I find it interesting that a number of bloggers have been echoing exactly the same sentiments I’ve been feeling about a site called Little Green Footballs.
I used to visit LGF regularly. It was a nice, well written blog by a chap called Charles Johnson. It was regularly updated with posts about coding, design, music, politics and humour.
That changed after September 11th. It became exclusively devoted to politics, specifically the middle east, with Charles becoming inreasingly more and more extreme in his views.
It was like watching a train wreck. More accurately, it was like having an old friend suddenly start quizing you on whether or not you wanted to let L. Ron Hubbard into your life.
Don’t get me wrong; it wasn’t simply that I didn’t agree with his political views. I’ll carry on reading James Lileks even though it’s clear we have fundamentally different viewpoints on just about every political issue.
The simple truth is that Little Green Footballs just isn’t that well written anymore. It’s no fun to go to a website and be bludgeoned over the head with extreme political views every day (whether those views be left or right wing).
The world view that is now presented there has become almost paranoid in its "us against them" mentality. To begin with, it was us against the terrorists. Fair enough. Then it became us against the terrorists and the Palistinians. Now it’s us against the terrorists, the Palistinians, Noam Chomsky, the Europeans, Colin Powell and Greenpeace… and after posting this, I could probably add my name to that list. Charles has a vision of an axis of evil that would make Dubya green with envy.
Every now and then, I’d go back to Little Green Footballs to see if there was any chance of it reverting to its former state. Unfortunately, LGF had begun to attract a very, very unsavoury crowd. Some of the people posting comments there make Charles seem like a liberal. Some of the comments are openly rascist. Reading through the comments is like being in the middle of a feeding frenzy of hate.
At some stage, I deleted the link to LGF from my bookmarks and tossed away the link to its RSS feed.
And you know what? It’s a shame. It’s a crying shame to see something that was once an expression of joy become a vehicle for hate.
The cruelest irony of all is that Little Green Footballs now suffers from the very thing that all this hatred is ultimately directed at: extreme fundamentalism.