Tuesday, June 10, 2003

The Price of Admission

I've finally decided to start charging a fee to view my site. Since a lot of bloggers have put out tip jars to support their habithobby, and some even seem to be fairly profitable at it, I've decided that I'm going to start requiring everyone to pay for the privilege of reading my words.

Determining my subscription fee was difficult - I had to take a number of factors into account. Admittedly I'm not among the most popular bloggers on the 'net, so that factor must be heavily considered. Still, my opinions, my experiences, my views and the time it takes to actually put my words on screen is very valuable.

Therefore, from now on the price I'm asking you to pay to continue reading Inn of the Last Home is -- keeping your minds open everywhere else.

That's it - not much. Certainly understandable when I and countless others reveal ourselves and our thoughts to the world. There are a lot of opinions floating around out there, a lot of perspectives. There's a lot of anger, righteous indignation, "facts" and "nofacts", opinions passing themselves off as news... The Rocky Top Brigade contains the whole spectrum of political and social thought, but sometimes it seems that we're farther apart than ever.

America is passing through a dark time - not just internationally, but here in the country. We're polarized along two distinct and separate planes. Colors, even - Red and Blue, according to the Election Maps on the news. In some people's eyes, nothing the other side believes has any value - it's immoral, it's stupid, it's just Wrong. The Reds are idiots, the Blues are morons.... Well, the time has come for it to stop, and it has to stop now.

How can it stop?

Thinking. Examining, being open with your opinions and ideas. Recognize that you may just not have all the facts. The other guy - your mortal enemy, one of THOSE people - they may just hold the key to explaining and solving it all. Can we afford to ignore that?

We've talked a lot about bigotry - political, racial, idealogical. We've talked about boycotts, and burning CD's, and hanging chads and lies and truths about Weapons of Mass Destruction. Racial profiling, denying tenure, raising taxes, lowering taxes, biased reporting, talk-radio pundits, talking heads.... Somewhere in there lies the answer to what we're looking for, but one side does not have the complete answer. We all do - each of us, in our own way.

The blogosphere has just begun to turn over the rocks on people's opinions - it's affecting the Big Media in ways we never imagined. But what will people see when they peek in - rational debate? Reasoned discourse?

Um, no, not yet. Just more yammering between the damn liberals and damn conservatives. And that isn't helping anyone.

So, please, read - participate, share. But keep your mind open and be ready to accept the possibility that you might be wrong. It's tough, I know. We're hard-wired to be proud of our opinions and the route we took to get there. It can hurt like hell to admit you might be wrong, and can cause you to lose face. But it's going to be necessary down the line, because we can't stay like this.

Red and the Blue? Add the White. That's the Price of Admission.


UPDATE: I realize upon further review that, of course, there are many different shades of political idealogy within both liberalism and conservatism - plus libertarians, Greens, Whigs, and I believe the Tal Shi'ar, the Obsidian Order and Section 31. Anyway, the above maybe a bit oversimplified when it comes to identifying the sides, but I think the basic idea it still there.

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