Or perhaps Rorshach test would be the more accurate term. Pro-Palin blogger Joseph Sheppard argues that Sarah Palin's conservative admirers should, as a general policy, ignore anti-Palin bloggers.
Such a policy is wise where it is possible, and preferable to eternal flame-wars. And I say this not merely about the pro-Palin/anti-Palin feud, but as a general principle: If something irritates you, try to avoid it.
Take, as an example, Neil Young. His voice is lousy and he's a mediocre songwriter. As a guitarist, he's not bad, but not good enough to compensate for his deficits, especially as a singer, where he rivals Gordon Lightfoot for the Most Annoying Canadian Vocalist Lifetime Achievment Award. Therefore, whenever Neil Young comes on the radio, I change the station.
But there are occasions when I find myself trapped in a situation -- e.g., old buddies invite me to a dive bar with a jukebox -- where the avoidance strategy is impracticable, and the results can be tragic. Some idiot will drop a dollar in the jukebox and play "Ohio," and I find myself fighting the urge to begin loudly praising the National Guard and shouting imprecations against "hippie peacenik scum."
Is it just politics? No. Jackson Browne is somewhere left of Lenin, but he's a fine singer-songwriter. "Doctor My Eyes" and "The Load Out" are deservedly classics. Green Day are outright Marxists, but "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" is nevertheless a catchy tune. R.E.M. are also generally a left-wing outfit, yet they make marvelous music.
No, Neil Young sucks. And if you disagree, we'll just have to avoid talking about it, because you'll only aggravate me. Same thing with Ann Coulter being a Deadhead, or Smitty's inexplicable affection for '80s metal. De gustibus non est disputandum.
Sarah Palin is a potential contender for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. That fact should not be turning conservative friends into bitter enemies more than two years ahead of the 2012 Iowa caucus.
If you're a Palin fan and the very mention of Rick Moran makes the veins in your neck stand out, stop reading Rick Moran. If you're Andrew Sullivan and the very mention of Sarah Palin makes you start ranting like a madman . . . Well, I don't know. Smoke some dope or something.
Stop obsessing. Chill.
At any rate, Joseph Sheppard has made a useful suggestion. And don't get me started on Neil Young.
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