Sunday, October 11, 2009

Let A Hundred Flowers Bloom

A note to readers: About 90% of my readership comes from cross posting on a web site called It is a site that invites readers of all persuasions to rant about what troubles them and to rave about what pleases them. I am considered to be on the right of the rantrave spectrum. Just recently, a very liberal writer, who goes by the name Hey Noni Noni announced his despair of making a difference and his intention to cease posting articles. I felt his withdrawal was ill advised, that a good debate will draw attention to both sides. I posted the following appeal to Hey noni Noni on I hope that my readers will check out the site, as well as some of the profiles of its contributors.


It is very seldom, if ever that I agree with fellow Rantraver Hey Noni Noni ! We probably agree on two or three things such as 1) Hitler was bad, 2)Homeless puppies deserve a loving home and 3) How can you say that Columbus discovered America if he found Indians here?

Beyond that, we are polar opposites. Despite this, I am asking that he not withdraw from the Rantrave forum.

It is absolutely true that the chance of Hey Noni Noni turning me over to his opinion is about as great as training a penguin to be a ballerina. It is far more likely that shifts in opinion on the ideological fringes of will be maddeningly, glacially slow.

If I were politically ruthless, I would be happy at the silencing of any Obama loving, granola munching commie pinko. But I do not feel that way. We are not only trying to win each other over, we are also playing to an audience. Some will be sitting on the fence. Some are partisans like we are. But in the unseen audience of rantravers, some minds will be changed. We may never know whose lives we have touched.

In my family, there are countless dinner table conversations leading up to an election. Long distance phone calls are made. In my mother's family, an argument about Joe McCarthy back in the 50's was broken up by the police. I am proud to be descended from people who care so much about their country as my mother's fractious family does. I think it's wonderful that they came to America's blessed shores, because if they had stayed in Europe, they probably would have shot each other.

Even if we disagree, it is a lot more interesting if you have an ant farm full of red ants and black ants chomping on each other. People are not attracted by consensus. They like to see ideas tested and proven in an adversarial forum.

I am not only speaking to Hey Noni Noni, but to anyone who wants to drop out of the brawl. You never know who you will influence. Some of us are players. A lot more of us are spectators. Some out there are rooting for your team. Some are rooting for my team. At the end of the day, the audience has the final say.

I will continue to put forth my opinions, which are repudiated by at least half of my own family. (I still love them.) At the back of my mind I hope that one day, Hey Noni Noni will get so mad that he will say "I can't take it anymore! I have to give Rudi Stettner a piece of my mind. It is highly unlikely that you will succeed with me, but you will probably win over someone in the audience. Keep fighting the good fight. At least you care.


So you won't despair totally, I have included a video to go with my dancing penguin metaphor. The singer is Evin Aghassi, and he is singing in Assyrian, which is also known as Aramaic.

Assyrian Dancing Penguins Sphere: Related Content

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