The last three or four days have been a blur. Suffice it to say, my little howl kicked up a lot of internet activity, much due to the "man bites dog" nature of the whole thing, but an even greater measure attributable to the profound sorrow Andrew's passing has engendered on the political blogosphere, left and right.
Though he was beloved and respected by conservatives, I think the true measure of his integrity and generous, irrepressibly charming and feckless spirit is evidenced by the vast number of "I-didn't-agree-with-him-but" posts I've read on all but the most vile Left Wing sites.
The overwhelming majority of the responses I've received have been positive--a huge, collective embrace that I never expected, the memory of which, I'll always cherish. You folks really helped me through a dark moment.
Meanwhile, there has been an all-but-complete absence of haters.
While this has been encouraging, it's also been a source of anxiety analogous to those tense moments when the drumming suddenly stops, and the jungle goes very...
Everyone knows what happens then: The twitchy guy in the unit--usually a dude with a nickname like "Shakes" or "Motormouth," loses his nerve, suddenly bolts up from his foxhole and, white-knuckling his rifle, the cords standing out on his neck, shrieks, "I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE, GODDAMNIT! COME ON OUT, YA YELLA BASTIDS! SHOW YASELVES AND FIGHT!"
That scene usually concludes with the crack of a sniper-rifle.
Final score: Shakes - 0; Darwin - 1.
The winner? The audience. Because Shakes was a pain in the ass, a complainer, a braggart, and he was always writing checks the rest of the boys in the unit had to cash.
Fuckin Shakes... poor, dumb, date-stamped Shakes.
Anyhow, I had my Shakes-moment the other night. Fear writhing in my belly, unable to take the silence any longer, I went on Twitter and started kicking the wasp-nest.
Luckily, before I made too gigantic an ass of myself, a grizzled Sergeant tweeped the equivalent of "Get back in the hole, Shakes. That's no way for a soldier to conduct himself!" (I can't reproduce his tweet here; alas, I didn't screen-cap it in time but, whoever you are, thanks.)
And so I just chilled and did the usual stuff I do on Twitter, which is reaching out and having silly conversations 140 characters at a time with people I've never met, usually about pop-culture, film, and random stuff.
We were in the middle of a running stream over our favorite John Hughes movies, when the first hater popped in, calling me a "fucktard" and a "nationalist." I got my jollies RTing him Breitbart-style, though I should add that, as both, a patriot and a card-carrying fucktard, I could hardly quibble with his assessment of me.
Plus, I remembered how unutterably boring politics are, and how futile it is to argue issues. Plus, I'm not terribly good at it.
We moved on to the music in Hughes films and a number of other subjects when another tweet popped up, its tone a good deal less judgmental than the first:
Now this, as Monty Python might say, was something completely different. What do I do with that? RT it? I tweeped back:
But something still nagged at my gut. This guy was slapping a political label on me for doing something that had nothing to do with politics. Oppression and bullying are just plan wrong, no matter what side of the ideological fence they come from.
So I added in a DM:
Which led to the following exchange:
There it is.
"6% of the package, and we agree on most of that stuff, too."
That takes the differences between your average Liberal and your average Conservative down to the range of the difference between human and chimp DNA.
And when I say "average," I mean, like, 90% of us.
As for the other 10%, they're just assholes.
As for the other 10%, they're just assholes.
Yes, politics are important. Yes, there are some folks whose beliefs and opinions are downright stupid and toxic. Yes, if you believe in liberty, you must fight for it.
I'm not advocating a let's-just-get-along-and-keep-it-civil-at-all-costs (which, apparently, to many Liberals, is synonymous for "shut the fuck up"), and I certainly don't think it's a good idea to seek "compromise" as if it's some kind of Holy Grail; there is no acceptable "compromise" for instance, between liberty and oppression, only a slippery, increasingly steep slope from the former to the latter, and a torturous, incomprehensibly arduous and mortally dangerous climb from the latter to the former.
All I'm saying is that it doesn't hurt, every once in a while, to give a passing nod to the humanity of one's ideological opponents; to at least attempt to talk with rather than at one another--something, by the way, no one did with more style, honesty and aplomb than Andrew Breitbart.
On roller-blades, no less.
One last quick note:
A number of individuals have asked me if I'm going to "encourage" other Hollywood conservatives to step out into the light.
I am in a unique position. I came to the party very late in life, and the decades I spent toiling in "real" business rather than "show" business (or, more accurately, show "business," as most of the entertainment executives I've met wouldn't survive five minutes working in the corporate world) enabled me to develop a very broad entrepreneurial skill-set.
I also have worked hard over the last year building my company, Bxx.
So, unlike my peers, I not only have alternative means by which I can make a living, but a place to land after the dust settles from this brouhaha and the Hollywood jobs dry up (and they will, of that I am fully confident--the mean kids are just biding their time at the moment. Then I'll be labelled "difficult" and pfft).
So, to all my brothers and sisters in the business, hang tight. It'll only get safer as more of us break cover.
And when your time comes, and you can follow me without depriving your children, I will not welcome you into the sunlight asking "What took you so long?" but "So soon? Are you sure?"
God bless all of you.