Sunday, February 25, 2007

McEnroe’s Keyboard Cowboys

Voices Are Raised And Reps Are Made
On The Freewheeling Frontier Of The Blogosphere

Hartford Courant
February 25 2007

On a lovely autumn night in 2005, Lowell P. Weicker Jr. and I sat on a stage in a pretty little white Old Lyme church. We were having a public conversation about the war in Iraq and other issues of the day, an event sponsored by a latter-day Deaniac group down there in those river towns.

There was a man in the back who didn't fit. I spotted him right away, because in my line of work you learn to look for the cranks. He wasn't dressed like the madras-and-blazer shoreline crowd. He appeared to be in his fifties, leaned on a cane, wore a sour expression I could see even from a distance.

And yes, predictably he asked a bristling, aggressive, slightly awkward question. I can't remember what it was now.

After the show, he hobbled up to me outside. He had fired up a cigarette. He wanted to talk about Joe Lieberman, and he mentioned a website called Dump Joe. He said he knew "Kos." He said it the way you might say you know Bono or Katie. Maybe I knew him by his handle, he said. CTKeith.

Hah, I thought. Blogger! And I mentally marginalized him. Crank. Social leper. Gadfly. Fanatic.

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