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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-30-07 04:59 PM
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Nobody cares what you think
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:D I'm going to be harsh here but stay with me. We're all guilty of this, I think.

The Edwards hairmansion debates, the death of Fallwell, the war funding controversy, and now Sheehan's departure from the public antiwar campaign--all of these things are making me increasingly depressed about DU in general. I understand these emotional, knee-jerk responses and that they come from people who are honestly upset, but that doesn't mean they are at all productive or that I have to like them.

Basically my problem with a lot of these reactions is they are irrational responses to things that either can't change or don't really matter. Yes, DU could primarily be a place for people to rant and rave and describe their deeply-held "honest" feelings about issues, but is that the best DU can offer? Is that what you want DU to be?

Anonymous opinions without action to back them up might seem to be the creed of every message board in existence, but does it have to be this way? How many of these worthless debates on what light bulbs Edwards uses or why Pelosi is a "corporate whore" or why we can't say mean things about Fallwell matter? At all? To anyone?

My ideal DU isn't one wherein Will Pitt posts an emotional thread about emotional reactions to an emotional issue, receives 237 recs, and then leaves DU for the umpteenth time. While such things may seem important to you as part of the DU community, to anyone else they just seem like worthless insular drama. I'd prefer action--I'd prefer reasonable attempts to change what we can and to figure out how to influence what we can't change, and I;d prefer fewer time-wasting manifestos based on wishful thinking and fairy-tale ideals.

Bitching and moaning about political figures who are in office, the kind of house or hair someone has, the death of a controversial asshole or the retirement of a public figure is like ranting and and raving about having a seven of clubs because you wish you had an ace of diamonds. The seven isn't affected by your holy indignation, and the ace won't magically appear by virtue of your seven paragraph thread of deep, honestly expressed feelings. Complaining about your dealt cards doesn't improve them, and it can distract you from playing them in the best way possible.

Recognize what you can't change. Just playacting as an important commentator or creating a roster of heroes and villains is worthless. Use your resources to influence what happens -based- on your opinions, don't just ride along with whatever is tops on the Sunday shows and try to feel important because you -have- an opinion. Real change takes years of study and work for a cause, not emotional words on a message board saying you support it.

We've got this Congress, we've got this president, we've got this press corps. We may wish as hard as we can we didn't, but until we stop wishing things were different and start working with what he have to change it for the better, I think a lot of the threads with the most posts and views, while perhaps emotionally fulfilling, are in general a waste of time.

Post your opinions all you want, cast yourself as an important player in your imagined political drama in which just thinking something hard enough will bring results if you like--I don't care. But shouldn't you do more? Isn't there more productive ways to use a huge political message board? Should DU have more threads that say "I'm through with the Democrats!! They betrayed me for the last time!!!" or threads that realize that we're stuck with this Congress and discuss how to make the best use of it we can?

This was long and silly, but I just want less emotion and more reasonable thinking. Someone without emotions is inhuman, but someone with only emotions will never get anything done.
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