Tammy's brand of weblogging has stirred the ire of many people, including other webloggers in the ORBlogs community. Among these is Alan at Blue Hole. For several weeks, he's exercised a campaign of Dishpan-mockery including a Dishpan parody contest (which nobody entered).
Regular readers know that I strongly disapprove of most of Tammy's beliefs and ideas. But, I believe she deserves to be heard. I'm arguing the point on Alan's site. Here are excerpts:
Let me say a few words about Dishpan Dribble. I fully support free speech. I'm a librarian, and part of my code of ethics is access to information for all, but I am also charged with the goal of getting people to evaluate information for reliability.
Tammy is a bigot with a following, and they are the worst kind. Her poor writing, thoughts, and every minutiae are praised by the sheep in her flock. Why? What's the appeal?
Fundamentalist Christianity (or any fundamentalism) is a crutch; it's for people who are unable and/or unwilling to think for themselves. They quote Bible, Koran, or other verses as justification for their beliefs. They have selective ethics: love your neighbor, but don't let them love each other enough to get married.
Not all of Tammy's readers agree with her. In fact, some of us find her views abhorrent. But that doesn't mean we need to stoop to mocking her or that we think she shouldn't be allowed to say what she thinks.
p.s. All religion is a crutch, not just fundamentalism.
Just out of curiosity, if you're a fan of Dishpan Dribble, yet you think religion, organized or other is a crutch, then what was the appeal of the site? Was it the poor writing, the "just folks" mentality, or was it the stories of children barfing and pooping? Please help me to understand.
I'm not the best subject ask regarding the appeal of Tammy's weblog. I am her cousin. I host her site. A lot of her stories, especially those of her childhood, awaken deep nostalgia within me. Bu that's because I know the people and the places about which she writes. (And I agree: her spelling and grammar is often terrible, but so what? So are the spelling and grammar of many webloggers. I write a hell of a lot, have an English minor, and I'm always making bone-head typos. (I won't call them spelling mistakes, because I know the mistakes are mistakes when I see them.))
On the other hand, I am an atheist. I tend to be liberal where Tammy is conservative. I'm infuriated by her willingness to just close her ears and go "nanananana" when she has been outreasoned or when facts get in the way of belief. It drives me nuts. But it's her right to do it, at least in her weblog. (When she and her ilk start promoting crap like Measure 36, that crosses the line, though. Belief and Action are two very different things.)
What's the appeal of Tammy's site? I can't say for other people, but aside from the deep nostalgia, I *do* like the stories of kids barfing and pooping, believe it or not. They're no different than from the stories I hear my other friends tell face-to-face. Everyone my age talks about kids. It gets tedious, no doubt, but that's where they are in life.
One appeal of Tammy's site is that she represents a voice seldom heard on the internet, especially in the weblogging world. Yes, I know, there are many conservative webloggers, some quite famous, but a majority of the weblogging world, especially in Oregon, is peopled by like-minded liberalesque, educated young men. Tammy is an aging conservative, more-emotional-than-educated woman. Her voice is vastly different than any of the others I read. As much as I admire the work of pioneers like Jason Kottke, Anil Dash, and especially Matt Haughey, their weblogs are homogenous. Worse, a vast majority of lesser weblogs are nothing more than pale imitations of these big names.
Amidst this sea of sameness, Tammy's voice is different. It may not be a voice with which I agree, but it's a voice I want to hear. And it saddens me that she feels oppressed by you — and others — to the point that she wants to give up weblogging.
Rather than deal with Tammy through sophomoric mockery, why not join us in the ever-frustrating attempts to reason with her. Sure, they never get anywhere, and all parties end up pulling their hair out, but these types of confrontations are not personal, are not spiteful. If you really think Tammy is wrong, convert her through example, don't cow her into submission.
There have been several times I wanted to pull one of Tammy's posts, because I didn't want others to think that by hosting her I was condoning her beliefs. But ultimately I could not do that. It would have been just as immoral as her posts.
In short: Tammy's voice is different. Though I disagree with her, I believe she deserves to be heard.
Should a bigot be allowed to keep a weblog? Is it worth mocking somebody because they write of their children barfing and pooping? (A-list webloggers like Dooce do it, too, but I'm more interested in reading similar entries from my friends, like Lisa, or Tammy.)
Of course a bigot should be allowed to keep a weblog. Anyone should.
I believe weblogging is a medium for the future. It's publishing for the masses. It's not just about technology, not just about politics, not just about gadgets, or sports, or movies, or comic books. It's not about any one thing.
Weblogging is all of this, and more. It's everything. It's personal publishing. It's for everyone.
On this day at foldedspace.org
2003 — Landscape Photography In which our trip to Crater Lake teaches me a lot about landscape photography.