The Flounce


Don’t get me wrong: when someone changes their mind about an issue
and explains why, it can be very interesting. And I’m all for it. And
when someone—I won’t name names—says “how the fuck could I have
supported these idiots who drove the country into a ditch”, I think
that’s great.

But why would anyone feel the need to announce
to the world that they no longer feel like part of the left on account
of the fact that some lefty bloggers aren’t sufficiently supportive of

Other than blatant link-baiting, you mean?

Seriously, it’s a shriek for attention, that’s all it is. This happens all the frigging time in fandom-Internet-world, where someone declares that he or she simply can’t take it anymore and the pain is too much and people are just so OMG MEEN and it didn’t used to be like this! Things used to be perfect! Everyone used to be nice! There was once a place where people were perfect and no one disagreed! And off the aggrieved party will flounce, leaving presumably heartbroken fellow fans yearning for the beloved’s return.

The problem with flouncing, of course, is that it only gets you attention temporarily. You get lots of petting, told you’re indispensable, begged not to go. Wailings are posted about how without you the community/message board/blog/journal is nothing, and this is a sign of the apocalypse, that someone like YOU could be driven out. Once you’ve flounced, though, eventually the moaning over your departure ceases. Everybody gets back to work. People might think it’s a shame you’re not there anymore, but they don’t stop their lives for you most of the time.

Which is usually when the flouncer flounces right back into the group he or she left so dramatically. Sometimes it’s with a declaration that the aggrieved party just won’t let the bastards win, or an attempt to blame the return on the overwhelming requests of unnamed persons who just can’t stand to see anyone so talented/special/beautiful/unique leave. But most often the flouncer just shows back up and resumes arguing with everybody he or she was arguing with before. So it’s just a lot of fuss over nothing.

That is, of course, assuming people do beg the flouncer to come back and try to placate him or her, and don’t respond the way my mother responded whenever I threatened to run away as a child: “Go on, then. I’ll miss you.”

For what it’s worth, I don’t have a problem with anybody quitting “the Left” over dissatisfaction with Obama’s first year in office, or over health care, or over the color of the brochure for the Welcome Comrades Dinner or whatever the fuck they want to leave “the Left” over. You shouldn’t identify with any political movement you don’t want to be seen at parties with. Just don’t expect the rest of the Internet to drape itself in black and mourn your departure. Leave something because you want to be gone, not because you’re really secretly hoping we’ll all talk you out of it.


8 thoughts on “The Flounce

  1. There are some complaints that wouldn’t make much sense in any case.
    I quip with Blue Girl Red State on occasion…I even have a spot on the group blog she finally set up at They Gave Us a Republic so the content was still there when she couldn’t post for whatever reason. The lady thinks she is a ‘lefty’ : and in the dysfunctional world where definitions mean nothing except what the Noise Machine has declared the current abuse of language to be thus and so…she may well be correct.
    But I also read Anarchist bloggers on occasion. No way wimpy apologists who can’t understand how people can be so pig headed as a matter of policy…sorry that should be tactics…will understand that Obama is no ‘leftist’.
    Not in any hurry, anyway.
    Changing targeting of the American War Machine from Iraq to AkPak isn’t leftist…or even centrist. It’s just more of the same that caused Vietnam in the day and weapons making as the national pastime up to the present.
    But not sufficiently supportive of Obama?
    We should know the nature of that complaint by now : and it’s not wimpiness. It’s Rovian spin and psyops perverting public discourse into circles that go nowhere. The 101st Fighting Keyboarders have their orders : Hail to the Chief !
    Piss off.
    The quip that caught my eye after I realized he was salaaming to AIPAC and the lobbyists seemed about right : Where is the progress in exchanging a white skunk with black stripes for a black skunk with white stripes?
    Pay attention. There will be a test.
    ( Or just troll over to Media Matters. Some are not fooled by guile. )

  2. A, you hit it spot on with internet attention whores. They’ve been at it since forever (in internet years), but rarely have their tactics been so lovingly exposed.

  3. In one of the communities I used to frequent, the huff was a highly-developed art form. Eventually the drama queening called forth a standard response: “S/he was a pig. S/he will not be missed.”

  4. Andrew Sullivan is leaving the Left? As. If. Anyway, as the Prophet said, “Don’t let the door hitcha where the Good Lord splitcha.”
    Cripes, Sully isn’t even a real PUMA, even.

  5. I know there is a role for the uberliberal in politics, and goddess knows I’d never be one because I don’t have that kind of single focused energy. I’m glad some do. They keep the rest of us chronic liberals from the 60s alert. 😉

  6. No minusp, Andrew Sullivan is leaving theright. It seems that his doing so prompted a number of lefty imitators . . . or at least shed light on lefties doing the same thing . . . or what they felt was the same thing.

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