Sunday, April 02, 2006

All Politics is Local

If you are a regular reader of The New York Times (and you should be) or an aficionado of the writings of Thomas Friedman (The World is Flat, Updated, $30), you will forgive me for taking a page from the Friedman playbook. That is, allow me to paraphrase today's column and apply it to the state of play here at home.

Friedman speaks of "venom unleashed" today, and the vast difficulty in putting the genie back in the bottle. I don't presume to equate his topic (Iraq's religio-civil war) to local politics. For one, the factions in Mesopotamia consist of enormous numbers of people who abdicate their own judgment to that of their leaders, a situation that does not, for the most part, apply here. Only minute numbers.

But it can be instructive to use Friedman's language to analyze the mindset of a vocal node infecting the body politic.

Don't get me wrong. I encourage the lunatics at Speak Out Loud New Albany to continue posting their screeds. With every day that passes, with every word that litters the pages of that blog, their credibility diminishes. More than a few have abandoned them out of sheer embarrassment at the muddled thinking on display, the total lack of concern for facts, and the hagiographical devotion to some of the worst offenders against the public weal. More than a few have come by my store to confess that they had once fallen for the game on display there, and to apologize for ever having equated that blog with any of the others in town - the ones that demonstrate credibility.

But back to the lesson. In the world of a few over-represented troglodytes (that is, the anti-progress faction, for at least the next 21 months, wields 4 of the 9 votes on New Albany's City Council), you enter a realm that is beyond politics, a realm where fear and revenge dominate everyone's thinking - and that is where the trogs are heading.

Once embedded, this cycle of fear and revenge (and cooked-up "outrage") is almost impossible to break. This is the place from which mass murderers erupt. A sense of aggrievement this severe cries out for release, and one can only hope that the outlet of a backwater blog can vent some of the steam. Theirs is a self-reinforcing atmosphere of self-congratulatory perception, generating sufficient RPM, but stuck in neutral and going nowhere. Were SOLNA a barge, it would be stuck firmly to the K&I Bridge, requiring the sludge to be drained from it before being refloated.

The half-dozen illiterates there succumb to the flattery of more calculating types who use their anger to push an agenda of destruction. Laura's people have concluded that the only thing that can save them from a world that refuses to stand still is to adopt a militancy guaranteed to divorce them from reality or any chance at effecting change. They will go on to develop and strengthen extortion rackets, feel the thrill of public attention and, as that happens, start to do all they can to prevent the government from moving with civilization toward a unified vision of the future.

Their office-holding and office-coveting handlers are now concluding that "they can gain more power and influence from building on sectarian loyalties than from appeals for unity." And make no mistake about it, the fight for New Albany's future lines up more along sectarian lines, of a sort, than it does along partisan lines, although partisans will try to harness the forces.

We'll be around to demonstrate (and prove) that those politicians are wrong. New Albany is progressive. The trogs are fighting a losing battle, and any politician who casts his or her lot with them will soon discover the mistake. For the forces for progress vastly outnumber the forces for the status quo. And the "troglobytes" seeking to roll back to a time that never existed pale in comparison to either of those.

A Baghdad blogger, the Mesopotamian, quoted by AndrewSullivan.com, gave a vivid description of his neighborhood: "The confusion and conflict between the Americans, the army and the Ministry of the Interior is producing a situation where the citizens don't know any more whether the security personnel in the street are friends, enemies, terrorists or simply criminals and thieves...Whole sections of the city have virtually fallen to gangs and terrorists." Hmmm.

Again, I don't want to diminish the chaos in Baghdad, nor to elevate the chaos in New Albany. But which "side" in this fight do you think is pushing toward chaos. Yeah, I thought so, too.

Give ol' Tom Friedman a few minutes of your time today. If nothing else, you'll educate yourself about the mess the Bush administration will leave for someone else to fix. But as you read, consider who is pushing for a unified vision of the future here, and who stands to benefit from creating chaos.

