Wednesday, January 4, 2012

down memory gutter

A few days ago, I wound up going back to a place online that I frequented a few years ago, and went back over a bit of an exchange I had with some of the regulars there at that time. It was interesting, and a bit amusing. It'd been a while since I'd been there, and judging by how most of their recent posts have comments turned off, I doubt I'll frequent it much again, except out of morbid curiosity, maybe.

Here's the main entry, the point around which we were discussing or debating or something worse.

WASHINGTON, DC — April 1, 2009 — In an announcement that stunned the nation, Barack Obama called a press conference today to state that he is stepping down as President of the United States. Effective immediately, Hugh Beaumont will assume the role. Mr Obama also said that Joe Biden is being replaced by Ozzie Nelson. Similar replacements are taking place throughout Congress, although it is reported that Nancy Pelosi has locked herself in her office.

Given their obvious recent distaste for trusting in God, Christians can now resume trusting in their government and the renewed inherent and absolute morality of their country.

In unrelated stories, Steven Spielberg was kicked out of his country club and Michael Jordan was lynched in North Carolina today.

I'll not give much in the way of what the exchanges were like in the comments area, as it pretty much quickly degenerated into a gang-up. They are still on the site, if you wish to read them. My tactic or strategy was, well, pretty interesting, even now. Mostly, I insisted on asking the same questions over and over, in an insistence on getting the others to answer those questions, while also refuting in as simple a way as possible their attempts to attribute wrong motives to me.

Take a look at the contents of the blog entry. I said that this entry showed the hate that was in them, both the one who wrote it and those who approved it. It showed the hatred they had towards those who dared to disagree with them, and attributes to those people the vilest of things. It was a hateful attack on those who dare to disagree with, among other things, the election of Obama, accusing them of having a distrust in God and trusting instead in government and the country (rather a silly claim, really, when you consider that it is people like Obama and those who support him who are pushing for the government to become the main provider of all things). And it claims that those types of people would kick Jewish people out of country clubs (would they send them to prison camps, too) and kill black people. The hate in this piece of "satire" is blindingly obvious.

Amazing how impossible it was to get them to see that.

It was C.S. Lewis who somewhere in his writings made a bit of a comment about humor, something along the lines that one could get approval for almost anything, could get approval for evil acts, if one could get others to laugh at it. Is this not almost self-evident? From the clever word-play of "Who's On First", we have degenerated to the place where profanity and comedy are almost synonymous, to the place were comedy is used to make less offensive the most immoral of sexual acts and lifestyles, where those who oppose those acts and lifestyles are held up for ridicule in those same comedies, where we are encouraged to laugh at things that should offend and shame us.

So, when the other commentors tried to defend the entry by calling it a satire, it didn't really matter to me. It's kind of like saying "Hey, I'm going to write something comparing those who disagree with me of wanting to ban Jewish people and kill black people, but hey, don't take me seriously, I'm only joking". Yeah, I wasn't going to let them off the hook that easily.

Honestly, I had been commenting there for some time, and things had already degenerated. I can't remember all the things leading to this degeneration, but one I do remember quite clearly is when they got on the case, I thought unfairly, of one of their favorite targets, and I came to her defense.

Strange, how right she has been proven, concerning the young celebrity in question. Sad, yes, but also right. But concerning myself, it was eye-opening to see how much vitriol and hate the commentors at this blog had towards this woman. It wasn't just simple disagreement, it was personal, and they were personally attacking her.

So, when I starting making the comment that "You become what you hate", I knew what I was seeing, and how true that statement was. It would have been one thing if they had voiced reasoned and considered disagreement, but these people were not just crossing lines but running full-tilt over them while laughing about it and denying that they were doing it. And the hatred they denied having became directed at commentors like myself who dared to disagree with them, question them, say that they were wrong.

I don't think it's too very wrong of me to feel some satisfaction at the state of that online place now. They've changed the name, and it looks like it's not near as busy as it was. The problem with an echo-chamber is that it becomes really dull after a while, hearing the same things over and over again. Why else have places like Emergent Village come almost to a stand-still? Why do they have to go to more and more extremes to try to maintain interest? For example, EV's attempt last year to portray God as being an unfaithful lover. Perhaps they should thank the occasional person like myself who stumbles over their sites, voices a bit of disagrement, and gives the hangers-on an enemy to rally against for a while.

Perhaps the best thing people like me can do is to keep away from places like the old and new Emergent Village, the theOoze, this 3Ps blog I've linked to above, or what have you, and let them die away from boredom, fade away from the silence resounding through the echo chamber, and let the people there feel the existential angst of knowing that they are no longer relevant, while they get sick of trying to top each other in writing the most ridiculous things.

It's a thought, and not a bad one, either.

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