Monday, April 28, 2014

Introducing the Matt Walsh Project

I have conservative friends. This should not be a surprise, but it can be anyway -- it's one of the ways that the Internet imitates modern life, that we are able to sequester ourselves into little enclaves (more on this in the next post). And it's also true that the overlap between self-identified conservatives and horrible (racist, sexist/gay-bashing/trans*-bashing, nativist, warmongering, etc.) people is nontrivial. When people in my life cross those lines too far or too often, they don't stay in my life, but simply self-identifying as conservative doesn't cut you off on its own. (Neither does being an idiot -- I'm dumb plenty often myself, and even more often don't have the relevant facts at my disposal.)

All of which is to say, that I have some conservative friends, despite the fact that I'm about as far away from being a conservative as one can be and still have real representation in the American political system. And many of those friends are on Facebook. And they share things.

Frequently, very stupid things. (Conservative imagememes are... well, they're embarrassingly dumb.)

Occasionally, less stupid things.

Very occasionally, things that are wrong, but deserve an answer.

And I've noticed one blog that people link to, that has an abnormally high incidence of the last category. And, oddly enough, this is a blog that doesn't seem to get picked up by (for example) Memeorandum, or to be on the radar of the liberal blogosphere, even though clearly conservatives share it around.

(It's really not all that odd that Walsh doesn't get much Memeorandum love -- Memeorandum's algorithm values people glomming onto existing stories, and it doesn't look like that's how he blogs. I'm not sure, since I don't have his RSS in my feedly or anything, and it's not relevant.) I'm not even really sure who Walsh is, aside from a blogger; his site banner has a picture of him in a radio studio, but his bio doesn't link to any radio show. Regardless: his words speak for themselves, and who he is in real life isn't really my problem.

Anyway: I'm setting myself the project of writing responses to Walsh's posts, when (a) they float across my own social networks (I'm not going to go looking for them), and (b) they've got enough wrong in them to warrant my time.

(NB: my time fluctuates in value. This month, it ain't worth much, so marginal wrong might get my time.)

I've got two to start with. One is a bit old, but the wrong factor is high, and it's on a topic that I have strong feelings about. The other got posted this week, and its level of wrong is actually pretty low; it was just enough to get my lazy ass writing about it.

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