Tuesday, July 01, 2003

 The political blog 

You may have noticed the list of blogs on the side. They're mostly political blogs, at least at this juncture. Political blogs are how I became motivated to start my own blog, it turns out.

My first foray into anything like a blog is still viewable on my personal geocities site. I actually made a pretty lame attempt at a bird blog, but I can be forgiven because I didn't really know at the time that there were better tools for accomplishing what I was attempting, and that I was just starting to do something that was in fact very new to the webworld. Well, maybe not very new, but certainly nowhere near the craze it is now. I had the right idea, but I didn't follow through.

But what with that god-awful war and its aftermath that still lingers, I've taken fully to the web, looking for discussion and insight that the major news media (magazines, newspapers, and - ugh - television) just can't provide. I mean, if I really want pre-packaged, infantilized right-wing approved pap, then I'll switch on the tube and go cross-eyed trying to watch the newscrawl, the stock quotes, the ever-waving flag and the talking heads all yammering their pseudo-syllogisms on Faux News, CNN or MSNBC.

But instead I've found a fountain of remarkable insight coming from motivated people who aren't featured week after week on the Pundit Parade, and who are diligent and succinct without sacrificing meaning or relevance. How they keep up with so many events day after day astounds me, and inspires me. I don't envision that this blog will ever be a truly political one, which is just as well - some of the blogs I link to can be sometimes be a bit catty (I'm looking at you, Josh Marshall), with he-said-she-said exchanges that more resemble after-hours in the high-school parking lot than they do intelligent discourse. But for the most part, that's nitpicking - the rapid-fire updating capabilities of these sites ensures that you only need to check back in a day or two to have sufficiently moved on. News cycles now seem to follow the diurnal instead of the lunar anymore.

I should also add that what really appeals to me about these blogs is not that they're simply political, but that they're political and realistic. Anyone can create a gripe site, and make the most basic of complaints and criticisms of whoever they don't like. Heck, that's something I could do. But rather, the blogs that impress me the most are the ones that make honest assessments, and yet still retain the passion and the courage of conviction. The Daily Kos probably does this better than any other blog, but Calpundit also delivers. Passion doesn't (and shouldn't) mean mere invective - leave that to Ann Coulter, Cal Thomas and their ilk. Passion means standing up honestly for what you believe in, and in this case, believing in something greater and nobler than oneself. It's a shame that other media is so enslaved to advertising that any real message is now secondary to drowning it first in crass commercialism....especially when that message is itself and attempt to liberate the mind from that type of boorish manipulation in the first place.

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