Friday, July 29, 2005

Bobo's World?

For more than six months, Atrios has run an ongoing series of posts titled "Bobo's World." Although it is unclear what motivates the posts, Atrios began the series by writing: "I think Bobo's World should be a regular feature. Please submit tales of the sordid from rural/exurban America as they come to your attention."

Readers post comments mocking the stories' characters, and attempting parodies of right-wing, or Red State, responses. In response to a story about a Baptist priest accused of sexual offenses, one comment read: "Gay marriage in San Fransicko and Faggachusetts is to blame. Senior Administration Official." Another comment read: "Bush am a genius." I recommend scrolling through the comments, which provide a window into hatred of Red State America.

Other left-wing blogs, such as this one and this one, have not seen this series as an embarrassment, but rather have taken a liking to Atrios's idea. One guy liked the idea so much that he devoted an entire blog to the concept. The blogger sums up his purpose:
New York Times columnist David Brooks repeatedly tells us that true American values and the best sort of people can only be found in the American Heartland, where religion and tradition rule supreme. It was blogger Atrios who first started giving us dispatches from the real "Bobo's World," an idea so good I decided it needed its own site.

I don't know what to make of this. From a sampling of the posts and the comments, the message of "Bobo's World" appears not to be that David Brooks is wrong to create a stereotype of the American Heartland. Rather, the message is that Brooks chose the wrong stereotype.

Incidentally, Atrios, who describes himself as a Proud Member of the Reality Based Community claims over 100,000 daily visits to the blog, and is one of the blogs linked to from Arts & Letters Daily, "A Service of the Chronicle of Higher Education."


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