Politics: RedState jumps a shark which is jumping through a hoop. And the hoop is on fire.

So, I’m on the Red State mailing list, from days gone by when they started up as a “sensible conservative” website and I’ve never bothered to take myself off. Since they’re now not a sensible conservative website but rather a corporate partisan Republican website it takes even the conservative voices who used to be worth listening to and makes them into bitter, twisted hacks who believe that everything is the fault of The Liberals.

To illustrate, here’s the email I got today.

Dear RedState Reader: I have, as they say, some good news and some bad news. (Short version: We need you to open your wallet and give what you can to build RedState 3.0. Go here to help. We need the money ASAP.) The good news first: RedState.com is about to embark on a major upgrade of our website that will make it easier, more informative, and just plain more fun for you to visit. The bad news: our liberal “friends” – you know, the ones who believe so strongly in free speech and open debate – have done what they can to prevent us from making these improvements, so that our influence will be minimized just as we head into the 2008 presidential primary season. No, our Blue State buddies haven’t succeeded in stopping us from improving our website. But they’ve made it more difficult and more expensive – which is why I’m coming to you for help. Let me explain … You see, when we started RedState in May of 2004, we used a website program called Scoop — the same program a lot of similar sites on the left used. But, as the number of visitors to our site grew, Scoop kept crashing on us. If we’d been a liberal website, we would have been able to fix the problem quickly and relatively cheaply. The online left loves Scoop. Unfortunately, there weren’t really any conservative Scoop developers out there to help us. We kept crashing and were out of money. We had to close down or take drastic action. Well, we didn’t close down. We ditched Scoop and moved to the best alternative at the time, a program called Drupal. But, in accomplishing the switch, budget constraints forced us to sacrifice some popular site features in order to alleviate the strain on our overused servers. Needless to say, we always regarded those “downgrades” as temporary, and we hoped to restore the eliminated features – and to add new and even better ones – as soon as we could afford to. Unfortunately, we still can’t afford to. But we’re convinced that America can afford even less to have us operating at anything less than our absolute peak potential during the coming presidential election season. So we’ve decided to move ahead with our upgrades without delay, and despite not having the cash on hand – hoping and praying that RedState.com readers like you will help us make up the shortfall with a generous donation.

So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. RedState’s problems were never about the fact that they are drawing their readership from a dwindling section of the American electorate or their wielding of the ban-hammer with tedious knee-jerk regularity – it’s because Teh LIEberals didn’t give them the proper web support they needed!

How do you get yourself into that kind of frenzied mindset?

Walk right in it's around the back, just a half a mile from the railroad track

Ah, they don’t make gigs like that any more…

Well, obviously they do. Last night for example. But you know what I mean.

So it’s been forty years since the Alice’s Restaurant Anti-Massacree Movement began, and the first time I’ve seen Arlo Guthrie live. Asha came over to watch it with me, because she’s a fan of old crusty music as well. He was supported by Sam Hammond, who’s pretty damn good and a bit of a lynchpin of the Manchester music scene, but honestly when you’re in the presence of greatness it’s hard not to get overpowered.

Something which is evident from Guthrie’s recordings but comes out much more fully when you see him live (or “only mostly dead”) is the great sense of humour and the fact that, for all he jokes about going off on tangents, just how sharp and keyed in he is to the audience. He played a recording of Woody from sixty-something years ago, so it’s obvious where he got it from, but it was darned impressive. I had a big smile on my face throughout the entire thing, from Mr Tangerine Man to This Land is Our Land. I don’t know if I’ll get a chance to see him again, but it was great to have an actual singalong to Alice’s Restaurant with Arlo right there. Awesome.

So then I came home, and it was my housemate’s birthday. The party is tomorrow (not that I would have missed Arlo — I see my housemate every day, and he got to chat with Terry Gilliam on Monday, so fuck him), but we had a “pre-party” involving a bow and arrow fight with him dressed in drag. There’ll probably be a rematch tonight. I think a lot more drag will be involved. Drag and beer. And a barbecue.

I think it’s going to be good.