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raise your cup and let's propose a toast

It's delinking/drinking time again.

You can't please everyone. And sometimes, you can't please anyone.

Last November, I went through a battle with liberals who were horrified at my transformation into a slightly-to-the-right thinker. Much delinking and and controversy followed.

And now, I'm getting it from ...conservatives:

another self-professing conservative and blogger - A Small Victory - trashes Thurmond and in the process gets her link yanked from our list.

And then he says something about sawdust leaking from my brain.


Well, of course. If one doesn't agree with you, they must be stupid, right? And oh, the horror, Oliver Willis, a left-of-center blogger, came to my defense so surely that must mean I should be cut off from all conservative bloggers!

Firstly, I am not, nor have I ever professed to be, a conservative. As an atheist who supports gay rights and hates Ann Coulter, I hardly fit into the mold.

Then again, when the liberals hounded me for deserting them, I had to explain that I was never really a full-fledged liberal. I mean, what kind of liberal drives an SUV and denounces multi-culturalism?

So here I am, in the middle of two extremes and loathed by both of them. And I find myself being delinked once again.

Take a look at my blogroll.

I'd say a good portion of those people, if not all of them, have, at one time or another, written something I totally disagree with. Yet, there they are, still starring on my links list.

Why? Because opposing views and differences in opinions is what makes this world a fascinating place. Suppose everyone thought exactly like you did. What would become of debate and discussion? Every conversation you had with anyone would be like making love to yourself.

The world is not vanilla flavored and I, for one, am glad of that. Even if a large number of the population is thickheaded, closed-minded and prone to bouts of hysteria when people don't agree with them, that's ok. It makes the world all the more interesting.

Sure, I spoke ill of the dead. Hell, I do it all the time. Plenty of people do. I have a feeling that Mr. Quinton's anger at me has less to do with my speaking badly about a dead person than with speaking ill about someone he viewed as a hero. How dare I have an opinion in direct contrast with him? Off with my head, then!

This is what the two exteremes - on the right and the left- have in common. Dissent from your their own world view is akin to commiting a crime. They are self-centered, opinionated ignoramuses (ignorami?) who would sooner cut off their own ears than listen to someone who doesn't praise their own ideology.

I am not sad that you delinked me, Mr. Quinton, as I didn't even know you had me linked in the first place. I am, however, saddened by the fact that you decided to publicly deride me rather than take the time to send me an email and ask me where my views came from and why I felt the need to hang the spirit of Strom Thurmond in public view. Par for the course, I suppose.

Now, if any of you from either side of the fence are also planning on taking me off of your esteemed blogrolls because I offended your sensibilities with my mean posts about Strom, Savage, Coulter, Indymedia, Arafat, Al Gore, PETA, homophobia, racism, anti semitism, Michael Moore, etc., please let me know so I can come on over and watch the ass-kissing that takes place when one of you brain cell deprived narrow thinkers tosses a dissenter off the boat.

Bottom's up!

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Comments

If it hadn't been for the original delinking controversy I might not have found your site in the first place. As my company says about firing people, "it's not loosing good people, it's an opportunity to find good people". You don't mind if I wait until noon to toast? I don't have any champagne and triple sec for my o.j. and I don't like to drink beer this early.

It is difficult when you don't follow the lock step party line. For me I think some should be thankful that they have a link that can be delinked. Some of us arn't so luck [grin]

So some neaderthals removed you from their list of links - oh, boo hoo, you must be so hurt. Do these people think you jufge you worth by how many loony conservative sites link to yours?

Hey, Michele, I don't agree with you on a lot of things - but keep saying what you do, mate - we all love youse.

