Wednesday, January 21, 2009

La Cosa Nostra

guest-posted by Armadillo Joe

Please allow me to introduce myself.

My nom de plume is Armadillo Joe. My old blog was (is?) called Expatriate Thoughts ...from a Texan living in New York City because, well, because Texans and New Yorkers each think they've got it all figured out, have outsized egos about their own importance and no qualms about telling everyone else what they think. I guess I thought if I could combine the reflected glory of my heart's two homes, I could reach out and change some minds and, well, make a difference.



After three and a half years of blogging, about three weeks ago, I shuttered that blog with fewer cumulative hits than driftglass gets on an average weekday afternoon. With no audience, I really had to ask myself what I was doing when I realized that my readership was limited to people I could actually call but more probably would just poke individually on Facebook. Who was my audience?

Frankly, I had hoped it could be my dad. My Nixon-hating, Vietnam War-opposing, gun control-supporting, tree & greenery-loving, Navy vet dad. My Reagan Democrat dad. My Clinton-hating, Limbaugh & Hannity-worshipping, Fox News-watching dad. My Texas Republican dad. Who lives in Dallas. Where the most recent ex-President is calling home. Where our last great president died. He chose well, Mr. Bush, as Dallas is an intellectual cesspool swimming with brain-washed Fox News zombies who will loudly and proudly and with guns defend their man should the nation turn on him and demand retribution for any of his crimes, from looting the treasury to authorizing war crimes. My dad would man the barricades with them. And I thought he'd somehow read my measly little blog and get his mind changed.


So, not so much. As I learned about a month before the election. More to come on the fine-grained details of that topic.

But it was such a glorious plan, though, really. Because it seemed to me, and to all us bloggers madly clacking away on our keyboards at every outrage emanating from the putrid soul of Nixon's GOP, that in George W. Bush's America, that post-9/11 Märchenland of metasisizing corporate feudalism and billowing pollution with visions of torture and death and drowning amid waking authoritarian nightmares where sons turn their fathers in, it seemed to a few of us that perhaps arranging electrons on a glowing screen into black squiggle-marks expressing thoughts and ideas in a new variation of the ancient Art of Writing in service of our own Résistance française -- our own Radio Free America -- broadcasting it out there into the vast and nebulous inter-webs in an attempt to express our inner anguish, hoping to find like-minded souls from the safety of our homes and apartments (better than a street corner -- beset as they were by GOP brownshirts -- or the Tee-Vee -- infested as it was with bootlicking opinion enforcers), somehow trusting that it all was connecting to someone, somehow, somewhere...

...and trusting that it all mattered.

The seeming futility of it all, at first. When John "Glass-Jaw" Kerry went down in 2004 with $15 million in the bank (some of those were my dollars, BTW) and barely a whimper, I know that I retreated in anger from the internet and almost all other news sources beyond weather and sports for almost six months and it never occured to me to actually post my thoughts on anything like a blog. When I emerged in mid-2005, I read and read and finally had to start writing. And writing. At LiveJournal, here. Then I switched to Blogger, here.

Such grand plans we all had, eh? Well, by the fall of 2006, yes. We helped to turn the tide. And 2008 belongs to us, too. The hard work isn't done, but it is all starting to seem worth it, just a little.

I never changed my dad's mind and I think I may have hardened him in the other direction. Alas, a new day dawns in America without him. I'm with Fraulein here in enjoying how much Barack Hussein Obama drives the racists, and my dad, nuts just by being who he is: post-racial, erudite, urban, intelligent, worldly, classy, urbane and, well, black. Beautifully, dashingly, unambiguously black.

He inspires me.

I'm guest-posting here at Broadway Carl's invitation, because if Billmon can return from the dead, I guess I can too.

Thanks for reading.


Fraulein said...

Hey Joe! Glad to virtually "meet" you. We should have a lot of fun with this cross-posting experiment.

Like you and Carl, I began blogging partly as an outlet for my rage at what Bush and his cronies were doing to the country. It will be fascinating to see how blogging--especially from the left--evolves now in the Obama era. Hopefully we can keep the new administration honest.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back Brad--I'm glad you are going to continue writing!


Anonymous said...

Glad to have you back Joe!