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I will turn your face to alabaster

A BRIEF HISTORY OF LITTLE GREEN FOOTBALLS

Pre-The Bad Thing: Tech expert and bicycle enthusiast Charles “Chuckles” Johnson runs a web log, named for an inside reference to nasal mucus, at which can be found helpful computer tips and updates on the Tour de France.

The Bad Thing: Early in the afternoon of September 11th, 2001, Johnson, like many Americans, takes a giant fear shit right in his bike shorts.

Post-The Bad Thing: On September 12th, 2001, Johnson, unlike many Americans, rededicates his weblog to the practice of having screaming hissy fits whenever someone of Arab extraction sneezes in public. So virulent and single-minded is his paranoid terror of the Musselman menace that he attracts many like-minded lunatics, who post impolitic comments on the blog. Some of these unhinged individuals start their own websites, such as Jihad Watch and “Atlas Shrugged”, hosted by the maniacal Pamela Geller.

Later: While it rapidly develops a reputation as one of the most popular political sites on the internet, Johnson begins to notice a few cracks in the façade. For one thing, his commenters are a deraganged lot, inordinately fond of leaping to conclusions and speaking about Muslims in disturbingly genocidal terms. Still, his will remains strong, and he continues heaping abuse on the entire non-Jewish Middle East, despite the presence of detractors who notice a profound similarity between his rhetoric and that of the Nazis.

Still Later: In the face of nearly non-stop mockery from liberal blogs and other political websites for the homicidally insane nature of his fans, Johnson institutes a policy of disallowing said blogs from linking to his pages, so that particularly egregious examples of their ravings cannot be widely disseminated.

Even Later Still: Johnson finds it necessary to take the unusual step of setting up a program that automatically deletes comments by his own devotees that contain certain hot-button words or phrases like “nuke Mecca”, “sand-nigger”, and “subhuman filth”. As perhaps the first major political blog to admit to the need to censor its own crazed fans, Little Green Footballs becomes an even bigger laughingstock, and Johnson begins to suspect things are getting away from him slightly.

The Schism: Johnson is invited to a European “anti-jihadist” conference. Noticing that the conference is also being attended by a number of extreme far right political figures, many of whom have backgrounds in anti-Semitic, neo-Nazi nationalist movements, he declines to attend, and warns his people that they should not be associating with the sort of people who committed an actual genocide campaign against the Jews. Many of his most devoted followers absolutely flip out and accuse Johnson, perhaps America’s most vociferous anti-Muslim activist, of being soft on jihad.

Recently: Johnson, figuring that if he’s in for a penny he may as well be in for a pound, suddenly notices that many in his movement are not only cozying up to anti-Semitic fascists, but are treating the relatively harmless new President, Barack Obama, as if he is Satan crawled up to befoul God’s green Earth. His followers flip out even more, calling him a traitor to the cause and abandoning him en masse. Johnson, only months removed from his position as the King of the Know-Nothings, now finds himself a right-wing public enemy on the level of an Emmanuel Goldstein.

Today: A dissident faction of “splitters” breaks off from the LGF website and forms “Little Green Footballs 2.0”, a so-called “democratic” revamp of the site in which democracy means, in practice, being able to call for genocidal warfare without being scolded. A rotating quote of the day feature, a storied tradition on the LGF site, is replaced with one featuring embittered ex-followers complaining about Johnson’s treachery to the cause. The lead posts today include one claiming that Muslims are ultimately responsible for a white neo-Nazi’s murderous attack on the Holocaust Museum, and another “open thread” dedicated to establishing that Hitler was a leftist.

Comments

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fengi
Jun. 11th, 2009 04:46 pm (UTC)
Is it wrong for me to read this as a hopeful narrative?
ludickid
Jun. 11th, 2009 04:54 pm (UTC)
Well, it's hopeful insofar as Chuckles turned back from the brink. But the vast majority of his people kept rampaging right over the cliff, and added his name to the Book of Infamy on the way down.
thebitterguy
Jun. 11th, 2009 05:39 pm (UTC)
A rotating quote of the day feature, a storied tradition on the LGF site, is replaced with one featuring embittered ex-followers complaining about Johnson’s treachery to the cause.


