What A Difference 39 Years Makes
Thank God I didn't go and nerd up the YearlyKos convention. Drik Hertzberg, who ranks fairly high on the Poindexter Scale himself, is surprised that he can tell the difference between YearlyKos and, say, ComicCon:
I admit that I was expecting this crowd to look weirder. Not hippie weirder, though I did expect a bit of that, but nerdy weirder. So I was surprised at how extraordinarily normal everyone looked. The left, if I may use that radioactive word, sure has changed since "my day," i.e., the nineteen-sixties and early seventies. The equivalent of the liberal blogosphere back then was the "underground press," the anarchic collection of weekly and irregularly published quasi-newspapers and para-magazines that served as bulletin boards and primal-scream outlets for the counterculture and the various antiwar and "liberation" movements.
I get the impression that Drik doesn't actually spend much time reading liberal blogs (though he claims he regularly reads some of the more establishment libs), which contain plenty of biographical information, personal anecdotes and photographs of their authors (present company excepted). He'd have been much less surprised had he pictured an alumni reunion or a convention of Cat Fancy readers instead of D&D dorks or tech-geeks.
Back in the day, chicks used to disrobe while Rik stuck it to The Man. But yesterday's gone.
No one naked around here. No chaos at YearlyKos. No "sweet smell of marijuana," as the straight papers used to refer to it. No demands for revolution. No denunciations of bourgeois democracy.
And women speakers, too; not just "groupies" and "camp followers."
I fear Hertzberg might feel more at home on a National Review cruise. He could even smoke a bowl with Bill Buckley and Rick Brookheiser.