Tuesday, May 09, 2006

I'm reminded of why I avoid this stuff in my dotage

Greetings to Pushing Rope readers and thanks to Michael Hussy for the invite. This week, a Bitch is going to Push Rope, too. Fasten your maxipad belts, and let's roll!

I’m not even sure how I got to be on this list, but it’s a political group for lefty Florida bloggers. I have not had much time and some of the email was landing in a pile that just never got my attention. Sorry, I’m a Busy Bitch. And don't get me wrong, I like the idea and I want to contribute in any way I can. I haven't been terribly active because, well, putting food on the table and keeping a roof over our head takes priority.

That said, I finally paid attention to see that they are having a discussion over naming the group. Now, when I want to be, I can be pretty yak-ative, making arguments for this or that and maybe even being a little, you know, pushy. Alas, I don’t have time. Whatever they want want to call it is fine by me. But, when I see it’s likely to go back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, endlessly then it’s time to pipe up to support the argument that makes the most sense.

Anyway, it was pointed out that ‘union’ might not be such a good word for a name since it evokes unions and unionism and not everyone who’s a progressive is necessarily uncritical or a supporter of unions. Sad, but true in my experience. Not that I’m uncritical of unions, but…

Someone took offense to that, finding it hard to believe than anyone who would agree to being called progressive would not appreciate being called pro-union. He wrote it as if he couldn’t believe anyone could be progressive and not keen on unions.

Look, I’m the first one in the world to wish that were the case. But it’s not. This is the kind of shit that makes me remember why, as I’ve aged, I avoid getting involved in this stuff. When there’s disagreement, people just immediately think it has to be because the speaker is a moron or an asshole. They do this, rather than think, “hmmm. Maybe there are people on my side but they have a legitimate argument and I either need to engage it on its intellectual merits. Or not — if I don’t have time. But, to simply dismiss it out of hand and hurl the implication that it is the person’s career or means of making a living that might lead him to say these things? Fuck. That. Noise.

This is the kind of thing that drives me mad. I’m all for a great debate over the merits of arguments for and against unions. I’m all for a great debate over libertarian lefties and others who approve of more statist solutions. I’m all for a great debate over anarchist-leaning lefties and those who have a vision of a socialist state. I tend to side with the anarchist-left myself.

But, the simple assertion that if X doesn’t agree with me then X must be a flaming moron? Or, in this case, the implication that if X doesn’t agree with me it’s because X has a certain kind of job at a certain company…? It drives me guano.

Cross posted at Bitch | Lab.


At May 11, 2006 8:07 PM , Blogger Michael Hussey said...

I'm trying to trackback in the emails with how this all started with Barb's comments. I think we should call the group the Progressive Many Emails List.

At May 12, 2006 3:55 PM , Blogger Bitch | Lab said...

yah. i've been thinking about setting up an email list for so that at least i can filter it into one box and read it when i can get to it.

alas, my experience suggests that this woulnd't be a good idea.

but it wasn't anything barb said. It was a man, iirc. i know barb and i'd remember if it were barb. it was a commnet made about Robin Miller's slashdot employment -- as if that mattered. oiy.

i'd quote the email except i tossed it in the interest of keeping my in box free for client mail and inquires about jobs, etc.

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