I meant to post this earlier in the evening, but my work-a-day job had other ideas, so here I am late Thursday night posting this interview at a time that is probably Friday morning for a great many of you.
The subject of tonight's interview, Christopher Brocious, is the mastermind behind The Cowboy Code Marshals & the Cowboy Code. If you've seen sites with that Marshal's Star on the sidebar, you know who the Conservative Cowboy is.
When you visit his blog, the first thing you will notice is the country music that begins playing. The current song about the upcoming politically correct, non-offensive holiday is great. Next you'll notice an American Flag proudly waving just above the photo of Christopher wearing a white cowboy hat. Well, good guys wear white, and Christopher is definitely one of those that rides his horse on the side of good.
Then a little further down you will notice other symbols that will peek your interest, and it is one of those icons that called to me to have this interview with him. When you get to the latter questions you will understand what I mean.
As the interview began, I desired to know what the driving forces behind his conservative viewpoints, and his urge to blog, are. So, for the first question, I asked: I read "What makes me rightwing" on Rightwing Guy's blog not too long ago. In that post he detailed what makes him a rightwinger (including personal beliefs and poignant statements. Why do you consider yourself a conservative?
I think that being a conservative (as opposed to Republican) means that you believe in the Federal Republic system, strong States rights, strong values, national defense and most importantly the rights of citizens. Meaning of the people, by the people, for the people. I don't know if that exactly answers your question, but those are the things I believe and I think that "Conservative" is the best label for it.
My dad was a United States Marine. I grew up with his teachings instilled (and drilled) into my skull. As a young adult, I entered the Navy and served nearly four years. My career was interrupted by an injury that made me unfit for duty. My upbringing, and my career in the Navy, made me a more responsible young man, and solidified my conservative belief system. Do you have any military background, and if yes, how has that background affected your belief system? Also, if yes, what made you enter the military and what benefits did you derive from it?
I did not serve in the military. My Father is a Vietnam Veteran and my Grandfather was a decorated WWII Veteran and Nazi POW. So even though I did not serve in the Military, I have strong ties to it. However, it did not overtly affect my upbringing as my Father and Grandfather did not speak of their service.
I began blogging earlier this year, a year or so after I launched my main website at douglasvgibbs.com. When did you begin blogging, and what was your original motivation for it?
I began in January of this year. My original motivation? A shiny new toy! I'm a technical geek and I was curious about blogs, so I started one. It took me a while to decide whether or not I was going to get into it on a regular basis.
What are your deep reasons for blogging?
Originally, as I said it was just a toy. Then it became a bit like a journal. Then I discovered other blogs and found people who blogged about things that I agreed with and suddenly I was inspired. I blog because it is my small way of making public all manner of things that I would otherwise have no platform for. Whether that is something that I feel deeply for, or some small thing I find funny. I guess simply put, it's my way of sharing with others those things that are important or interesting to me.
Do you use any service to help generate hits for your blog, or do you depend on the age old strategy of "Word of Mouth?"
The closest I come is blog rolls. Other than that I think people find my blog by following the link from comments I made on other blogs.
I’m a hits junkie on my blogs. I hope to eventually become a top blogger like Texas Fred and Istapundit. Would you like to become a top blogger? And if yes, what strategies do you think will help you in reaching this goal?
Yes and no. I think it would be nice to have a very large and respected blog (well, I guess I could call Fred respected, lol), but I don't think I would want the responsibility. I don't really desire to blog full time, and I think that is what it takes to run blogs like that.
I am a writer, so one reason I blog is to become better known by my writing, in the hopes that it may assist my drive to become a published novelist. Do you hope that your blogging will evolve into something bigger, and if yes, what?
Unless I suddenly become wealthy and don't need to work, I'm not really interested in blogging being more than a habit. On the other hand, if the Republican party were to make some serious reforms that I could truly stand behind, I would be interested in blogging to Political ends.
The information age has been growing at an insurmountable pace. The internet, I think, is the driving force behind that. How do you think blogging is affecting the already exploding world of information, and where do you think blogging will go in the future?
Absolutely the internet is the driving force. The ability to share information and ideas in real time with so many people can only lead to advancements in leaps and bounds. I think blogging is just starting to carve out a niche as a legitimate news source. I cannot help but believe that the blogosphere will continue to grow and evolve and hold the mainstream media accountable for their reporting.
Who are the bloggers that are your favorites, and do you find yourself ever trying to emulate another blogger?
My biggest favorites are Big White Hat, Robert of American and Proud, Texas Fred, Jarhead John, Lem of Hillbilly White Trash and yourself, of course. I would say that I am inspired by and respect all of them, but I don't really emulate anyone else. Although I am sure I pick up little things from each that I take with me. But I do that with everyone, I feel that you should always be learning and evolving.
