Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist
poliphilo

The Future Of Democracy

There was a film last night about the bloggers who brought down Joe Lieberman in the Connecticut primary. OK. I thought, no contest. People power. I know which side I'm cheering for.

But.

While Lieberman is a machine politician and a sell-out, the empty-eyed smoothiechops they had running against him had nothing going for him except that he was rich and not Joe Lieberman.

And then there were the bloggers themselves. You know what? My idea of a blogger is the sort of person I meet on LJ- independent, quirky, individual, committed to the art of writing, happy to be in a place where  there's no editorial control and one can say what the hell one wants- no matter how silly, far-out, erudite, obscene, strange or uncommercial.

But these people were sweaty and had stary eyes. They didn't care about words.

And there was this brutish, young man- who wore his hat the wrong way round and never took it off, not even in church- who was organisinhg them, feeding them stories, telling them what to say. 

A whipper-in of hounds.

So there were the bloggers, a whole posse of them,  with their camcorders, following Lieberman around, hoping to catch him saying or doing something daft, smirking and smugging and egging one another on and it slowly dawned on me that I hated them. As someone said in inteview- maybe it was Christopher Hitchens- they'd become a mob.

A gang of peasants with torches and pitchforks.

And what they were blogging was mainly abuse. Not, clever, witty, analytical or anything like that. Stupid stuff.

Then one of them- a blogger of national celebrity who can count on getting a million hits a day- published a photoshopped image of Lieberman in black face. Why? Because the mind of a mob is constantly pushing the envelope of stupid. 

And there was a surge of support for Lieberman.

In the end Lieberman lost the primary but went on to win the race as an independent. Something had changed and nothing had changed. We'd seen the future of democracy and it was just like the past-

Graceless and ugly.
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