Friday, February 08, 2008

Are There Any Lines Left to Cross?

Back at the time of the Virginia Tech shootings, I asked for people to pause a moment and feel the absence before using the deaths for political gain.

Yesterday evening, a gunman in a St. Louis suburb shot the mayor and several others. He was a vocal gadfly in local politics, known for strong and strident criticism of the mayor and other officials.

This afternoon, Tony's Kansas City, a local strong and strident critic of the mayor and other officials, has a headline at the top of his page in bold letters: "Local Mayors SHOOT DOWN Funkhouser's regional light rail plan!!!". The capitalization was supplied by the original.

What is the line between a humor site and a hate site?

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28 Comments:

Blogger twominutehate said...

I'm sorry, but I'm not going to shed any mutual tears with you. I agree with your point, but one day you hate Tony, the next day you love the little scamp. How about making up your mind? How about not promoting his stupid site?

2/08/2008 6:47 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

It's been a while since I've loved the little scamp. He's descended into madness, and he's become more boring than he ever was.

It amuses me that he's so excited about Tess Koppelman's interview - she contacted me, but I politely refused.

2/08/2008 6:51 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

I think Tony's use of words reflected poor judgement. It's not the first time I've thought that.

But I wouldn't consider TKC a "hate site".

2/08/2008 8:03 PM  
Blogger thepaintman said...

Tony will say anything for "the story".

Once people respond to his headlines like yourself, he got you.

Thats why Tony went to UMKC.

2/08/2008 9:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't even link the two until you pointed it out. But, now that you mention it, it is poor taste, but I wouldn't consider it a hate site by any means.

He's descended into madness, and he's become more boring than he ever was.

You may have the madness right, but you are completely wrong on boring. His site is 10X as interesting than yours.

2/08/2008 10:54 PM  
Anonymous Sleeping Bear said...

Tony has a self serving view of his world as well as Dan. I admit, Tony's is a lot more fun to read. Dan is usually pretty boring, and I have yet to understand his loyalty to politics when in the end it doesn't matter how much he can give to someone's campaign. His voice really doesn't count because so many others (business, corporations) gave so much more. That's what it boils down to, doesn't it. But Dan thinks he is doing the community a favor with his imagined influence, so, let it be.

I prefer he concentrate on the more human aspects he has posted. His political posts are 1/10th% a dozen. But that is what he wants to say, so, let it be.

His fat Squirrels eating pizza still cracks me up.

2/08/2008 11:37 PM  
Anonymous Brent said...

I'm a little embarrassed for you at the amount of space you give Tony's blog here. Tony's blog is what it is...It's neither a legitimate political blog, or necessarily good at humor. But he gets people talking -- which is his goal.

And he's worked you over like a charm.

2/08/2008 11:47 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Brent -

I know Tony's game quite well, and have had several email conversations about it. He views it as performance art, but the human dimensions of what he is doing need to be addressed from time to time. Sure, you, Tony and I know it is just a social experiment, sound and fury signifying nothing, but it has become an unrelenting attack machine, and stirs up the crazies. Perhaps Tony isn't quite as far gone as the guy in Kirkwood, but I'm not sure about some of the commenters there, or some of the people who post at PrimeBuzz. Seriously, that much hatred and bitterness is bad for all concerned.

You are entirely correct that when I post about Tony, I feed into the buzz he lives for. That's why I refuse to comment on his blog anymore. But, from time to time, someone needs to speak up and alert people that it's not all gully fun. When he starts making light of shooting mayors, decent people must assert some higher standards.

2/09/2008 1:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

His fat Squirrels eating pizza still cracks me up.

I agree, I think you need more flying squirrel posts. That s**t was funny.

2/09/2008 8:41 AM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

He's really a pathetic little creature. You should feel sorry for him. He's going to spend the rest of the year trying to live up to his bragging rights by getting those recall petitions signed by people legally able to do so. Hell, he'll grow old before he does and his momma will be kicking his ass every day for not getting the job done. It's really pretty funny when you think about it.

2/09/2008 12:05 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Anonymous 10:54 & Sleeping Bear - "Boring" is inherently a matter of taste. Indeed, there was a time when I would have found my current site terribly boring, and Tony's interesting. It depends on what you're in to.