I could not de-link you if I wanted to; no blog. But usually enjoy reading your ravings. I do not always agree but it doesn't keep me away. I have a fairly strange set of opinions myself and if I refused to talk to anyone who disagreed with me then I would be alone all the time. And if we all agreed then what would we have to talk about anyway?

holy shit michele
your blog roll is longer than the bible!
you know i love that you are not wedged into some category and i can so totally relate to you
when i found myself NOT anti-war
all my liberal pals thought i was the ayatollah rossi
yet ive noticed that since i started spouting on and on about gay rights this week
my traffic has gone down
so im guessing all the war mongers got grossed out
you cant please everyone
and probably shouldnt try to please anyone
if you're going to write from your heart
which you do
and thats why we adore you
wheter or not we always agree with you
you are an honest mamasita
so rock on

You were building to a great line at the end, but something didn't get through your self-editing. "...the ass-kissing that takes place when of you brain cell deprived narrow thinkers tosses a dissenter off the boat."
It has a kind of zen zing as it stands, something worthy of Rachel Lucas, but I thought you might like to tinker with it a bit more. Feel free to delete this note as well.

Too many people seem to think that the liberal-conservative dichotomy represents some sort of eternal Platonic essence. Why should the whole universe of human opinions be compressible into a single dimension?

I’m in a haiku mood:

A small victory
Annoys close-minded people;
They should grow up now.

Some folks believe that
Only opinions they like
Ought to be allowed.

Idiots can scream,
“The whole world is against them.”
I never listen.

Michele speaks her mind.
Say what you want about it,
This is not your blog.

Screw 'em. Be true to yourself, it's all you can do. Nobody can agree with everyone all of the time.

As far as I'm concerned, if you've managed to get both extremes pissed off at you that's a pretty good sign you may be on to something.

I've never understood these folks who want to gather around a coterie of sycophants and expel anyone who expresses a dissenting view. I know it's been going on for thousands of years, but I still don't see what they get out of it. I care about whether someone is intelligent and has a good heart, not whether they agree with me on every friggin' specific issue.

You're hella cool in my book, Michele. Keep up the good work.

Oliver is cool, except for the Redskins-fan part.

That was some great haiku, Daniel.

Individuals like you rock, Michele. I don't like Ann Coulter, either, though I'm still trying to decide where I stand when it comes to gay rights. And honestly, I didn't care much for Strom Thurmond, either. So blog on!

To hell with them. I just linked you twice.

Oh, for cryin' out loud... First of all, I've never understood the whole drama over delinking. Fine, someone delinked you. Why do they have to make such a big deal about it? It's like kindergarten politics. Well, you invited Bobby instead me over after school yesterday, so I'm not going to give you my Twinkie today. I've removed people from my linklist before, and I'll probably end up doing it again -- but I've always done it without fanfare... or any mention, actually. These people who are telling you now they're delinking you are like the people who call up their cable company, blast some poor customer service rep because their service went out for two hours during a hailstorm but they still missed their favorite episode of Hee Haw so they're cancelling service and they want the money from last month's bill back. Hello, award for best supporting actor for overreaction in a drama?

Second of all, Strom was a racist bigot and deserves whatever roasting he gets.

Third of all, I've never understood why people in this country can't grasp the simple fact that everyone has differing opinions -- not only that, but it's our right to have those opinions and hold them without the need to be burned in effigy for them. Quite frankly, if I found someone who believed exactly the same things I did, not only would I be bored with them because we'd never have anything to discuss, but also it'd be pretty scary. If this Quinton guy wants to find a group of people who believes everything exactly as he does, I suggest he leave this country of free expression and go find himself a Borg collective.

sounds like now you know how it feels to be bisexual.

whoops, my finger slipped. i was referring to when you said So here I am, in the middle of two extremes and loathed by both of them.

sorry, i'm on none sleep.

once again, you taunt us with drinking paraphernalia we can't buy! damn you!

it still amazes me that anyone links or delinks you for your politics. kids, this is not a newspaper. if you want a right-wing view of the news with no opinion, read foxnews.com. if you want humor and opinion and personality, read asmallvictory.net.

as for offending the right wing, here's a half-assed anecdote: a dear girlfriend of mine, who is biracial, was waiting for a table in a restaurant in atlanta, when she was approached by a young black man, who asked her about her racial mix, and told her that she "needed to choose a side." she replied "i have chosen a side. mine."

