How do you tell Obots from the denizens of Rumproast? The question occurred to me this afternoon as a Rumpster snarked at me that I had called him/her an Obot. Not true. Or is the Obot part of it true? I have always thought of Rumpsters and Obots as distinct critters, but now that it has been brought to my attention, there could very well be a bit of overlap. Here then is the story of how I discovered the Obots and the eightfold path of Rumproast.
I first became aware of the bots reading straight news. It’s no secret that my first love is the Middle East. I subscribe to several international type feeds as well as the major U.S news feeds, as a feedreader lets you scan a lot of headlines quickly without trying to google all the websites. If you read just one news source, you won’t find out the truth–you have to read several.
And what I found in scanning the national news stories was literally armies of very obnoxious people posting hate comments at the end of the straight news pieces. The same comments over and over on one news service after another. I was appalled at their hatred towards women and the vulgarness with which they approached sexuality. It was clearly organized. At the same time I discovered a few individuals trying to hold back the tide of misogyny who signed their names with Puma. They had all discovered the Obots individually, but they blogged together collectively at PumaPAC.org. They were the only ones actually trying to do something about the iron-my-shirt kind of ugliness and hatred directed against any and all women in the public sphere regardless of their political affiliation.
Who knows what direction this blog might have taken if I hadn’t seen the Obots. I might have reread Biden’s plan for dividing Iraq and commented on it. I might have had time to write about some amazing detail about the Palestinian state I came across in a book about something else. I might have spent more time polishing my Arabic. But instead someone named Geeklove left a message asking me to post a video about women. I did. Since then I have gotten pulled further and further away from my personal goals. Here it is again. Hillary ‘s voice talking about the contributions of women all over the world in her China speech against a backdrop photo montage of the way women in public service are treated–by Obots.
Will I ever get back to blogging about the things I love? Or will I be forever stuck at first base, back at election 2008, defending the right of women–ordinary women like myself and extraordinary women like Hillary — to have lives and to be treated with basic human dignity.