Brent - If devotion of space is the goal, I think I whupped Tony at his own game. My modest little post of 120 words earned me 686 words of attention from him, plus he mentioned me in the title, while I didn't give him that satisfaction.

On the other hand, when you consider that I get a lot more traffic at my site than he does at his, it probably works out about even.

Of course, that's not a game I would choose to play, but, if I did, it's nice to know I'm better at it anyhow.

2/09/2008 5:44 PM  
Anonymous Carlito of KC said...

Dan, sorry dude. There's no way you get more traffic than TKC. And he totally destroyed you in his post and made you seem really pathetic. I read both your blogs and it seems like you post about him way more than he mentions you.

2/09/2008 8:18 PM  
Anonymous porchpundit said...

Dan,

Give it up Dan. If I want to know what Funkhouser wants me to know I read Funk's Front Porch.

You could have been more as a blogger, but instead you have chosen to be a hand puppet -- controlled by Dr. Sausagefinger's amateur nurse.

It is an ugly thing to try to tie a competitor to violent death. You crossed the line Dan.

2/09/2008 9:02 PM  
Anonymous Sleeping Bear said...

"Anonymous 10:54 & Sleeping Bear - "Boring" is inherently a matter of taste. Indeed, there was a time when I would have found my current site terribly boring, and Tony's interesting".

So what changed you, Dan? Age? Money?

I am in the midst of the most incredible political bull shit ever imagined, but it is still boring.

It's not what life is about.

2/09/2008 11:43 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Carlito -

I'm guessing you don't know much about site traffic, and that's fine. But you shouldn't write about what you don't know about. As for Tony making me look pathetic, perhaps that's more in your zone of knowledge, but I'm feeling alright.

Porchpundit -

"You could have been more as a contender . . ." Indeed. I coulda bin a contendah. The pain of my lost opportunities to write a blog I enjoy on topics that interest me presenting perspectives that engage thousands of people gnaws at my heart and makes me sad and bitter while I'm writing a blog I enjoy on topics that interest me presenting perspectives that engage thousands of people. If only I had followed your path . . .

Sleeping Bear -

You raise really interesting questions. Why is analysis viewed as more boring than name-calling to some people? Why is UFC so much more fun to watch than chess? Why have I changed as I've aged? Why has my blog has changed so much since I started it almost 5 years ago? Much to think about on a Sunday morning . . .

2/10/2008 9:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm guessing you don't know much about site traffic, and that's fine

Dan, I think you are the one that doesn't know much about site traffic. TKC totally kicks your sites ass.

http://siteanalytics.compete.com/tonyskansascity.com+gonemild.com/?metric=uv

Now before you get all huffy and make a pithy comment about how I don't know X,Y or Z. Just because yours is smaller, doesn't mean it's not just as good. Size doesn't matter and we should all be proud of what we have.

2/10/2008 9:35 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Anonymous -

I know a lot more about my traffic than that site does! I can promise you that both of us get more traffic than the 13,000 they claim Tony gets. By a long shot.

(Bloggers talking about site traffic is awfully reminiscent of junior high schoolers talking about penis size, isn't it? If they were truly secure about it, they'd have something else to talk about . . .)

2/10/2008 9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I read both your blogs and it seems like you post about him way more than he mentions you." - Carlito

Really? I thought it was opposite. So I looked back at last month, and Tony's mancrush on Dan resulted in 3 posts compared to 2. Same score in December.

2/10/2008 12:39 PM  
Anonymous Susan said...

My poor blogger.. you are up in arms over Tony? You did not see the disbelief in the eyes of your fellow citizens when the mayor chose a Minuteman for the Parks Board. This group does espouse taking action into their own hands by patrolling the southern border with long arms. TKC puts out a crass headline, like the one where the baby is slaughtered and you say nothing. But post a crass line about the mayor and "zing!", there you are!
Gone mild? When were you ever strong?

2/10/2008 1:56 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Live in the past much, Susie Q? You should pay more attention - Funk didn't know about the Minutemen, and Semler resigned. And, if you had a good memory, you'd remember that I disagreed with the Semler appointment.

2/10/2008 2:19 PM  
Anonymous Susan said...