Thank you, Rhesa. I’ve been getting some ugly emails lately, and the ones with working addresses have been getting haiku responses. I don’t really know why, I think it has something to do with my first landlord in Japan. When we moved, he was very, very polite, almost poetic, and managed to hang on to my security deposit, and screw me in a thousand little ways, and charge me for a month after I moved out.

Maybe that’s why I get pissy in haiku.

And this whole subject is so . . . petty. It’s not like they paid Michele to link to them. Or got her to promise to believe something, and she’s reneged. It almost strikes me as if they’re casting around for a weapon, and the only thing they can find is coercion: “if you don’t like me, and play with me, and be my friend, and do what I say, and think what I tell you, I’m going to . . . ignore you!”

Well, if they’d look at the masthead, they should be able to figure out how effective that’s going to be. But some people never grow out of that third- to seventh-grade, I’m popular, I’m pretty, I’m athletic so you’d better kiss my rear attitude. I want to tell them:

Early years have gone,
People mature and grow wise.
Your ass isn’t special.

Perhaps he was right, whomever said that people don’t change as they grow older — they only become more themselves.

Ciao.

I just blogrolled you. I support free thinkers.

That's why I decided to remove my blogroll from my website, so no one would know who I was linking or delinking.

Oh wait -- you mean the whole point was to be messily public about it? Dang, I get so confused with all these blog rules. Ah, screw 'em.

as a non-blogger, i don't quite understand some of the pettiness that i read in the blogosphere. agood, intelligent debate allows for diverse opinions. at my hometown brewery, political debate is the main form of entertainment. i fall on the liberal side, but happily toast my more conservative friends. so later today, i'll raise my beer glass to you.

Hell, if I only hung out with people that agreed with me -- in RL or online -- I'd be very lonely.

"So here I am, in the middle of two extremes and loathed by both of them."

Welcome to the other 80% of America! Yeah, yeah, I know you didn't just join us, but a late welcome is better than none. Now, if we could only get a political party started and get some people in office that actually think like we do.

I've found that when it comes to politics, there are basically two three kinds of bloggers out there. First, there are those that have comments on their blogs because they welcome the views of those who disagree with them, and are always up for spirited debate. They'll link to blogs with other points of view because they're not scared for their readers to see them. That's my kind of blogger.

Second, there's the kind of blogger without comments and without a "blogroll" or list of links in their sidebar. I've got no problem with these folks, although I prefer to be able to post comments and join a good group discussion or debate. *In many cases, these sites dont provide comments (presumably) because they get so much traffic, and I can understand that.

The last, worst, and unfortunately most common kind of blogger is the kind of blogger who only has comments on his or her blog so readers can tell them how absolutely right they are about everything. These people will toss out politically inflamatory statements that invite rebuttal, but if you present an opposing view, they (and often their loyal readers) will rip you a new asshole for DARING to disagree with them on THEIR blog. And these are the bloggers that will de-link you if you say anything in your own blog that they disagree with, too. I just don't get these people. But I'm really glad not to be one of them.

Personally, I don't give a rats ass who links to my site. I link to sites I like to read, if I think my readers might enjoy reading them too. Everyone else should do the same.

"I'd say a good portion of those people, if not all of them, have, at one time or another, written something I totally disagree with. Yet, there they are, still starring on my links list.

Why? Because opposing views and differences in opinions is what makes this world a fascinating place. Suppose everyone thought exactly like you did. What would become of debate and discussion? Every conversation you had with anyone would be like making love to yourself..."

This is a very good attitude, and a it is very well-said. I have been trying to make a related point in past comment entries at other blogs. There are some bloggers who, when people post things that they disagree with, engage in smearing, name-calling, and personal attacks, rather than dealing with their arguments. That is a sign of weakness, and a sign that they are unable to maturely discuss the issues.

