Sunday, May 11, 2008

On AOL Posting

Well, I admit that I get a good deal of my news from AOL.com. Is this a bad thing? It's more of a convenience than something that I actively seek out. I check my emails there, so it makes sense to peruse the articles that they have. I take it all with a large grain of salt, perhaps that's why my tears are so corrosive these days. What always surprises me is how the important and trivial are laced together. Although I guess it shouldn't really surprise me given the state of news in this country. part of it is probably the fact the stories flash so quickly before you. One sees reports of cyclones in Myanmar, and then what color is the new black, followed by something involving Obama, and then foods that will ruin your appearance in a bikini.

What I have taken a real interest in, and perhaps this is just the sociologist in me, are the posts that readers leave behind. I suppose one can see how people are, what the rest of America other than elite, intellectual New Yorkers have to say, and what people will say when there are no consequences, which can result in some pretty offense/hilarious comments.

Anonymity is, of course, one of the major problems of the internet. At this point I don't really see it as a mixed blessing, rather a curse. It's not enough to ban the internet altogether, I'm not saying that, but it's like exhaust from the car, an unfortunate bi-product rather than something that has to be controlled, like the speed of a car for instance. I feel that anonymity tends to dumb down debates and discourse and gives people too much opportunity for prank statements that become red herrings.

This is most apparent in articles covering the political elections. One thing I have noticed, is that Clinton seems to have more supporters on AOL, or at least supporters with more time on their hands. If she does well among retired folks, that would explain it, and maybe AOL attracts an older crowd. The vitriol seems to be more anti-Obama than Clinton, with McCain left relatively unscathed. i think this is the result of the media's portrayal of Obama, which has been largely positive, although his controversy with the rev. Wright I think has received more coverage than the controversial politics of McCain's own religious advisers, or the role that Clinton played in Bosnia. Nonetheless I can understand the frustration of Clinton supporters with the media. This is how I've felt in regards to their portrayal of Bush after 9/11.

So Clinton supporters turn to where they can express their anger and then do nothing about it, like frustrated teenagers graffiti-ing an overpass that cut their neighborhood in half and caused its decline.

Comments have generally been like this (these particular posts are from this article, but I think they could come from anything political):

Conspiratorial:

"There is a media scam trying to convince Americans that Obama won. This scam will be apparent after the next few primaries that Hillary will win in dramatic proportions. There is a media campaign to push Hillary out of the race. She can still win this.
She is the only candidate able to defeat Mccain.That is why they are trying to push her out of the race." - mssspellr

Racist:

"Even John "LERCH" Kerry would have been a better choice than
Barak Hussein "buckwheat" Obama" - tune2atis

"Obama - corrupt Chicago politician, do-nothing Senator.

Never saw a tax he didn't like.

Change: Will ship every tax dollar he can get to Africa."

"I can't stand the thought of a black MUSLIM (B. Hussein Obama) as president. For once I hope every KKK member and secretly predjudicial person in America votes Republican. This Democrat would have voted for Hillary. I WON'T vote for Obama because he's black...because the black voted for him for that reason ALONE!"

Ones that are both:

START CHECKING WERE OBAMA IS GETTING THE MONEY FROM.
I KNOW THERE ARE LOTS OF BLACKS ON SUBSIDY CHECKS. STILL, THAT DOES NOT EXPLAIN THE AMOUNTS. SOROS? HOLLYWOOD LESBIANS AND GAYS? THE ICE CREAM OLD HIPPIES? NOT ENOUGH.

MY BET IS FROM IRAN/ISLAMIC ORGANIZATIONS. FUNNELED THROUGH COMMIE LEFTY GROUPS.

Occasionally rational and trying to make a point:

Hillary would have to win approximately 70% of the votes to even make a dent in all the remaining primaries, at a time when her popularity has taken a dive.

Besides, who wants to vote in a race for the injured horse?
Her style is outplayed. We are starting a new era of optimism, vigor, principles and ethics where there is no room for her shenanigans.
Vive Obama! - fofoye

Repetitive:

"55Obama Clinton '08 Obama Clinton '08 Obama Clinton '08 Obama Clinton '08
Dream Team, at last.

Obama Clinton '08 Obama Clinton '08 Obama Clinton '08 Obama Clinton '08
Dream Team, at last.

Obama Clinton '08 Obama Clinton '08 Obama Clinton '08 Obama Clinton '08
Dream Team, at last.

Obama Clinton '08 Obama Clinton '08 Obama Clinton '08 Obama Clinton '08
Dream Team, at last.

Obama Clinton '08 Obama Clinton '08 Obama Clinton '08 Obama Clinton '08
Dream Team, at last.

Obama Clinton '08 Obama Clinton '08 Obama Clinton '08 Obama Clinton '08
Dream Team, at last.

Although a McCain Rice ticket would be a good alternative." - alexandersfol

I am noticing a fair amount of ones claiming a conspiracy to put Obama in charge of the country, more than I saw in articles coming from the beginning of the campaign, especially among Clinton supporters. I suppose her followers are trying to understand why she didn't win the nomination outright by now. Something other than her own lackluster campaign and the desire not to perpetuate a political dynasty must be int eh works, yes, yes, a conspiracy!

"Every blog, board, article and website I read, the majority are for Hillary not Obama.

Why is the media and the dirty, filthy backstabbing politicians pushing Obama down our throats. Notice how the blacks all ditched Hillary after Obama won Iowa.
They did not think he had a chance....they got lucky. Then they blamed Bill Clinton
and his statement that Jesse Jackson won S.C as a reason to ditch them.
No loyalty, they all suck..but the fat, old white guys are the worst ever. pundits and politicians....throw your buddies under the bus.

Obama is a very weak candidate against the Republican machine...just wait and see. hope is nice but not now...we have serious problems in this country." - kmakdn

A lot of the posts seem to bash "hope" and "change" which I think is funny. Look at the above quote, "Hope is nice but not now," because without hope we will really fix this country up!

In case anyone wants to accuse me of approaching this with a slant or bias, I am just going to say that it is not there. Personally, I don't think I am going to vote in the 2008 elections. I just think it is interesting how the followers of one campaign react when their campaign flounders and their rivals takes off and does better than expectations. I would think similar charges could be flung by Obama supporters if they were losing.