I spent the month of June with way too much of my brain filled up for way too much time with two men who are for lack of a better term “Twitter Personalities’ of the political stripe — one is @Shoq and the other is @BrooksBayne.
On June 1st, I published the first of a series of articles about @Shoq on The Trenches, a website published by @BrooksBayne. It was a story about @Shoq illegally recording a phone call and I’m proud of the work I did on the story; what I think is cunning, compelling, professional journalism. However, I ended up having to quit working with @BrooksBayne less than a week after starting the story, after he made a remark about violence and the Bretty Kimberlin story that I wanted nothing to do with. A series of other clashes developed with Brooks over the coming weeks and then he went into full meltdown mode in the past few days. I know regret even trying to work with him. Meanwhile, @Shoq stonewalled and his circle of friends published conspiratorial pieces that questioned the underlying truth of the story; a weird move since the story is true and they know it.
But there’s an irony about Shoq and Brooks.
Dealing with the publisher and the subject of the story revealed an interesting truth; they are actually the same person. Not literally, of course. (THAT would be quite a scoop.) I’m sure this will be laughed off by their supporters but for the rest of you, think this through with me…
One way to look at @Shoq and @BrooksBayne is that they are polar opposites. In stratified political world we live in, it’s obvious that Brooks and Shoq have nothing in common. If we were to grab a piece of paper and draw line down the middle with the political left on one side (leftists, liberal, progressives, Democrats) and the political right (conservatives, right wingers, Republican or even the word Brooks throws around constantly ‘Federalists’) on the other, we see a very very clear separation.
Viewed from this perspective, the difference could not be clearer.
However, let’s erase that left / right and draw a new one.
When we do this, something new emerges immediately.
Oh, look at that! Now they are both on the same side of the line!
If this seems like a harsh assessment, I’m sorry but I believe it’s true. Go visit their rancid Twitter timelines for a fuller experience. Both Shoq and Brooks are offensive bullies that attempt to use ideology as cudgel to beat both allies and enemies into line in order to compensate for some deeply seated neurosis. It’s not about policy with them. It’s about a twisted, nasty and immaure sort of testosterone fueled power trip that lets them tie a sense of faux accomplishment to their Twitter-hood. Neither is ‘out there’ in the real world making a difference. They exist online.
They don’t dare admit see any of this, of course. Neither will their intimidated minions.
But I see it and I reject it. It’s way beyond the politics of left and right; it’s just bad. Very very bad.