Wednesday, February 03, 2010

UPDATED: Why the Hell Am I Posting Less?


I don’t know… But I mean to find out by the end of this post.

I’ve talked with the founder of this blog network about it quite a bit. It’s not for any shortage of subject matter, or things to be angry or excited about. Only completely delusional people can be absolutely distressed about every single thing in politics and only an idiot would stand up and cheer with under-and-unemployment this high; with the damn banks laughing, -well, “all the way to the bank” or wherever they laugh all the way to.

But I’ve noticed something else. I’m doing more reading of other people’s material online than ever before in my life. You can say I’m what marketers used to call an “early adopter;” I worked on my very first computer when I was 12 years old back in the fall of 1980. I was programming in BASIC as early as seventh grade. I say this not to come off as some sort of techie-egghead (these are quite common today, we even have toddlers who manipulate iTouch devices before speaking coherently) but to point out the incongruity between my technological affinities and the fact that I have never, ever enjoyed reading anything longer than 1 paragraph online, -until last year. What has also changed is that some of my replies to posts elsewhere have become longer than the length of my average posts here on my home Random Thoughts and Random Robot on the Ham Sandwich Network.

There’s a reason for this: quality and depth elsewhere.

Maybe it was always there, but in my experience (remember that in the very early 1990s there were only about 12 websites total, -in the entire world, and most of those were government and information sites) there just wasn’t much going on worth your time and dedication. For a long time there were a only few “serious” places to exchange ideas with strangers, and most of the early (and I know I’m really dating myself here) weblogs were frankly masturbatory confessions that were at best artless, and at worst inane.

In the past two years, Random Thoughts has gone (My own first post was a rant about Valentine’s Day more befitting an unmarried angry old man, well an older angry man anyway) from general interest to the squarely political. I spun off The Random Robot last year so that MyCue23 and I would still have a place for our thoughts and opinions about… anything else.

So perhaps that’s it: After jumping in at Mad Mike’s America and joining an ever widening circle of capable writers and thinkers I no longer feel the need to respond immediately like some panicked paranoiac who thinks he’s all alone in the world, in thought, sentiment, focus and perception.

So I’d like to blame and thank the following writers online, for kicking ass so consistently and keeping me occupied with something other than consensus, repetition or the obvious and in many respects easing that migraine I’ve been nursing since the start of the Iraq war.

Jack Jodell (a blogger with a researcher’s muscles and a teacher’s heart,) Truth 101 (I can’t stop posting on here sometimes. It’s a forum for provocative intelligent instigation, it’s like crack for smart people,) Mad Mike (is Babe Ruth to me -but he’s also Branch Rickey; always with an eye out for new direction-changing talent on his blogs,) Reality Zone (this is just one of the most educational and informative blogs I read,) Gwendolyn H Barry (I go to GHB for unadulterated indignation, -anger this pure has to be good for your circulation, I generally read this after Manifesto Joe –see below,) TAO (a great “pull no punches” blog), Holte Ender (Holte might be my new favorite,) Zeppo (Zeppo hits a lot of the points I don’t see written about in a sober intelligent manner, namely the defense of knowledge, science and ironically, the defense of intelligence itself,) Infidel753 (I come here to see what I am missing and always find good commentary, wit, and links to other important articles I have missed,) The Laser’s Edge (This guy seriously needs to write more often), Tom Degan (TD’s writing best exemplifies what blogs can be at their best to me,) Yellow Dog (YD’s perspective is one of the reasons I can’t just write Democrats off and resign myself to being a whining Liberal and Progressive,) Stimpson (pound-for-pound one of the most energizing perspectives I’ve come across, whether it’s an actual post or a string of replies in a thread: Stimpson is required reading,) Griper (recently came across him at Truth Shall Rule, it’s impossible to argue with this guy without it degenerating into an intelligent conversation,) Vigilante (Vig has replaced most of the Op Ed I used to read, he makes everybody writing opinion at Newspapers seem like they’re full of shit), Tom Cat (There’s something to be said for “knowing what you are talking about,” there’s more to be said for having “been there.” Tom Cat’s blog brings all of that to bear today and has one of the most important blogs in a concrete historical sense that I read regularly), Oso (If replying on threads was somehow translatable into playing Tennis Doubles matches I’d pick Oso over Roger Federer any day), Beach Bum (Beach’s accounts of what he considers mundane are always profound, his blog Life and Times of a Carolina Parrothead could easily be the subject of a long-running prime-time animated series, -and that’s a compliment, I’m a big “King of the Hill” fan.) The BeeKeeper’s Apprentice (Started reading this after some of BA’s activity on threads at MMA, damn good knowledgable writing, this is nobody’s “apprentice”) Manifesto Joe (I’ve been reading this blog the longest, it’s my “morning coffee.”)

*UPDATED: SEE COMMENTS THREAD BELOW*

Stupidly, I neglected to mention the following in my initial post.

