espreite: (Default)
[personal profile] espreite posting in [community profile] fakenews_srsbsns


Hello, TDS and TCR are back from their vacation, so let's have up a new discussion post, try and get some talk going. Got any thoughts? Share them!

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Date: 2010-10-02 08:10 pm (UTC)
erinptah: (Default)
From: [personal profile] erinptah
So, question: can members make general posts in the comm, or is all discussion limited to the OTs?

Either way, I'd like to point people to this blog post objecting to the title of the Rally To Restore Sanity, and my rather long-winded response objecting to the aforementioned blog post.

In Which I Talk Too much

Date: 2010-10-23 08:04 am (UTC)
seagullsong: (Default)
From: [personal profile] seagullsong
So I've been thinking.

About the Rally to Restore Rationality, which is what I'm calling it to avoid the giant ridiculous argument about ableism. (It has the same last two syllables and it conveys the same meaning without pissing off those of us crazy people who object to the word sanity being used. Also, alliteration FTW!)

Anyway.

I'm kind of worried that the rally going to turn into a giant Democrat circle jerk, with pro-Obama shirts and liberals, liberals, liberals waving their political opinions around. Which is so not the point. The point as I understand it is about trying to get people to calm down and discuss things without fear, and I'm not so sure we'll be able to pull that off.

See, there's this section on the rally website where people submit images of the signs they're going to be bringing to the rally. And while some of them are awesome ("My political views cannot be summarized on a pithy sign"), others worry me. There's one that just says "Correctly Spelled Slogan", which is very droll, but reeks of condescension, which is the last thing we should want. To conservatives/Tea Party members/whoever watching the rally on TV, what that sign is going to say to them is not "We think highly of proper spelling" but "All of that stuff we've said about respecting your opinions is bunk, because we think of you as nothing more than stupid hicks who can't spell". There's already a strong anti-intellectualism streak in the conservative movement, and it's not because they all hate learning; it's because they're tired of people talking down to them.

Admit it. We do that a lot, you guys. We liberals have our strong points, but valuing different types of intelligence is not one of them. We like our book-learning, gosh darn it. And then that sort of stuff bleeds over into discussing how stupid Sarah Palin is, and it's all downhill from there.

So while I love the idea of a super-liberal rally (squee, I'm going to a Daily Show rally!), I really hate the idea that conservatives will probably end up feeling like they aren't welcome. (If any of them even bother to come.) I know so many brilliant, good-hearted conservatives. My boss actually went to a Glenn Beck rally ("he's a bit intense for me but he has a lot of good points", she says), but she can talk for hours about philosophy, knows all the lyrics to The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and keeps making me cds of her favorite podcasts. A mild mannered young man I met in Washington D.C. told me that he supports the Iraq War, but doesn't support "people yelling at each other all the time instead of really talking about stuff." There are plenty of moderates out there.

How can we make this rally pull everyone closer together instead of pushing us apart? How can we keep from alienating conservatives? I've contemplated trying to make a rally sign that expresses some of this, but I'm not sure what it would say. Should I try to appeal to conservatives by chastising irrational Democrats as well as Republicans? That seems weird. Should I just try to distill this comment into a sign? (We can make "I have Conservative Friends" into the new "I have black friends").

IDK, you guys. probably I'm fretting for nothing. There are tons of awesome people at this rally. It's going to be beyond cool.

(I just really, really want this to be about "let's all disagree calmly" and not "you're all crazy because you think Obama's Hitler. Obama isn't Hitler- Bush is Hitler!!!)

Re: In Which I Talk Too much

Date: 2010-10-23 05:14 pm (UTC)
erinptah: (Default)
From: [personal profile] erinptah
You can probably get away with just referring to it as "the Rally" at this point. Although I find it helpful to remember that if your ultimate goal is not to offend anyone, you will eventually stop doing anything - including those things that some people find empowering.

I don't think "Obama isn't Hitler - Bush is Hitler!" is a misconception that people are going to jump to, especially since the rally page explicitly invites people "who believe that the only time it’s appropriate to draw a Hitler mustache on someone is when that person is actually Hitler. Or Charlie Chaplin in certain roles." But I get your concern about condescension. I think liberals are more likely to break things down along "we're smart/you're stupid" lines, while conservatives tend towards "we're right/you're immoral." (Sweeping generalization, obviously!)

I feel like an "I have conservative friends" sign would exacerbate the problem. It feeds back into the impression of "this is a rally for liberals, who mostly hang out with liberals, but we will condescend to hang out with conservatives sometimes." (There's a reason "I have black friends" never goes over well.) Unless you were hanging out with a conservative carrying a matching "I have liberal friends" sign, in which case the symmetry would balance it out.

If you don't have such a friend handy, could you come up with a single sign that had symmetrical qualities? I'm having trouble thinking of a pithy slogan that hits all the points you've covered, but if all else fails, "Neither Bush Nor Obama Is Hitler" is always an option.

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