Conservatives Are Human? WTF?!?
I live some of the year in Las Vegas. The thing about living in Vegas is that you are basically reliant on people from out of town to tell you what's going on in the city, because the only time … Read More
I live some of the year in Las Vegas. The thing about living in Vegas is that you are basically reliant on people from out of town to tell you what's going on in the city, because the only time a resident hits the strip is while crossing it to go from a bowling lane to a pool hall (the extent of non-strip related entertainment).
As such, a few weeks ago when Armed Liberal of Winds of Change asked me if I was attending something called a Blogworld Expo, I, with the contempt that a resident of Las Vegas reserves for all conventions said: "There is a bloggers convention in Vegas? Shit, count me out!"
But then Michael Totten emailed me, saying he was coming and wanted to meet. And, after that, while I was giving a lecture at Instapundit's law school in Tennessee (by the way yes, that is a double collared shirt I'm rocking), he told me that he was coming to the Expo as well. At this point I started to think that perhaps this convention was a bigger deal than I was wont to give it credit (though I still had no intention of registering or going to any of the events). I told Totten and Armed that we should get together over coffee or dinner and I didn't bother to ask or inquire whether anyone else was intending on going.
Totten — who from his world travel knows more about brown people than most white people ever will — and I met up at his hotel and then met Armed at Grand Lux Cafe in Venetian. We talked about random stuff, including motorcycles, scenic drives in California, all while wondering why the waitress didn't wear a name tag. Then, when like an old man, Armed retired (around 9 pm), I took Totten to my favorite local hooka bar where we talked about Hizbollah, Islam, and Hooka-smoke blowing techniques. It was a fascinating conversation, conducted over four mint teas (me) and three Turkish coffees (he). He sang the praises of Lebanese society and I discussed Pakistani martial law and my preferences in women.
I figured that would be the extent of my interaction with the blog world expo, and for a few days it was.
On the last night before Totten left he gave me a call to meet him at Bally's "where a few of us are getting together." I figured hell, I've ignored the entire affair, I might as well catch it on its tail end. When I arrived at the lounge I found that I had walked into the largest gathering of conservative bloggers that I had ever encountered.
It was essentially a Pajamas Media meet up. Totten introduced me to Ed Driscoll, Mary Katherine Ham from Townhall (who recognized me from Dean's World, and whose boyfriend is one of my favorite conservative bloggers), a military wife from Badgers forward, Uncle Jim from Blackfive (who wrote the classic piece on Horowitz entitled Horowitz Sucked Hoover), Vodkapundit, and a few other people whose names I forgot due to being under the influence of extra-hot chicken wings and three Pepsi's.
Sitting amidst this crew and enjoying the company, I realized that now, in addition to being part of the leftist-islamist alliance to take over the world (due to my writings at the Guardian), and being a stooge of neo-zionist imperialists (due to my writings at Jewcy), I will now also be accused of being Wolfowitz' right nutsack simply by virtue of having an enjoyable time with some right-wingers. The stupidity of labels began to weight me down.
This led me to further reflect on the fact that at some point many of us — especially those who write about politics prolifically — forget that when we are expressing disagreement, it is humans (and not bloodsucking reavers) with whom we're disagreeing. That is something many of us probably knew when we first started writing, but as we slowly began to conceive of human beings as permalinks, lost.
That realization — as I big goodbye to Totten and walked towards my car — led me to further think that if it is so easy to turn ordinary Americans (who dress like me, eat like me, talk my language, and are from my country) into Others, isn't it even easier to turn the rest of the world, with whom we have so little in common, into Demons? That was a sobering thought, and all of a sudden, despite the utter lack of pathos in the air in Las Vegas, I grew melancholy. The barely bearable heaviness is with me still.