Another writer I respect, Neale Talbot, weighs in on the saddening changes that have taken place over at Little Green Footballs. While Neale’s website stylesheets seem to be in the midst of a massive seizure, his analysis hits the mark, and helped me understand better the shift in attitudes that has allowed sites like LGF serve as magnets for blind hatred and vitriol against a single ethnic group. I’ve begun to wonder when people will start to take note and realize that fear, not logic, is driving much of the attitude shift. Will it be before we start to see waves of violence against people of Arabic descent in the U.S.? Before internment camps are set up? Or, like Neale asks, will people stand up against those who choose to generalize hatred for a few into oppression of many?

(Oh, and with Neale’s stylesheet issues, this is a good time to plug the CSS Stylesheet Browser, that’ll let you turn on or off any aspect of a stylesheet to make a page more readable.)

Comments and TrackBacks

Thanks for commenting on it, Jason… I’m almost as troubled by the lack of offense to the tenor of conversation there as I am by the comments that people leave. Why is everyone afraid to mention that they’re bothered?

Also, I want to point out that we shouldn’t tar all of LGF’s visitors with the same brush. I’ve had conversations with a good number of them, now, and some are offended by the extremists in their midst and either used to, or still do, call them out on it. The overall tone, though, is still overwhelmingly hostile towards groups that they see as undifferentiated masses of millions of people.

• Posted by: Anil on Sep 2, 2002, 8:37 PM

Trackback threading - “displays a tree display of an entire TrackBack-enabled discussion” [spotted on Robyn’s site who spotted it on

• Pinged by on Sep 3, 2002, 9:11 AM

Yeah, that’s important to remember — as you say, there are some reasonable voices at LGF, but they easily get lost among the spewing.

• Posted by: Jason on Sep 3, 2002, 11:34 AM

Charles would deny it, of course, but he’s descended into unadorned left-baiting. He’s just a few miles down the road from the exit to Crankville.

• Posted by: Dan Hartung on Sep 3, 2002, 10:42 PM

I had hoped that web design would lead one to a different outlook. Specifically because as a designer you have no standing in opposition to what the users of your web site want. What they want may not be moral or beautiful, but you have to give it to them. And you just do not care what their intent is. I’m sure this is true in other professions but web designers have had to make this adjustment in a particularly wrenching way.

And the continual yanking that a designer must have recieved both inside his own company and when he gets laid off ought to lessen his susceptibility to the kind of fantasies offered by anti-Muslims. i.e we’ll get Voice of America to tell the Muslim World about how great we are etc. It’s like saying they’ll understand us when Netscape 8 comes out and more of them get Broadband…

As I get older and in control of more and more, I find that I must deal and collaborate with many more people who differ with me just to get what I need and make it through the day. Could this be why so many Randians are so young? Everything little looks like individual achievement.

• Posted by: Eric Mauro on Sep 5, 2002, 1:18 AM

Eric, I have to admit that I don’t understand most of what you wrote. Most importantly, though, I think it’s pretty ludicrous to say that I have to let people use my personal site however they want — it’s my personal site, and as a consequence, it’s my choice what happens with it, and how far into lunacy I let people go. Do I have to let people post entire tracts of copyrighted works here? (The law says no.) Likewise, do I have to let people spout off racist epithets and wishes of genocide? My moral compass says no. It’s my forum, I’m the moderator.

And lastly, please don’t post here with fake email addresses that are in real domains — it’s not fair to the real owners of the domains, who you’ve now shunted any and all unsolicited email to. If you’re concerned about spam, then you might want to take your own email address off of the home page that’s linked to your comment here — spambots will follow that link and grab your real email address as easily as they might grab any fake one that you provide. And lastly, if you must use a fake one, there are three domains that are explicitly set aside for sample code and whatnot, and don’t lead anywhere —, .net, and .org.

• Posted by: Jason on Sep 5, 2002, 6:40 AM

For instance if I’m a designer, I have to recognize that the user’s operation of my website is only one tiny portion of what they do all day. I can’t wait for the user’s technological norms to catch up to what I want to serve him/her.

So in developing opinions about American foreign policy, specifically with regard to the Islamic peoples, it makes sense that such a person would understand that the Muslim world are only using the US for certain things, and specifically NOT their religion or culture. If we want the Muslim world to perform a certain way in their interaction with the US, it’s counterproductive to wait for their cultural norms to conform.

The designer has to develop a sophisticated mechanism to achieve this, as a product developer. It doesn’t matter if your user is a serial killer, as long as they can find what their looking for on the site you build for Ginsu. The US’s political position in the world is a product we are trying to sell. We need to make it easy for people to buy the product, not run them through a cultural barometer before they get the chance.

Thanks for the tips on the fake domains.

• Posted by: Eric Mauro on Sep 5, 2002, 12:17 PM
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