A Tale of Two Blogs
For the past few years, I have ended my day by looking at the statistics for my two blogs – the original version of A Certain Point of View on Blogger, and A Certain Point of View, Too on WordPress – and keeping a tally of my published posts and pageviews – for each blog – on my Facebook timeline. I’m not sure why, exactly, but it’s something I’ve done for a while and it gives me a sense of, “Yes, I’m making progress with my blog. I’m actually reaching other folks out there with my writing.” It probably doesn’t matter to many of my 1,033 Facebook friends, but it closes out my days with a sense of accomplishment and a desire to keep blogging.
Last night, though, I had an epiphany of sorts.
As I jotted down my daily stats from my two blogs here (an odd habit, I know, but it’s my odd habit), I suddenly remembered why I have two blogs instead of just one.
And normally, I would not reflect on the reasons why I have a blog on Google’s blogging platform and another in WordPress, except that I see posts about “cancel culture” from my conservative friends (those that are still friends, anyway) complaining about “conservatives being silenced on social media by the left.”
First off, I am not an advocate for “silencing conservative voices” unless they are clearly being dishonest, overly partisan, or virulently nasty toward those of us who are not, well, conservatives or Trump supporters. Most of my friends on the right are not THAT unhinged, but some of my now ex-friends have either blocked me for my views or been blocked by me for their QAnon, “the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t real,” or “the election was stolen from us by Commie Democrats!” nonsense.
Second of all, I find all the hand-wringing of the right about “cancel culture” to be either overblown or flat-out nutty. For example, last week I saw someone angrily complain that “Dr. Seuss books were being banned” and that folks should condemn the alleged ban or liberals’ demands that some titles be removed from the Dr. Seuss catalog. Or something along those lines.
Well, there was no organized effort on the part of liberals to “ban” Dr. Seuss’s books. The publishers and Theodore Geisel’s estate decided to remove six, repeat SIX titles from their catalog, and are voluntarily not republishing them for future reissues. The folks involved in that decision looked at their content and thought that they promoted racist stereotypes that were offensive to African Americans and Chinese Americans. (You can still buy and read those books that are in print; you just won’t be able to buy reissues later.)
But since the right has adopted the tactic of perpetuating victimhood and manufactured outrage, this has blown up into a distorted narrative that twists the Dr. Seuss story to fit the right’s narrative that everything they hold dear is under attack by “evil, Communist liberals that hate America.”
That’s just one instance of conservative dishonesty, nay, hypocrisy regarding cancel culture. I could also mention the “Pepe le Pew” controversy, but that topic deserves more time and space than what I am willing to give it right now, so I’ll just say that if you don’t understand the subtext beneath why that character is problematic, then you need to be less myopic and more informed about why women find that character’s behavior worrisome and offensive.
What does this have to do why I have two blogs?
Everything, my sweet summer children. Everything.
The Banned-on-Facebook Blog!
You see, I used to be rather private about my political beliefs until a few years ago. In my family, the rule was that we never talked about three topics: sex, religion, or politics. Sex was a taboo topic anyway (I think I only had one conversation about it with my mom after I became sexually active in my 30s, and that was limited to her telling me to be careful about the women I slept with.). We stayed away from politics and religion because those two topics are intensely polarizing.
But after Donald Trump was elected to the Presidency in 2016, I suddenly realized that I could NOT acquiesce to the slow undoing of our democratic traditions by a right-wing movement that has been groomed by various groups (mainly rich white folks) into embracing fascism, American style. I could not stay silent, either, as my chosen profession, journalism, was being vilified as purveyors of leftist propaganda and “anti-American” views.”
So, my Blogger blog, A Certain Point of View, which had once just been a place where I wrote reviews and other inoffensive stuff, became more political.
I want to make this brief, so I won’t go into a detailed rundown of the political content of my Blogger blog. I will say this, though. It was never based on lies, rumors, or mean-spirited gossip. I used my training as a journalist to evaluate news stories and write my opinion about what was going on. I never – unlike many of my right-wing friends on social media, relied on nasty caricatures, hyperbolic comments denouncing conservatives as the heirs of Adolf Hitler, or rude name-calling. I merely reported on things that went on and expressed my views based on facts I had on hand.
But some conservative folks saw my blog posts during a time when Facebook was relying on automated assessments of members’ reports, so in late March of 2020, my blog was banned from Facebook, which seriously affected the ad revenue I earn from said blog. In other words, Trump supporters got mad because I was posting about Texas’ lieutenant governor Dan Patrick’s call for older people to sacrifice their lives to save the economy during the first COVID-19 lockdown a year ago.
My Blogger blog, A Certain Point of View, still gets hits, of course, but not as many as it used to, since Facebook was its most visible source of visitors.
So, please, conservatives, don’t whine about “cancel culture” as if you guys were its only victims. Your side also practices cancel culture. Indeed, it’s a weapon you wield often and with relish. Just ask Colin Kaepernick, Nike, Keurig, Goodyear, the NBA and the NFL, The Walt Disney Company, ABC, CBS, NBC, and the Dixie Chicks, or anyone your side does not like.
From where I sit, what you’re saying is, “It’s cancel culture unless I’m doing the canceling.”
So, please, right-wingers. Stop trying to play the victim card and bemoaning the “cancel culture of the left.” Hypocrisy does not have a pleasant odor.
 This is a sample of how I write when I choose to discuss politics.
Obviously, in a situation when most Americans are being told to stay home and avoid, as much as possible, engaging in activities that might expose them and their families to COVID-19, quite a few businesses are feeling the pain. Movie theaters and other entertainment venues where large numbers of people sit in a packed enclosed space are closed. You can still get food from many restaurants, but it has to be either “take-out” or delivered. Sports events are closed until further notice. Concerts? Forget it, although I’ve seen at least one overly optimistic Miami promoter advertise a large musical event that’s scheduled for late June. (Apparently, the goofball is hoping that the pandemic will be dealt with by then. Me? I think not.)
So, yes, I understand the reality that the economy is taking a huge hit. I also understand that lots of people are unhappy about not being able to go about their business as they did before.
The reality, though, is that human lives should come before profits, and although many of us seem to grasp that, President Trump is being pressured by his wealthy friends to roll back some of the measures now in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19 among the general population.
A particularly cold and idiotic suggestion was put forward by Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick (R) on Monday night on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson: open businesses soon, even if elderly Americans have to die.
This is what Patrick had to say on the topic of social distancing:
“No one reached out to me and said, as a senior citizen, ‘Are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?’ And if that’s the exchange, I’m all in … I just think there’s lots of grandparents out there in this country like me — I have six grandchildren — that what we all care about and what we love more than anything are those children. I want to live smart and see through this. But I don’t want the whole country to be sacrificed and that’s what I see.”
Yep. This public official who is one heartbeat away from being the governor of the largest state in the Lower 48 (Alaska is the largest state in the Union, but it’s separated from the rest of the Union by Canada) suggests ending social distancing during a pandemic even if many of our fellow citizens have to die.
What a horrible tradeoff.