Parsley's Pics is a fine blog that brings an almost federal court room level of seriousness and integrity to its posts, insisting on facts and supplying informed conviction not groundless opinion.

Sue's blog Helloooo...... Mr. President, are you listening?? is a blog I hope goes on forever.
As its name suggests it's a very current blog that insists on getting the details and facts right amidst the din of lies and cacophony of misinformation that is passing for news right now. The blog's title is an evergreen inquiry that will hopefully echo, administration after administration until somebody, someday in the White House answers Sue back.

Burr Deming's Fair and UnBalanced is an outstanding blog that features excellent writing that is informed by a very deft grasp of historical fact. It's hard to believe I failed to mention this blog in the first pass at listing my favorites in this post, but that's probably because I take it for granted nowadays.
Still... I'm often dumbstruck at the correlations and parallels that Burr is able to draw between something as seemingly precedent setting as the degree and extent of current obstruction in the Senate and past events on the capitol, that while forgotten or unknown to most of us, lend us all much needed perspective.

*UPDATED: SEE COMMENTS THREAD BELOW*

And lastly, an earnest acknowledgement to MyCue23 who has set a standard on this blog that has been very hard for me to live up to, but all the more invigorating for the effort.
-Thanks man.

AND again my thanks to all the readers and writers out there in the ether for your eloquence, combativeness and your efforts to express the many formless things that deserve our direct attention but are sidelined by our jobs, our bills, our daily stresses and our increasingly anesthetizing news media.

Cheers.

-SJ

27 comments:

Mycue23 said...

SJ,
I second everything you said. Along this journey, we've picked up so many great writers/oberserves of life, that it makes it much harder to write a piece that doesn't at least try to match the standard that they set. Sometimes comments are the best that I can do as well. What can I say about the Civil Rights movement that TomCat couldn't say better? What can I say about military life that Beach or Vig couldn't say better? What observation about life could I make that Tom Degan or Gwen couldn't make more eloquently? MadMike and Jack make me look like a pansy when it comes to passionate defense of their points.

I would also like to add Leslie and Sue to the list of people who make my job so much harder, but hopefully better as well. Of course SJ, you are the hardest act to follow. I know that trying to live up to your brilliant pieces has made me a better writer. I'm not sure I'll ever reach that standard, but I do keep on trying.

SJ said...

@MyCue23,
ditto on Leslie Parsely and Sue, I'm sure I forgot a few others that'll come to mind this afternoon. I guess I ought to mention -Sepp, who offered me some of the best opportunities to say exactly what I mean in the context of some spirited threads.

Thanks Again.

I wouldn't be doing this if you hadn't asked me along, and wouldn't have gotten excited about it without your example to follow.
All told it was a great idea you had -and still have.
-SJ

Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

Big DITTO dude! Big one. I'm caught up in trying to make rent right about now... so I'm a bit absent... But cha know, I still take a look see, can't help myself! Loved the relationship I found with this post... except for historical timing... obviously I'm in old broad status comparitively. And I hate that they took the spell check out of blogger. I need an editor...too. LOL SJ, great stuff. :-)

SJ said...

Many thanks Gwen!
-SJ

Mycue23 said...

Gwendolyn H Barry,
You are a delight!

Sue said...

are you talking about MOI?? (God I hope so or my little speech here will have me SOOOO embarrassed!!) I have only been at this political blogging since August '09 and I have met the sweetest, kindest, SMARTEST, damn people in the whole world! I can't tell you how humbled I am that you smarties actually put my blog on your sidebar and READ it!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Beach Bum said...

...he considers mundane are always profound...

Naw, I'm just frequently constipated.

The only problem about falling into such a great group of people like everyone you mentioned along Mycue and yourself is the demands of daily living often make keeping up difficult.

Mycue23 said...

You can reserve your embarrasment for another time, Sue. We are indeed talking about you. I'm glad that we found your blog. You deserve to be in the company of everyone that we mentioned. Keep up the good work.

SJ said...

@Beach,
ain't it the truth.

@Sue,
Yes we mean it.
-SJ

Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

You honor me, pal. I'm hardly worthy of it but thanks just the same. I'm almost speechless. Seriously.

All the best,

Tom Degan

SJ said...

@Tom Degan,
Just calling out my favorites, so I can glibly say I was way into these blogs before they got hugely popular and commercial like some jaded snot-nosed teenager.
Cheers TD.
-SJ

Sue said...

WOW...:-)))

tnlib said...

Ohmigod. I look to <> of you for my inspiration and for teaching me by example how I might do it just a little better. I'm still such a novice - what the hell is html anyway? - but I've learned so much from you. I'm envious of your collective wisdom, talent and writing abilities.

Mycue23 said...

Leslie,
I think I discovered you and Sue at about the same time, so you're both kind of linked in my mind. Hopefully that's not a bad thing. Anyway, your writing is terrific and I love the music choices. So keep calling them like you see them and thank you so much for the kind words.

