News of Breitbart’s death knocked me back a few pegs — I mean, I had been in his presence a few times, was introduced once, and heard him speak, but we had no relationship to speak of so I was slightly surprised by my sadness at his death. But I figured it out I think…I, like so many who are ideologically out of favor at the moment and who work to bring a little balance to issues in the political realm, must play the diplomacy game if we want to survive. It is a part of the work — no one listens to you or wants to work with you if you can’t collaborate across the aisle. But Breitbart, he did the kind of work that we couldn’t — okay, WOULDN’T, do. We are all cowards by comparison. We are all relative hacks. He screamed his truth without fear and I agreed with much of it. Because, as a younger man, he swallowed a lot of the kool aid that came to disgust him later, he was truly pissed off at how much subterfuge, narrow-mindedness, and disingenuousness he saw from the self-proclaimed “liberal.” The raging inhumanity from the tide of “humanists.” I never totally swallowed that kool-aid — I sipped it lightly in college and remember it when I start to feel a little too rational (emotional is good, too. Balance, people.) But I think he did. At one forum where I heard him speak he called himself an apostate. And it enraged him. And those of us who cannot be warriors, for whatever our reasons, are worse off without him. I have lost friends in this fight, too Mr. Breitbart. Good people that I didn’t want to lose. I think maybe it’s about time I got pissed about that, too.
Also, this is why he was enraged. The comparison to Hitler (Godwin’s Law becomes true almost immediately depending on the subject) made the Coach quip:
“Someone compares him to Hitler! Yes, because the systematic slaughter of millions of Jews and other ‘undesirables’ is totally the same thing as getting Anthony Weiner fired And cutting federal aid to ACORN.”
So, on behalf of the man who I really only remember laughing despite the YouTube videos where he’s verbally giving the finger to the rampant bullish*t, you people should know, your attempt to peddle the bullsh*t you do? Well, as we say in my family, you kinda suck for that.
Here’s an excerpt from Breitbart’s Righteous Indignation and his alt-80s playlist posted by a friend on Facebook this morning (h/t the lovely Christine). Rest in Peace big man. You made me feel brave.
The Big Plan: Join Us
Now you know the Complex, and you know that we can fight it if we just use the right tactics, understand our opponents, and walk toward the fire. Walk toward the fire. Don’t worry about being called a racist, a homophobe, a sociopath, a violent heteronormative xenophobe with fascistic impulses. They say all those things about you because they’re keeping you inside the Complex, forcing you to respond to their playbook. They want to stop you in your tracks.
But if you keep going, if you tell them you can stop their verbal bullets and keep walking, you’ll send messages to people who are rooting for you, who agree with you. That’s how you build an invincible movement willing to play by its own rules.
Here’s how I’m going to get you in that game.
Here’s my plan.
I spent years working as a team player. But at a certain point, after watching other people take the risks and have successes and have failures, it became a personal imperative that I start sticking my neck out and emerging on my own. So after I left the Huffington Post and returned to Earth, I was determined to use my knowledge of the news cycle to create a brand—a media entity that could operate on a par with other news outlets, but that would use the New Media to even greater advantage.
Breitbart.com and Breitbart.tv did that. People inside and outside the news business know the Breitbart sites: they’ve heard of them; they use and return to them. They learned fast that we had the newswires, and that we had the unique audio and video content.
It wasn’t enough for me. This isn’t it, I told myself. This isn’t going to define me—that I created a news aggregator, a generic media portal.
The stage was set for the true Frankenstein monster to be unleashed.
My ultimate goal became to take the news aggregation-plus-group-blog model, build it up, and then implement my decade of New Media experience to make it explode into a genuine alternative news source. To turn the New Media into the media.
And I knew how to do it.
I knew the flaw with sites like the Huffington Post that my own sites could avoid. HuffPo’s structural weakness was that it was built upon people who were writing on any subject under the sun, often repetitiously. Mostly, that constituted, “Bush bad, Bush Hitler, Iraq War bad, blah blah blah.” Under the amorphous banner of the Huffington Post, people wrote about whatever they wanted.
Sure it sounds egalitarian and democratic and all that—but mostly it’s just boring. There were even kids of Arianna’s friends writing about the Dodgers. It hit me early on that the site lacked focus, that it was self-indulgent and repeated the media narrative.
And personally, I didn’t want to end up like Arianna Huffington herself—a powerful but reactive person who went wherever the news cycle went, the person who would be able to answer any policy question because I’d studied the Hotline in the morning and the Hill in the evening, and stuck doggedly to that day’s Democratic talking points.
In fact, I didn’t want to react to the news at all. I wanted to drive the news cycle.
Breitbart’s musical taste lives on as well:
The The (Uncertain Smile), Chamelons UK (Swamp Thing), New Order (Crystal, Perfect Kiss), Sinead O’Connor (Jerusalem), Echo & The Bunnymen (Never Stop), Fishbone (Modern Industry, Party at Ground Zero), Madness (Baggy Trousers), The Cure (The Perfect Girl), The Jam (That’s Entertainment), Crowded House (World Where You Live) – Off top of head; not all dancy, obviously. But not sure if this is for bar area, or what.
February 6, 2011 at 3:48am · Like
The Housemartins (Sitting on a Fence), China Crisis (Black Man Ray), Lloyd Cole (Jennifer She Said, Perfect Skin), The Church (Tantalized, Reptile).