How do you decide what to write about?
It is usually what I personally find interesting. I think about it this way: If it is a subject that is "water cooler" conversation that I would be interested enough to bring up with my coworkers and friends, I generally will blog about it. Either that or it is some news snippet I catch that makes me rant!
Have you ever deleted comments, and what kind of comments do you prefer on your site, and what kind of comments make you hit that delete button?
I haven't deleted comments yet that I can recall. My regular readers are the ones who usually comment, but once in a while I will get someone that totally disagrees with one of my posts and comments about it. I handle it by responding and trying to prove to them that they are wrong and I am right! One thing I don't do is just ignore them without a rebuttal. The only thing I would not stand for is outright hate speech, or comments that are for no other reason than to instigate argument.
I love the Cowboy Code. How did it come into being, and what made you decide to begin the Cowboy Code Marshals Blogroll?
Well, I am a Cowboy at heart. I used to love watching repeats of the Lone Ranger on Saturday mornings when I was young. I came across Gene Autry's Cowboy Ten Commandments and started doing a little research. Then I found many other "codes" from the old cowboy figures of the 1950's and I put them all together on one page. Big White Hat's Straight Shooter's Club is what gave me the idea for the blog roll. I wanted to have a way for people to find the code and those who believe in it to proudly show it!
Now for the nitty-gritty questions. What gave me the idea of interviewing you originally is the fact that you advertise on your site that you belong to a Masonic Lodge. How long have you been a Freemason, and what led you to it?
My journey into Masonry started in 1996. One of the most influential people in my life, a man who was a mentor to me was such an inspiration that his example alone led me to ask him about his Masonic Ring. If he belonged to and firmly believed in such an organization I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of.
There are many misnomers regarding freemasons. What myths would you like to see vanish, and what is your input in assisting that to take place?
Oh, there are so many! The one that I feel the deepest about is that Freemasonry is not compatible with Christianity. Freemasonry is a Fraternal group. It is not a religion, and does not at any time profess to be. To become a Freemason you must only have a belief in a monotheistic Diety. And while Freemasonry teaches good works, it teaches them as a conduct for life, not as a path to salvation. The myths that somehow Masons worship Satan or are pagans really does disturb me. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Freemasonry is sometimes placed right up there by conspiracy buffs with the Illuminati because of some of the secret practices of freemasonry's lodge activities. Why do you think people have made that connection, and what do you think will help kill that myth?
First, we have to establish that the Illuminati was an organization formed by a former Freemason and I believe he made the connection so as to gain notoriety and therefore publicity so that people would join him. The historical Illuminati have been defunct for well over a century, even though copycat organizations exist today - riding on the coat tails of that same notoriety.
I think that people perpetuate it today for the same reason that people claim to be abducted by aliens. They want to be seen as "in the know" of some secret, some important person who has cracked some secret organization that in reality does not exist.
Like UFO's and alien abductions, I don't think the myths will ever die. Not unless tin foil hats and Thorazine become mandatory, that is.
Is there anything else you would like to say about being a mason?
I am proud to be a Freemason. It has been nothing but a positive influence on my life. Some day I hope to stand beside Freemasons like Benjamin Franklin, George Washington; and of course Gene Autry and the "Duke" (Masons and Cowboys!!!) in the Celestial Lodge above.
Final question. What makes you a cowboy (and please don't say because you have a pair of boots, a hat, a large belt buckle and go to the bar at night to line dance)?
I would never say that! The Cowboy Hat does not the Cowboy make. Being a Cowboy is about being a good person. It's about believing in being thankful for what you have, working hard, and respecting others. I don't always hold true to the Cowboy Code in everything I do, but I certainly try. I may not Cowboy, but I am a Cowboy in my heart!
Thanks for the opportunity to do this interview Douglas. And I would like to say that I am very proud that you chose me to be your first blog interview. I'm honored!
Thank you, Christopher, for participating. And for you folks out there, also feel free to visit his non-blog website at www.chrisbrocious.com. I hope this was enjoyable for all who read it, and enlightening to those curious about one of the more respected figures of the blogosphere. Added note, I suspect that in the comments there will be some strong statements regarding belief systems as they relate to some of the subject matter of this interview. Please, keep it clean and tidy.
And Mudkitty, the invitation to you for my next interview is still on the table. Don't worry, if you e-mail me your e-mail address will remain in a safe under lock and key. I truly do believe that you would make a fine subject for the next interview.
Night Rider, your suggestion has been duly noted for another participant as well.
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