A lot of the debate and discussion that goes on in blog entries and discussion boards is very healthy, quite informative, and intriguing as well. This is a good process, and we should continue doing this. Keep up the good work.

Hrm. Atheist? Check. Supports gay rights? Check. Thinks Coulter's hideous? Check. Pronounced right-hand puppet? Check.

I think you may be my long lost sister.

Hmmm. If I had Michele in my blogroll, would I care that some self-described "conservative" I've never heard of, has delinked her?

I doubt it. Unless this "jquinton" feller would be just as disapproving of people dancing on FDR's grave as on Strom Thurmond's, I don't think his/her/its opinion amounts to a hill of beans.

And Michele? How many hits you reckon you're gonna lose because of "jquinton"? Two or three a day?

Feh.

reading blogroll brokenheartedly
Well, at least you had the good taste and decency to delink me quietly, in between my antics... :0(

So I'll just depart with these final toughts:
People like Coulter, Thurmond and Savage is a problem with humanity, not just a political party. The Democrats have a few amoral losers in their party as well (Al Shapton, David Duke, and Dick Gephart immediately come to mind.). Someone with a brain will call "bullshit" on all of them.

Take care, Michele!

David Duke? Democrat? Wha???

You left James Carville off your list, too.

Not on the Left but with some left positions. Not on the right but with some right positions. Sounds a lot like Bill O' Reilly. I hope you don't hate me for mentionsing you and him in the same comment. I wouldn't dream of delinking you for a silly reason like that. You might not always say things I agree with but wouldn't that be boring and rather one-dimensional if you did?

David Duke? Democrat? Wha???
well, I know he started Democrat, jumped ship to the Republicans... with the stuff he's saying these days. I have no clue what party he's representing...

... but I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for Bush to offer him a slot in his administration, that's fer sure. :0)

From now on, I'm linking myself.

Furtively. In the bathroom.

I'm so ashamed.

I think David Duke’s in jail now.

Gotta go get some pie!

Just wanted to say that I'm NOT de-linking you, michele. I don;t care if you decide you want to cover George Bush in honey and fire-ants. Unless you decide to do it for recreational reasons. That would just be...actually kinda funny, nevermind.

Michele, darlin' if people on both sides of the spectrum are de-linking you, you must be thinking for yourself.

Neither party actually wants people to think.

Cheers, michele

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by
little statesmen and philosophers and divines."
R. W. Emerson

Oh, Andrea: Dust off a copy of "The Golden Bough" from your nearest library, and you'll find the truth of what I said in my comment below. The standards of politeness and behavior you refer to are a mere rind on the fruit of human psychology. They are useful and removing of friction in many cases, but there are times when a spade must be called a fucking shovel, and this is one of them.

What I do remember, unlike you, is my mother explaining to me about how would I like it if my father couldn't drink from a drinking fountain because only the "right" people could use it. I remember the marchers on TV. What I don't remember is Thurmond ever repenting of his previous stand, unlike George Wallace, who had the gut to say he was wrong, and wanted forgiveness from those he had wronged.

As for your 20 year "statute of limitations":
Pfui! "The evil that men do live after them, the good is oft interred with their bones"

Segregation was evil. If you can't wrap your mind around that concept, then STFU and STFD.

Extremists on any side of an issue just do not get it. But then I never understand them either. People who pontificate about a list of things one HAS to believe in order to be a True Member of a political party - hey - does that sound kind of like a religion to anyone? Thou shalt believe and always agree and never question. (And randomly I'm a religious person, but I question and keep my beliefs to myself for the most part - unless someone makes the mistake of trying to tell me what to think, as if I need help, or they assume they know more about The Big Picture than I do. I'm in the South, it happens a lot.)