So, is that their version of Two Minute Hate? The parallel to Emmanuel Goldstein grows stronger.
adam_0oo
Jun. 11th, 2009 06:07 pm (UTC)
Ohhh, that is who Goldstein is, I totally didn't get that reference.
roninspoon
Jun. 11th, 2009 06:29 pm (UTC)
I note that LGF2 is now claiming that LGF is a "Leftwing Hate Blog" and that Johnson is a "Rabid leftist and anti-religious bigot" which all strikes me as, well, honestly? I'm a little confused now. It's startling to me how swiftly and violently these people throw each other to the wolves.

Also, I feel about 10% stupider now, just from skimming both of those websites.
ludickid
Jun. 11th, 2009 07:36 pm (UTC)
I know. It's really kind of shocking to live in a world where Johnson's former henchclowns are now calling him a crazy left-wing liberal just because he's become slightly less virulently racist. It's like they don't know what words mean anymore.
stavner
Jun. 11th, 2009 10:14 pm (UTC)
If they ever did, or cared to.
dignam
Jun. 11th, 2009 06:49 pm (UTC)
Wow. I had abandoned LGF -- even as a sidelong curiosity -- after your article on the Boston fiasco rendered them a total laughingstock. I had no idea about the latter history. Fight Club's become Project Mayhem.
ludickid
Jun. 11th, 2009 07:40 pm (UTC)
Man, I totally forgot to mention that in my "short history"! That was another of Chuckles' 'ever so slightly coming to his senses and realizing what a bunch of dingbats he'd aligned himself with' moments, when they all went completely bonkers over the ATHF promos and exposed the whole site to such ridicule. It was after that the he employed the "24-hour rule", where he asked his posters to wait a full day before blaming Islamic terrorists every time someone tossed an M80 in a Dumpster. And even then, a lot of them bristled; they were all "Screw you, Charles, I'm gonna blame the Muslims and you can't stop me, even though I've been wrong the last 500 times in a row".
slammerkinbabe
Jun. 18th, 2009 06:29 pm (UTC)
It was after that the he employed the "24-hour rule", where he asked his posters to wait a full day before blaming Islamic terrorists every time someone tossed an M80 in a Dumpster.

Okay, that cracks me up. Traditionally the whole point of a blog is to allow its readers to vent about/speculate on current events as they happen. That's why news that the MSM ignores often gets picked up on blogs (in that very same ATHF debacle, all the [sane] blogs knew what was happening and were mocking the hell out of it long before the MSM figured it out). The idea of a blog asking people to wait 24 hours before they start speculating about stuff is a hilarious indicator of just how goofy things were getting over at LGF.
flying_blind
Jun. 11th, 2009 10:27 pm (UTC)
Does this mean that Charles Johnson has converted to Islam on the orders of his secret backers, the International Communist Conspiracy & Jewish Bankers Syndicate, LLC?
manningkrull
Jun. 12th, 2009 03:20 pm (UTC)
Holy shit, this is fascinating. I hadn't looked at LGF (for laffs) in a couple years, and I didn't know all that stuff happened. Thanks for this.
harmfulguy
Jun. 15th, 2009 07:37 pm (UTC)
It's too bad some people have to wake up with fleas before they realize what they chose to lie down with.
slammerkinbabe
Jun. 18th, 2009 06:26 pm (UTC)
Man, I missed all of your entries between the poll about shoes and the entry about American Idol, or maybe the one just after that. Dunno how that happened, but now I'm reading back, so there'll probably be about ten comments from me in your inbox when you get this. Sorry.

Anyway. I think what I missed in this entry is how there came to be anti-Semitic people in the far-right-wing sector with whom Johnson had allied himself in the first place. My understanding was always that here in the U.S. such wingers tend to be so rabidly pro-Israel, because it means being anti-liberals, who tend to be more moderate or supportive of Palestine. I suppose internationally there is far more anti-Semitism among the right wing. It brings me to wonder whether there was ever any tension between the U.S. pro-Israel faction and the folks who apparently didn't bat an eye at the presence of neo-Nazis at the conference.

Also, Johnson told people to cool it on Obama? Really? I've never seen much reason for right-wingers' rabid hatred of him either, but it's so bog-standard that I'm shocked that Johnson would come out against it.

Also also, I never knew what the in-joke behind "little green footballs" was, and now that I know I am hugely amused that they chose that for their site name.
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Leonard Pierce is a freelance writer wandering around Texas with no sleep or sense of direction. If you give him money he will write something for you. If you are nice to him he may come to your house and get drunk.

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