TomCat said...

Thanks, SJ. I'm touched that you would inculde me in such company. Please don't sell yourself short though. In your posts and comments, I see a mind like a steel trap. You often pick up on things that pass others by.

SJ said...

@Tom Cat,
thanks my friend. As I mentioned, I'm a fan of yours. Thanks for stopping by with a kind word. I'm hoping the aggregation above with links will help turn other people on to what you are all doing.
-SJ

Mycue23 said...

I also wanted to add Burr Deming of Fair and Unbalanced Home. His posts are always thought provoking and dead on target. His weekly roundup has led me to a lot of other great voices in the blogosphere. Sorry we missed you the first time around Burr, but you certainly belong with this group of writers.

SJ said...

@Mycue23,
I knew I'd forgotten some key people. Good catch.

Maybe we'll do an awards show, you know, the fastest to make enemies of the people you respect?
-SJ

MadMike said...

SJ you are one "helluvaguy," and I thank you for your kind words.

So with that out of the way, are you a serious know-a-lot-of-shit computer guy? I am always looking for new direction you see and...Aw hell! I'm just kidding buddy. Get your ass back to MMA and start posting. We miss you :-)

P.S. I agree with the characterizations of each writer you mentioned, except perhaps Vigil :-)

SJ said...

@Mad Mike,
The feeling's mutual Mad Mike. Thanks again for inviting me to that arena. I will try to increase output, but as I mentioned I'm reading more of other people's work online than ever before, and glad for it in all honestly. Holte's stuff and also Tom Degan over at the Rant have been particularly impressive lately. I was happy to make all the recommendations above, and also the ones Mycue23 was able to recall in this reply thread that I forgot.

How the hell did I forget someone like Burr Deming?

Anyway, like I said, maybe an online blog awards show some day... just to start a civil (as in well mannered) war bewteen us all.

At the risk of raising your ire my friend, I have to stand by my appraisal of Vig's work, he remains a favorite.
-SJ

Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

I'm really glad you mentioned Burr, Michael. Burr has been, since my first posted blog entry, a great support and meaningful exchang-ist. Burr's site, Fair and UNBalanced is always provocative and detail perfect, a place to go to find the smoothest or roughest edges.
Yea Burr!
LOL :-)

SJ said...

@Gwendolyn,
I feel like an idiot for forgetting. I'll do another post in the Spring on Blogs of note, and lead off with Burr Deming's blog next time. It's certainly one of the best, a true resource.

TRUTH 101 said...

To be right up front SJ, when I had my original site, THE ORACLE SPEAKS, I thought I was smarter than everybody. Since dropping that and joining Octo's Swash Zone group, and now the MadMike group, I've been awakened to a disturbing fact. Everyone you listed, plus many you didn't mention for space constraints or something, are at a higher level than I ever was.


I am just appreciative that everyone has allowed me into this community. Thanks everybody.

Joe (T101)

SJ said...

@Truth 101,
Nah, man. It's a good thing you've got going and the real test is some of the people, -the actual people- who are on the opposite end of the scale ideologically that you attract with your writing: They're smart, some are real Conservatives and they need to come out of hiding and contribute and tell us what they're really thinking, and you're actually drawing them out.
It's significant and admirable.
I've sparred with a few people on your site, and never regretted it. I appreciate the chance to elaborate on a personal or political conviction, and chatting with people like DMarks, Griper and others on Truth Shall Rule offer a means to understanding that is necessary to the nation, but is being drowned out.

--It's been said "you catch more flies with honey."
--It should also be said:
"You Can't get jack shit, with shit."

You sir, possess a compelling perspective. I was glad when Mad Mike asked you on board at MMA because I've written replies on your blog that are longer than this very post.

Keep it going. See you in the ether.
-SJ

Oso said...

SJ,
Thank you for the kind words, and I'm happy you enjoyed the classical music.

I greatly respect your opinion. We have some disagreements with the President;I am frustrated and following his SOTUS I posted two things at Mikes and awaited your reply with trepidation. So your reasoned positions greatly affect and influence me.

Question-if your parents preferred relief pitching would we know you as RJ ?

SJ said...

@Oso,
I meant every word. I don't know a person on Earth who sees eye to eye on everything with another person, nobody intelligent anyway. Who knows, maybe we have an argument coming someday, but who cares? Silence is the thing that friends don't do. I'm reminded of that every time Vig and Mad Mike go at it online.

I look forward to more of your posts and replies.

-and in answer to your question, my mom wasn't into pitchers necessarily, just Koufax himself. She claims she has a scrap book somewhere still, but I've never seen it. If it hadn't been Sandy Koufax, my mom would have gone straight to Jackie Robinson, then Willie Mays. She was a straight up Dodger fan until they left Brooklyn.
You know how that goes.
-SJ

SJ said...

Mays being the only exception of course.