Saturday, January 12, 2008

John Foust

No, John Foust should not be confused with our favorite McBride commenter John. Mssr. Foust is the creative genius behind the satirical Boots & Kittens (I'm not sure if he is Boots or Kitten.)

Anyway, I digress. In my previous post, I offered 3rd way and Mssr. Foust an invitation to join team Whallah! John responded in the comments thread and I thought what he said was well done and deserved to be brought to the forefront. So here it is:

John Foust said...

Thank you, Capper. I'm truly touched by the invitation, and I will keep it in mind for the day when I have a nugget that needs posting. As I examine the themes behind your post as well as 3rd Way's, I sympathize because I'd like to see a Cheddarsphere blog that honestly and actually met the goals of the banner on RDW: a place where smart, interesting, open-minded and polite folks of all stripes could talk. It's sad that it's not RDW nor is it many blogs on the righty side of the Cheddarsphere. I think it's sad that criticism of conservative positions automatically gets you quickly branded, categorized and then dismissed as a liberal, even if you never espouse a single nanny-state position.

I can readily imagine having a good time in-person with a dozen of the folks I see on all sides of the blog rolls. If I can puff my chest for a minute, I'm glad to say I've reciprocally worked with, loved, admired and respected many of all stripes, from Birchers to dreadlocks. It brings perspective and insight, makes for good conversation and testing of one's ideas, character, principles and mettle. I do not known Template's identity. I saw something the other day that hinted he might even be someone I've locked horns with before, but that doesn't stop me. I'm glad Whallah exists for what it does, especially after dealing with Mr. McBride's ineptitude firsthand in real life.

Blog management style intrigues me. I think it's a place where someone can demonstrate true forms of leadership and community-building. It's like being a good party host. You can set the tone of a party long before the invitations are mailed. The invitations and pre-party-talk can also set a tone. The setting of the party itself matters, too. You can set expectations for dress, decorum and behavior. I admire a blog where the host and guests maintain an admirable setting. Banning is almost always undesirable and comes off as heavy-handed. It's the equivalent of calling the cops at your own party. Something prior has gone wrong with your ability to set the tone. Spam is one thing; encouraging yahoos to attend is another. Similarly, I cast a skeptical eye at blogs like McBride's where comments are heavily moderated. Talk about your echo chambers. To think she finds it necessary to expend the tremendous extra personal effort and dedication to exclude opinions she doesn't like... such a lack of confidence and finesse. And the places that call their place a "blog" yet don't allow any comment at all! That thought drives me nuts. Gee, how hip and with-it you are to have a web site! They don't get it. (BTW, I see my parodies as performance art comedy, not blogs.)

Fred's blog management style truly puzzles me. He sets up a question before two cattle-chutes, often with bait at the end of each path. He knows he can expect his righties to march along and sing each other's praises in chorus into one chute, and then he hectors and complains if any dissenting view does not proceed down the other chute in the way he expected. Insulting half the guests every time they open their mouths? Gee, this is a wonderful party, Fred. The header on the invitation doesn't match the dance step, does it?

Of course, joining the comments on anyone's blog means you are volunteering to be subject to their rules, no matter how effortlessly cordial or inanely arbitrary. Of course, it's often entertaining to go where the noise is, no matter how ridiculous the rules or the costumes. I was banned from Texas Heb after just a few few posts. No insults, no swearing - I like to think I was zapped because my points ran circles around him. My ban from Boots and Sabers was capricious and the host thought it would be best to impugn my character on the way out, without any evidence of his claim, yet he's the only one who could present it. I politely await his apology and retraction. He'd make the same demand of anyone who did it to him.

Heh, I just showed him. Now, even if he doesn't join, he's got his own post.


  1. I am both Boots and Kittens, of course. I also polish their boots.

    Have I ever mentioned that my ban from Boots and Sabers is an IP block on my entire 32 static IP addresses allocated to my small-town ISP business? Yes, that means that ordinary non-superhumans can't even read Boots and Sabers, including my customers. When you visit, you get "Error Message / This site is currently unavailable." Sweet of them, no?

  2. If your customers have children, you could probably charge them extra for pre screening Mc Brides blog. Saw a recipe for barbequed Bucher or some such on Voila. Addicted to politics.