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June 25, 2013

Fear and Loathing at the Netroots Conventions

Liquid courage, my friends.

A pair of reporters from the Free Beacon infiltrated the convention. These are their stories of mystery and terror.

“When I think about the polar bears, I cry,” the young Netroots attendee sitting at the table next to us told his friend as he chowed down on a club sandwich.

Artist's depiction


I ran into Jon Carson, executive director of Organizing for Action.

“Oh, how about that?” Carson said when I introduced myself as a reporter for the Free Beacon. Then he artfully dodged my question about how he squares working for a 501(c)(4) organization closely aligned with the president.

“We’re focused on issues and advocacy,” said Carson, whose email address ends in “@barackobama.com.”

“There’s been (c)(4)s around a long time focusing on issues across the spectrum, and there’s nothing new about that at all.”

Translation of text:
"The Soviet Union is a 501(c)4 corporation!"


Then I found myself at a panel titled: “Free your Ass: Defining and Creating a Progressive Sexual Culture.”

Panelist Favianna Rodriguez, a new media artist, talked about her explorations into polyamory and kink.

“I’ll close it out with this image I created of an awesome sex party I went to,” Rodriguez said...

This just in from my penis: Nah bro

...displaying one of her paintings.

It was full of psychedelic colors and an arrangement of Picasso-style figures entangled in various sex acts. Kind of like Guernica, but with erections.

The loftiest purpose of art is to fill the viewer with a sense
of superiority that says, "I could do better than that with my feet"


A booth of artwork featured such revolutionary sloganeering as “Bradley Manning: Hero” and “Politicians off my poontang!”

Incidentally, the Netroots convention was almost completely white. Slightly less white than it had been in past years, because they made an effort to not have panels stocked floor to ceiling with white men. As had been the case in past years.

But still very, very white.

The panel also addressed the overwhelming pastiness of the confab.

“I want to touch on the lack of diversity at Netroots Nation,” one black audience member said to applause and nods of approval.

“It used to be worse,” Contee said. “That’s no defense, but I’m just saying it used to be much, much worse.”

It was whiter than this in years past?
How could that be?
Were there Yeti?

Netroots organizers go to great pains to overcome the pasty patriarchy. They don’t allow panels with only white males, according to one blog.

The convention made pains to correct its previous cis-sexual normativity.

I don't know what that means either. But it has something to do with this:

Netroots also included several gender-neutral bathrooms and gave attendees tips on transgender etiquette.

“Please do not assume anyone’s gender, even people you may have met in the past,” advises the Netroots official program. “A person’s external appearance may not match their internal gender identity. Pay attention to a person’s purposeful gender expression.”

One little appendix to this story. I was curious about Netroots Nation's status as far as the IRS. I assume "Netroots Nation" is the same operation depicted here.

So I checked their website.

The article describes nothing except hardcore political activism, including never-ending tributes to unions and organizing for grassroots activism on behalf of the Democratic Party. In fact, some partygoers expressed their desire to turn the Netroots into the liberal Tea Party, so as to influence the Democratic Party more.

I didn't excerpt that kind of stuff because, while important, it's not sweet like Polar Bear Tears.

But at the bottom of Netroots Nation's website:

Netroots Nation is a 501(c)4 corporation.

I guess the IRS didn't see any flags here.

digg this
posted by Ace at 03:27 PM

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