XANGA, WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU? AND WHY AM I LETTING YOU TURN ME INTO A HOMICIDAL MANIAC?
I joined Xanga back in 2004 when dinosaurs roamed the earth and Dan the Theologian didn’t exist (well, technically, I’m sure he existed as a person, but he hadn’t yet become the Justin Beiber of the blogosphere.) It was a lovely time. There were flowers in the meadow, birds sang a happy tune, and everyone on Xanga held hands and sang “Kum-ba-yah.” I had many friends here; wonderful, snarky, smart, irreverent people who were pleasant and funny and a joy to converse with. Xanga made me happy.
I primarily posted silly stuff about topics as diverse as ass acne, midget strippers, and why “Kum-and-Go” is the worst name for a convenience store chain ever. I approached these subjects with all of the maturity and decorum one would expect from any group of 13 year old males in a locker room. I did post often about politics and religion but it was always in a humorous vein with just enough bite to make a point without being (overly) offensive.
I realize I’m a weird duck when it comes to politics and religion. I am a former Southern Baptist Pastor who graduated from Bible College and Seminary. I was the ultimate hard-core Republican. I made Rush Limbaugh look like a Marxist. I was in the ministry full time for many years, but as the years rolled by I slowly began to realize that many of the things I believed in simply didn’t hold water (at least for me.) One day, as I was walking down the Damascus Road, Al Franken appeared to me in a vision and ask me why I was persecuting Democrats. That was my conversion moment. I left full time ministry and made my way in the business world. I joined the Disciples of Christ denomination and took a part time job as the Pastor for Worship and Arts at a small church here in Tulsa. We are one very small step away from being Unitarians. I’m now a Universalist when it comes to my religious philosophy and I’ve gone from being a hard-core Republican to being a Democrat so liberal that I make Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid uncomfortable.
In the business world I deal a lot with churches. One day a customer of mine found my Xanga blog. He laughed about my postings but it scared me to death. I don’t know why this hadn’t occured to me, but I realized that any of my customers could find out how much of a whack-job liberal I was and that it could seriously affect my business. I changed the name of my blog, went through and eliminated all references to my real name, and took a 3 1/2 year hiatus.
Almost no one (not even most of my church members) know my political and religious philosophies. In real life I keep those things entirely to myself. I live in Oklahoma, the land of Jim Inhofe, the “Personhood Amendment,” and open carry laws. It’s actually dangerous sometimes to admit you’re a Democrat in this state. If you’re not careful it can get you pulled into a back alley and gang raped by a bunch of red-neck good ole’ boys, who are denying their latent homosexuality.
I never mention politics or religion on Facebook and after 3 1/2 years I was dying for an outlet to voice my baby-killin, tree-huggin, homo-lovin views...
...so I came back to Xanga, and it is NOT the same place I left.
All but a very small handful of my former friends have left. Xanga now seems to be a place of unrelenting drama overrun with 20 somethings who are convinced they have the world completely figured out. I made the mistake of surfing by Revelife (which I didn’t know existed.) I thought, “I wonder if they would actually publish a post from someone with my views?” To their credit, they did, but holy-shit-Batman, the crazies come out.
I was dumfounded by the level of hostility I was the target of, and to be as honest as I know how to be, I did not respond well. The angrier my commenters became the angrier I became. I allowed myself to believe that their hostility justified my hostility and I found myself leaving comments on various sites that I was later mortified by.
There are people on Xanga who are nothing more than pot-stirrers like Prisonerxofxlove. Obviously they revel in driving people like me insane and they do a very good job of it. However, there are people like Dan the Theologian who have their viewpoints but are generally not acerbic about them.
I had a really bad day a couple of days ago. I signed on to Facebook and read through scores of posts about how all of us Democrats want to force everyone in the country to be gay, stand in line for toilet paper, and provide free crack to everyone on welfare. I can’t say anything on Facebook so I signed on to Xanga and the first post I clicked on was Dan’s post about re-distributing Michael Phelp’s gold medals to Canada. I went completely ape-shit and fired off a comment wishing death, destruction, and anal warts to him and everyone he has ever come in contact with. We went a few rounds on my site and then I slammed down the computer and stormed off to have a glass of wine or seven and calm down. I came back the next day and read what I written on his site and I’ve never been so embarrassed in my life. I deleted my comment and our exchange on my site and sat with my head in hands wondering how I had allowed myself to become exactly what I despise in others.
So...I’m taking a big chill pill. I’m going to avoid sites that I know will cause me anger management issues and I’m going to go back and start posting about relevant issues like ass acne. I may post something political or religious on occasion, but if you disagree with me please keep your comments civil and I promise to do the same.
If not, I’m coming after you with my group of ass-raping red neck buddies. They don’t know I’m a Democrat.