What the hell is with all these rabid folks these days - just fine to disagree with a member of the (evil) other side, no matter what the issue is - but you can't disagree with fellow members? See, this is why I don't often blog politics - I can't stomach this kind of illogic. Probably can't take the heat either. I disagree with you every now and then (actually in the past it's mostly been the comment sections I've gone out of my way not to read, not what you had to say) - but you know, I never have felt the need to scream at you in your comments. Or have some kind of urge to browbeat you or make you change your mind - with some kind of puffed up idea that I am Right and Superior.

Where are all these people living that have some wacked concept that people in a political party never disagree with each other? They certainly aren't paying attention to politics in the real world. Maybe they need to, oh, read a newspaper or something. Actually make that several - wouldn't want to get stuck in just one point of view - some papers tend to do that, like some cable news channels.

And while I'm sucking up space, what is this ridiculous favoritism for the dead? (To steal a rif from George Carlin) I mean, it's not like Strom is going to come back and complain - sit up during his wake and express his indignation - what does he care? And everything said about him now was said about him when he was alive - it's not like the man didn't have a clue. And what's odd is that I note so many people sticking up for the guy don't come from his home state. Which I find just a tad strange. Actually I think a good chunk of the population thought the guy had died a few months ago. Except in the south where we understand that guys like Strom never really die - they resurrect like zombies and live on...

Now, about those mugs. Of course those who delink aren't going to get one - what would be the point? But I think the rest of us that hang around should get one so that we can have a nice drink when someone leaves in a fit of melodrama and furniture chewing (it's always a fit of melodrama, why is that?) and say "what the hell was that all about?" and "pass the vodka."

OH NO, she's an Independent! No... you must conform...independent thought is not allowed here. Resistance is futile...you will be assimilated!

I've been ceremonially de-linked once. My hits tripled for two or three days and I got at least one new link to make up for it. As the old saying goes: there's no such thing as bad publicity.

Holy Delinking HTML, Batman!

I happen to think Thurmond's record is mixed. He screwed up bad early, sorta recovered and did okay late in the race. His longetivity didn't hurt - he had a rough first couple or 20 years in politics. The equivalent of his career, if it was translated into a Nascar race, would be the Coca Cola 92,000,000,000.

Yeah, I guess he did some damage in '48, but then he also led a platoon of glider infantry in Normandy, and turned into a pretty fiscally conservative "no" vote in the senate, either of which is worthy of some kudos. But reasonable people may disagree and damn him entirely, or say that his later record excuplates him for his earlier record. Hopefully nobody ever holds everything I ever did against me; and hopefully nobody ever looks at the good things I did (both of them) and expects me to always meet their amazingly high standards for me.

Nope, most people are a mixed bag.

Well, except me, I'm a contrarian fuck, and if people are de-linking you for slamming Thurmond, well, then I'm blogrolling you just because I think de-linking is stupid.

Try not to screw me too badly on this or I'll have to... well, I'll have to put up with it. I don't believe in de-linking unless somebody evolves from a present day Strom Thurmond (dead, slightly objectionable) to a 1948-type Strom Thurmond (quite alive, totally objectionable).

Cheer up, Michele. Didja ever hear my epitaph?

"I never liked any of you sonsofbitches, but I always wished I could have."

You see? I've "delinked" everybody, forever, in one fell swoop. Nothin' to it.

That way, I don't have to fool around with this sort of rot. You can do it, too.

Onward, Girlfriend.

I'm late to this but thought I would add a couple of thoughts: I have 160 people on my blogroll and have removed and added so many over the last year -- just for housecleaning purposes -- I can't even say how many.

Only twice have I found someone's blog so offensive, or maybe bothersome's the right word, that I've de-linked him. I didn't make a big deal out of it -- they were both bigger than me -- and just didn't feel like sending ANY traffic their way. No big deal, just did it.

The people who ritualize de-linking have an inflated sense of self-importance.

BTW, I wasn't that thrilled at the Strom entry either. Not that I sympathized with him or his segregationist views, it's just a part of my upbringing -- don't speak ill of the dead. It still hasn't stopped me from visiting your site regularly.

Keep being yourself and fuck everyone else. It's worked out great so far.