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
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.