Motorcycleboy". Then I thought to myself, "Wow, I bet I was banned too".
Turns out I was:
A few of things, here.
1) I have almost the identical position on the issue as LGF (Which is, don't teach creationism/Intelligent Design in public school science classes). I'm simply not as adamant about the issue as they are. I'd dare say they are fanatical about that issue.
2) Perhaps it was because I was posting at night that I seemed to get the crazies, but I got a very cult-like vibe of "Tow the line, or be cast out!". Charles has a bit of a cult of personality thing going over there (whether he meant to create one or not is another question). That is never healthy, in my view- whether it be worship of a celebrity, politician or anyone else.
3) Charles Johnson is famous, and has appeared on national broadcasts. When you get to that level, don't you need to be willing to engage, and take a little hit now and then? Is his skin really so thin he'd ban someone for saying a parody of him was funny? Well, I know the answer to that last one.
3 months ago