The Smatterfesto

Fiscally conservative, socially liberal.

I’ve heard many of my friends and colleagues describe themselves thusly for years. It sums me up pretty well, to the extent I’m interested in summing me up.

I don’t like paying taxes, but I wish we had better schools. Free markets work in theory, but no government would ever give them the chance, and no one lives theoretically. I can’t prove global warming is a serious problem, but I recycle and try to eat cows infrequently just in case. My response to enormous paychecks for bankers, athletes, media titans, and union leaders is to work hard toward a career that delivers me an enormous paycheck.

I dig issues, not politics.

We in the center need a word, a marketable appellation. That word is:  Opie.

“Opie” in its truest sense is short for “open-minded capitalist”, but in our awkward self-reference let us never forget the wisdom conferred upon the universe via the elaborate shenanigans and saccharine plot tie-ups of Opie Taylor himself. Apologies to the estate of Andy Griffith.

Like the “About” tab says, The Smatter will evolve into a forum for open-minded capitalists. We in the middle are there and thirsting for unbiased news, humor, and opinion because we refuse to align; we question in the presence of fervor, whether it emanates from Right or Left. I’m hoping to instigate and cajole just enough to foster lucid discussions and rational courses of action that better our global society.

“Better” is a very subjective word, and a qualifier of relativity. It is the ultimate excuse. It means as long as we’re talking peacefully, we’re always improving.

I’ll do this myself for a while, working around the moldy copper handcuffs of my day job, but eventually others will join me. The Smatter will be a repository for interesting ideas, healthy self-deprecation, and quality original writing. I’m a natural contrarian, so perhaps I’ll start a magazine (recycled paper, soy-based inks, of course) just to buck the trend. Everyone’s a hypocrite, and embracing that is half the battle.

Are you something like me? I don’t want you to be 100% like me, or even 61% like me, because then we’d have nothing to talk about and nothing to learn. I’ll present a smatter of issues I like to think and write about and we’ll go from there, utilizing this wonderful series of tubes to profligate and share ideas.

Much of the time, I’ll just try to make you laugh. If I succeed, let me know. If I don’t, go watch Glenn Beck. That will make you laugh.

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