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Extreme Ideology

chicago dyke's picture

Greg has an easy time spanking our favorite newbie to the blogosphere, Joke Line. Riffing off that, I'd like to say that I am a proud ideological extremist. Proud.

History is filled with people who were in their day, considered "extreme." Suffragettes. Environmentalists. Abolitionists. Gay Rights Activists. They were all told, in their day, that to talk about, let alone agitate for, their ideological goals was "bad form" and "uncivil." To which most said, in some form or another, "Fuck that." (Quaker version: Fucketh Thyself)
And they were right to do so. You don't bring about justice and change by not making people uncomfortable. You do it by just the opposite- people grant what you're asking for because they want you to stop talking about it all the time, and give them some peace.

it's time to reframe this discussion, and proudly endorse and support those who lead from the front, not pander to the mushy, pearl-clutching middle. Yes, I know that extremism has resulted in many historical horrors, but extremism in the service of equality, justice and tolerance are not on that list.

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Submitted by lambert on

1. Because it's no more nor less than the truth

2. There can be extremists at both ends of the spectrum.

Let's shove the Overton window hard left, people!

No authoritarians were tortured in the writing of this post.

as bloggers, our mission should be to distress the comfortable and comfort the distressed.

That's heavily paraphrased from somewhere else, but I think you know what I mean.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

the uncomfortable are often made more uncomfortable by being reminded of why they are uncomfortable in the first place. to wit: fundies. do you think they are grateful that we exposed (ick) Foley? no, becuase like Haggard, they know, better than we ever will (thank the goddess of your choice) what those two are all about...and they knew before we did.

yet "fundies," as i am wont to call them, are also often as poor and oppressed as urban blacks, migrant latins, or gays. the difference is that they take comfort in believing they are not, while we take no comfort in knowing we are, and fight to change it.

i want to bring them comfort. i want poor, white trash NASCAR watching, klanmember-grandfather, lost the job at the textile factory to chinese slave labor fundies to have the same comforts i do. as we all should. but that is an entirely different project, with different methods, than the one in which i bring comfort to those like me, a gay black woman with an education.

Yes, everything is more nuanced than that. If we break it down into Manichean terms of "you're either with us or against us", then we're as bad as BushCo.

Ultimately, our job is to educate. We do it with varying amounts of sauce, but we're basically serving up information to a hungry public who aren't being served by the major media. So, as much as education distresses the comfortable, it is ultimately good for them, and we're an army of John Stewarts, serving people their greens, but with some flavor to make it bearable.

Does that make sense? Part of the reason I think FDL has been so successful with the Libby trial is because we've been making some pretty dense information palatable and available to the public in a way that they can't get from Wolf Blitzer.

But you know, I've been meaning to ask you if you'd like to do a guest post at FDL. I'll email you back channel.