Pardon me but my name is Susan. And you were a LONG time coming to say Semler was a bad choice. Mark was advised by staff, fellow council members and supporters about Semler before he announced his appointment. This is irrefutable. My mind and memory are crystal clear, the mindset in the mayor's office is muddied.

2/10/2008 3:11 PM  
Blogger whistleblower said...

Susan...

I hate to interfere with the GoneMild v. TKC debate, but I must ask for clarification.

What do you find so horrible about citizens of this country enforcing the laws that the government has failed to enforce?

I'm not talking about the actions of some members of the Minutemen, I'm talking about agreeing with the professed mission statement of the Minutemen. A mission statement, that to my knowledge, is the only function of the group that Semler has agreed with.

You may not know it, but we had laws long before we had police departments. We had people protecting others long before we had any kind of organized public safety system.

There is a big difference between assisting in the enforcement of laws, and vigilante justice. Even in the “wild west”, citizens would bring violators of the law to the Sheriff.

Where do you think the origins of citizen's arrest comes from?

What evidence do you have that would encourage me to believe that Frances Semler wanted anything more than to help secure our borders, in accordance with properly established laws?

What form of prejudice do you preach? How many members of the Minutemen do you know?

2/10/2008 4:22 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Sue -

Your clear mind might want to go back and read my post from 6/14, the Thursday following the Monday on which Mark made the appointment. And you also might want to go back and refresh your recollection of the advice Mark received regarding Semler.

It might also help your "crystal clear" mind to know that I'm not in the mayor's office.

2/10/2008 4:41 PM  
Blogger whistleblower said...

Dan...

The term gadlfy; it has multiple meanings.

Gadfly is a term for people who upset the status quo by posing upsetting or novel questions, or attempt to stimulate innovation by proving an irritant.

It is important to note that in modern politics, gadfly is a demeaning term that is used to refer to folks who constantly complain about the political system just to hear themselves complain.

Which description best describes your intended meaning?

2/10/2008 8:12 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

I meant it to as a pain in the ass who complains often and loudly. I realize such people are occasionally correct, but they are usually just pains in the ass. And occasionally they snap and hurt people.

2/10/2008 10:09 PM  
Anonymous Sleeping Bear said...

"You raise really interesting questions. Why is analysis viewed as more boring than name-calling to some people? Why is UFC so much more fun to watch than chess? Why have I changed as I've aged? Why has my blog has changed so much since I started it almost 5 years ago? Much to think about on a Sunday morning . . ."

Good.

Look back to what use to make you very content and happy. That is Dan. Find that again. Politics is a bunch of crap.

Go fish for some trout. (be careful of what you eat, though.... from experience...)

Everyone changes as they age, but that doesn't mean you have to loose site of that to the ugly world of politics as your blog indicates.

Is Chess exciting to watch, really?

I have only been to Tony's site about 4 times. But it is more fun and mainstream. Your's is pretty stuffed shirt, but with some diversions that I do enjoy.

2/11/2008 12:19 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Sleeping Bear -

Thanks for the feedback on what you find interesting. I don't entirely agree that the real me was better represented years ago, nor that politics is crap. But I hear what you're saying, and I do agree that I've been over-focused on local politics.

2/11/2008 5:43 AM  
Blogger mamagotcha said...

I find it to be more work to process Dan's posts... I have to invest some time and follow lines of reason and question my knee-jerk responses. I rarely visit Tony's site anymore... too much flash and glitter and snark and lust.

It's sort of like comparing meals from Winstead's and bluestem... both local favorites with devoted followers, the first might be faster, cheaper, consistent and more convenient, but the latter will always serve you something complex, sometimes challenging, always carefully prepared and once in a while truly transcendent.

I cannot always devour all of Colby's... or Dan's... creations, but I can easily appreciate the passion, effort and thought behind them. And when I indulge in those hot, salty fries... or TKC's posts... once in a blue moon, I always feel sort of greasy and nasty afterwards, and I remember why I rarely go there.

I guess it all boils down to a matter of taste. Some folks thrive on fast food fare, and others crave the deeper, more adventurous experience.

I also happen to believe one is much more nutritious than the other, but I'm getting hungry now and it's time to wrap up this comment before I drool on the keyboard...

2/15/2008 9:36 PM  

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