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  1. The Weekly DishAndrew Sullivan22 min
    7 reads7 comments
    9.5
    The Weekly Dish
    7 reads
    9.5
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    • jeff9 months ago

      Interesting perspective and worth the read. I'm squarely on the sidelines in this fight but I find myself nodding along with Sullivan as I usually do. I know he makes a living stirring things up on the Internet but I appreciate his generally pragmatic/grounded/centrist point of view.

      • bill
        Top reader of all timeScribe
        9 months ago

        Woot. Interesting read. I have lots to say, but this is the most important and you already said it: “he makes a living stirring things up on the Internet.” I find it confusing, annoying, and even dishonest that Sullivan seems to want us to believe that he is an observer of this culture war. He is, in fact, an extraordinarily influential culture war instigator with good funding and a HUGE microphone.

        Anyway, we are all confronted with moments in life when we need to be very clear with ourselves (first!) and others (second) about who we are. I think it’s much better to try to do that with a few thoughtful, caring real-life friends rather than ‘mainstream media’ or ‘the internet.’

        For example, as a gay man, if I spend too much time ‘plugged in’ to the culture war, I could easily start believing that Republicans and Christians are trying to destroy my life. That’s completely not true, although a verrrry small number of paid, professional Republicans are, indeed, making a living on hate. On the flip side, it can be tempting to believe that self-described left-leaning folks are, by default, “on my side.” But, for me, that assumption has proven incorrect time and time again.

        On the internet, things are binary. People are on teams. But when you stop looking at screens and start having real conversations with real people you realize that the very existence of sides is, in fact, a mirage.

        For most humans, being gay is totally weird. Trying too hard to normalize gayness is probably just as problematic as the suggestion that weird is wrong. Weird isn’t wrong. Weird is fucking great.

        Here’s an attempt to organize my thoughts into one coherent question: Is it possible that there is NO connection at all between a person’s political affiliation and their likelihood to tolerate/love gays?

        • jeff9 months ago

          Yeah there's a lot to unpack in this article. It's one of the ones that I almost didn't post because a proper comment would turn into an essay of its own.

          I find it confusing, annoying, and even dishonest that Sullivan seems to want us to believe that he is an observer of this culture war. He is, in fact, an extraordinarily influential culture war instigator with good funding and a HUGE microphone.

          Confusing and annoying maybe but I don't know about dishonest. I'd say he's both an observer and instigator. I don't think they're mutually exclusive. Sure, the article title and framing is pure flame-war clickbait but he is talking about real laws and policies that affect real people and he's got citations in every other paragraph. He's also of course been personally impacted by similar policies over his lifetime and has been writing consistently about these topics since before I was born.

          On the internet, things are binary. People are on teams. But when you stop looking at screens and start having real conversations with real people you realize that the very existence of sides is, in fact, a mirage.

          Again to push back a bit I'd agree that things online are generally more sensationalized but I think Sullivan deserves some credit for not painting things in black and white:

          Negative polarization means that each extreme, on right and left, can get away with stuff previously unthinkable — because the alternative is the evil other.

          All in all I'd say I appreciate Sullivan as an advocate for the "sane center." I wish we had more of those. He's operating in an insane landscape which, now that I think about it, might make me respect him even more and I think earns him a few passes on things like clickbait headlines.

          • bill
            Top reader of all timeScribe
            8 months ago

            Yes yes & yes. Obviously a good article because I’m still thinking about it a week later.

        • Pegeen
          Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
          9 months ago

          Thanks so much for adding your personal insights Bill, always welcomed and appreciated. You and Jeff remind me of an old show called Point/Counter Point that was on TV back in the day. Always good sparing and adds to the further teasing out of this piece.

      • Pegeen
        Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
        9 months ago

        Thanks so much for posting this Jeff. You and Bill will add more to the pot with your dialogue, which I always enjoy.

    • Pegeen
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      9 months ago

      WOW! This IS a lot! However, I truly appreciate having the information because I am confused and desire clarity. I am not familiar with Andrew Sullivan’s writing and did do a Google check after reading this. I could feel the pot being stirred yet Sullivan did seem to have valid information in the stew. Lots to think about and discuss. And I crave a sane middle!!!