I was wound up yesterday by Dave Winer, Berkeley blogger extraordinaire, who first angrily described me a "broken watch" and a serial enflamer, my book as a "piece of trash" and then went on to generously agree with my Cult of the Amateur analysis of the Sarah Palin show which I laid out on the Gillmor Gang last week.
So let me wind up Winer too. It goes without saying, of course, that Dave is a broken watch, his blog is a piece of trash and he only says things to enflame people.
As a destructive creator, wealthy idealist and innocent cynic, he is a self-described "party of one" American who can't be categorized as anything but Dave Winer. If spiteful, ignorant Sarah Palin represents the unacceptable side of American exceptionalism, then the prickly Winer -- in his moody mix of anger and generosity, of faith and skepticism -- is a less imperfect version of American uniqueness. All his indomitable incorrigibility was on display today when Winer simultaneously castigated and embraced his political enemy -- small town Republican America:
People in Flyover Land, when you lose your manufacturing jobs and are reduced to government handouts, think about how we can work together, not who Did This To You -- for that we all need to look in the mirror. Boy were we blessed, we could have been really smart and worked together, but we didn't. Some of that is the bluestaters' fault because we cared too much about your hatred of us. So be it. That's the past. I believe we still have many blessings, and we're no worse off than anyone else on this planet. But we're also no better than they are either. It's our hubris, our arrogance and ignorance that led us to believe that we were.
Stuck at Gate 14 of the airport yesterday with a nation of Willy Lomans, Peggy Noonen asked Where is America? She should leave Gate 14, jump on a flight to Oakland and have dinner with Winer. Rather than a ghostly Willy Loman, she'll find a full-bloodied American optimist. Here's Winer on why he still has faith in America:
More than any other country, the United States is a product of and part of every other country on the planet. That's our legacy, and our strength, because to get here, our ancestors had to be smart, hard-working and brave. That's the advantage of America.