bulletin board
events calendar
business directory

best friend
news briefs




Discussion Thread

Despite being mostly an NPR guy, I began lending my eyes and ears a while ago to what I call the screaming news. Nearly all of it comes from the right – FOX is the iconic example – but the left is also learning how to froth and holler through outlets of its own.

Crossing over was easier than I thought because I was observing from the safety of my Methow Valley cocoon. Here we tend to pocket our punches knowing if you call someone a destructive force – or a slut – you eventually have to answer to them in the checkout line. So, as I listened to deep voice tirades or watched raging powdered faces in high definition I could take it all in stride because I knew it was their world, not mine.

Then I discovered the Methownet bulletin board.

Don't get me wrong. I love the things for sale and pore through them like an archaeologist in a digital midden mound. And I have a great time fabricating backstories for the ride share notices (Is it a steamy tryst or just a dermatology appointment?).

It's the other posts. The ones that go something like this:

Catlady: Peebles, my colorpoint Persian, was unusually restless a couple of nights ago. Any other feline owners notice the same thing?

Cumulus: Wow. I just assumed it was some animal poking around outside that made Topaz so jumpy but it sounds like Peebles felt it too.

30ought: Probably WAS an animal outside. A WOLF. Might as well get used to it because the game department is introducing about a dozen more of those livestock killers every 6 months.

Watchdogger: Good one, 30ought, but it could also be the Border Patrol’s new long reach scanning radar. Supposed to be a big secret but you can get the whole story at

Earlgraybeard: Great. Yet ANOTHER way good 'ol BlowBama is sticking it to us. Not enough we have to swallow big government regulations, now we have to eat radar too?

WindDance: Really graybeard? First we can’t have enough border patrol and now the President is “sticking it to you” for giving the immigrant stoppers a new tool? Will you ever be satisfied?

RightWay: You're missing the point HotAirDance. The tool is fine. It’s all the leftie regulations that keep the enforcers from focusing the radar beam on just the illegals.

Amigo: So, is everyone enjoying their delicious HAND-PICKED fruit this season?

FOXVet: I’d love to enjoy some fresh fruit but you know what? I can’t AFFORD IT because I have to PAY FOR OBAMACARE!!!

LeaveMeB: Obamacare? I can’t even pay MY OCEC ELECTRIC BILL! because I made the HUGE mistake of actually TURNING ON THE CLOTHES DRYER!!

Catlady: Well, now I feel silly. Turns out nobody had cleaned the litterbox for more than 5 weeks. Guess I'd be restless too.

30ought: Hey. Catlady. If you want to change the subject, START YOUR OWN FREAKING POST!!!!!!

Apparently the Methow has an underbelly.
And not one with people named Crowbar or Ruby the Finisher.

After dipping my toes in our online netherworld I began creating mental police sketches of these free speech ninjas. All of them looked like pasty basement dwellers still smarting from middle school social injuries, a stereotype I knew was as unfair as the controversy cluster bombs they were lobbing from their hideouts.

“Come on,” I chided myself, “these are just folks with opinions to express. It’s their right.” I, of course, didn’t believe myself for a minute. But I kept trying.

Eventually it worked. Too much. Now, instead of seeing spittle-spewing screen warriors, I was seeing distinguished gentleman in cardigans or, even worse, Mrs. Anderson, my sweet first grade teacher. They sat in pastel sun rooms with tea, calmly composing their angry, flaming diatribes. Then I started suspecting people in real life - the helpful, chatty grocery checker could be the one screaming that vegetarians are the cause of global warming; the organic gardener at the market could be LockNLoad, the scariest poster of them all.

In the old valley this never would have happened because anonymity was about as likely as a go kart track in Mazama. Technology made it possible - the ability to digitally hide in plain sight (never mind that nearly every online activity is recorded somewhere). In a medium that peels away our privacy you can actually have a trouble making doppelganger. Three or more doppelgangers makes an underbelly. Well, here anyway.

Despite the worry that it might actually be Mrs. Anderson I’m now dying to know who some of these flame throwers really are. I tried asking for a name once but, as astonishing as it seems, no one replied.

So maybe it’s time for a counter-underbelly: a secret society of volunteer investigators sleuthing out the identities of these pointed pontificators. It would be like bulletin board special ops, leading to sort of an “I know that you know that I know” standoff that keeps the whole thing on edge but under control.

Or, all the bulletin board users could just vote to require real names.
But, come on, where’s the fun in that?

In the meantime, I need to get my cardigan out of the wash and make another cup of tea.


Have a comment? >>

Good one, Curt. My now dead pappy used to say that it's dangerous to shake the tree because you never know what kind of monkeys are going to fall out of it. He also used to say that the Japanese eat 95% of their fish raw decades before Sushi became popular here... Anyway, thanks for the laugh, David

David Asia


I'm currently working on a fee based website called Flamethrowers Revealed. The more money I can make from it... the more I can inject some much needed green energy (money) into the Valley's coffers. I'm not only the owner... I'm a user as well... lol. Fun write dude. I resemble a couple remarks... cosmicly speaking

Cosmic Rose (Hughes)


Mister Edwards.  You Newbies dont no nothing. May be there ain't no go cart trax in Mazama in what you call the old days becuz there was sorta at the rocking horse place in Weeman Flats wen they had a snowmachine racing track in winter and some go carts in summer.

O. Leo  Leahy (Spiwak)
Pres. Mazama Yodeling Society

I'm thinking it's time to clean your cat box out....

Dale Sekijima