INSITEVIEW- - tom shugart's weblog

Friday, April 11, 2003


I’m grateful to Doc Searls for stepping into the political exchange I’ve been having with Frank Paynter. Frank had taken the conversation to a level beyond which I wasn’t interested in going. But in some respects I was reluctant to drop it because I was leaving it in a state of sharp disagreement. I simply get tired very quickly of engaging in political argument. It isn’t my strong suit.

Doc comes to the rescue very adroitly, and with a single, cleverly coined word, puts his finger directly on what, for me, was the sore spot. It’s that either/or, black and white, with us or against us cant of thought, the practitioners of which Doc labels “Certidudes:”
“To me all the certidudes are equally off base because they're convinced the Other Guys are part of some big-ass Conspiracy, or are what Craig Burton calls EWBU: Evil, Wrong, Bad and Ugly. That's how Michael Moore sees the Bush and the Administration. And that's how Andrew Sullivan sees Howell Raines and the Academic Left. Their rants make for great reading; but they're not fully engaged with Reality, which includes, let's admit, the possibility that the other side isn't always full of shit.”

Doc goes on from there and makes an excellent case for a more inclusive view. Thank you, Doc, for putting it all in such a clear perspective. It’s nice having you in the same bed with me on this one.

It’s always felt more authentic to me to be groping around in the gray areas of uncertainty, even though it bears the cost of sometimes being labeled spineless, muddle-headed, or even, for godssake, worse than “the enemy” (fill in the blank).


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