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You may have heard me say it before, but I’m more convinced of the proposition’s truth than ever: Ricochet meetups provide the unique sensation of attending a reunion with people you’ve never met before. And they are, to borrow a locution from The Daily Shot, pretty awesome. (And you have to be a member to attend, which is why you should join today and use the coupon code APRIL for a free month).
This weekend, four or five dozen Ricochetti — the biggest turnout ever for a member-organized event —came here to Nashville for three days of conversation, laughter, and serious debate. How serious? By the time I arrived for Saturday night’s dinner they were already headlong into discussions about the feasibility of moon colonies. That was a preview of things to come. On Saturday night, I got a master class in the political demography of Georgia from Aimee Jones and Caroline. Yesterday evening, this former George W. Bush speechwriter had the surreal experience of taking the con side in a conversation about our 43rd president’s rhetorical legacy (James of England is a much bigger fan of Bush’s second inaugural than I am).
To give you a feel for how freewheeling the conversations got, other topics included: regulatory overreach in California; the misadventure that was Crystal Pepsi; the quality of roads in Kentucky; the proper production of moonshine (Concretevol and I agree that it doesn’t count if there’s pumpkin spice involved — yes, that is an actual thing); why the “cool teacher” is usually a closet sociopath (and may be embezzling from you); intellectual property law in the UK (part of an unrepeatable monologue from Daily Shot author Fred Cole); The unsettling reason why Ron Kirk was chosen as the U.S. Trade Representative, and why Transparent is the most conservative television show out there (both James of England specials); Why Jeopardy! champions need to be cognizant of rerun schedules; the dismal prospects for the New York Mets’ season (keep Frank Soto in your prayers); and why there is likely to be mass psychosis sometime soon at your local Build-a-Bear workshop.
The sense of community is overwhelming. How dedicated are Ricochet members? One member — a lurker at that! — drove all the way from North Dakota to join us in Middle Tennessee.
Perhaps the greatest measure of fellowship, however, were the extremes these people were willing to go to in order to humiliate me. While the festivities ran from Friday night to yesterday evening, I was only able to attend the Saturday and Sunday night dinners. On both occasions, I was presented with giraffe-related gifts (yeah, you’re also going to have to be a member for that to make sense—and even then it’s going to stay pretty murky). Given the paparazzi-like volume of cameras that suddenly emerged, I have the sinking feeling that evidence of the ceremonies will be showing up on the Member Feed sooner rather than later. For now, all I’ll say is this — Ricochet member Midget Faded Rattlesnake is an evil genius who I hope is being closely monitored by federal authorities.
I’m sure there’s about to be a deluge of recaps of the events I didn’t attend, as well as an onslaught of photos and, if history is any guide, a breathtakingly beautiful recap from Dave Carter (who attended along with bride-to-be Shelley — it’s hard to tell which one of them is luckier…ok, it’s Dave).
Bottom line: if you haven’t signed up yet, you’re missing out on being adopted into the greatest extended family on the planet. If you’re a member and you haven’t yet been to a meetup…well, your friends are waiting for you. And if you’re thinking about putting one of these things together, talk to Vicryl Contessa and Das_Motorhead, who have now set the bar incredibly high for all future gatherings.
I just spend the weekend with dozens of friends I never knew I had. Doesn’t that sound like the kind of thing that’s worth $5 a month?Published in