Here's the link: The Endgame in Iraq

7 Comments:

Blogger East Ender said...

You have leveled some serious allegations here Randy.
You have made some erroneous assumptions and conclusions based on nothing but your own opinions and dislike of me personally.
You also advance them as truth, which is where you've really gone wrong.
We know we are getting "close to the fire" so to speak, as long as we continue to generate tirades such as this little rant, and the "satire" that so engages Roger's audience of 4 on NAC.
Were we truly so lowly, inconsequential and off the mark, we would surely not require the efforts you and your Bud's put forth to try squelching our words.

It seems you open books much easier than you can open your own mind.

Please refrain from using me, or my blog as a topic of discussion on what is left of your blog.
Thank You,
Laura

Sunday, April 02, 2006 8:01:00 PM  
Blogger Tim Deatrick said...

Game on Laura, and you will lose. and so will your little political action committee.

Sunday, April 02, 2006 9:46:00 PM  
Blogger jon faith said...

I must confess to finding such an uneasy analogy. Also: did you mean advocate or abdicate early on in your missive?

I find it excessive to juggle geo-politics with local squabbles, no matter Lord Byron's good intentions.

Sunday, April 02, 2006 10:49:00 PM  
Blogger The New Albanian said...

Laura

The site counter exists so that anyone can see roughly how many readers (hits, page views) come to a blog.

It's all there for public view at NA Confidential.

But not at SOLNA.

Our names also are there, and also for public view.

But not at SOLNA.

SOLNA's link is at NAC, so that reasonable, educated people can look at both, compare and contrast.

I'm both serene and confident that when they do, the differences will be obvious, and I'll keep them as readers.

BTW, NAC's link is not at SOLNA.

I understand these concepts are difficult for you, but fundamental fairness generally falls by the mud path in a situation that's a vendetta.

Are you coming to the neighborhood forum? You're needed to explain the success of the one you starte ... oh, right. It's dead.

Never mind.

Sunday, April 02, 2006 11:11:00 PM  
Blogger The New Albanian said...

Oh, and one more thing.

"Please refrain from using me, or my blog as a topic of discussion ... "

You can't have it both ways, my dear. You can't seek to become a part of the public debate while making the claim that the views of you and your readers are important, and then attach restrictions and limits to what others can say about it.

Just remember that the slanderous utterances have come from your anonymous fans, not the known entities hereabouts.

Monday, April 03, 2006 7:13:00 AM  
Blogger All4Word said...

Jon, it's tough to write midst other duties. Yes, I did mean "abdicate," as in abdicate their judgment TO that of their leaders. Sorry for the error.

The abdication comes in handing over your own determination for a species of groupthink, to mob hysteria, and to newspeak.

Again, though, I said it can be instructive to use Friedman's language. Would that I could be as sanguine as you.

Laura - I don't know you, I've never met you. My evaluation comes only from what you say, and you do not measure up on any scale of rationality. Your blog is a blight. From your writing, you are either phenomenally credulous or malignantly malevolent. I still haven't decided which, and since I will have no other opportunities to read your writing, except when you dash on to a credible blog and then flee from any debate, I'll have to stick with that evaluation.

Bye.

Monday, April 03, 2006 7:14:00 AM  
Blogger All4Word said...

...the efforts you and your Bud's put forth to try squelching our words.

What in the hell is she talking about? Squelching? Who is she talking about? And who is Bud?

Beyond the paranoia (how would I or anyone silence them?), east ender continues to imply the VH possesses some insider knowledge hidden from the rest of the world. A slander becomes actionable when it is untrue. By that standard, SOLNA remains a slanderblog.

I envision Laura squatting at the curb to relieve herself, and then when someone objects to the crassness and offense to safety and hygiene, she pops up to scream "I must be doing something wonderfully selfless; otherwise you wouldn't object."

Go piddle somewhere else, OK.

Monday, April 03, 2006 9:07:00 AM  

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