The scene was terrible, as a giant strode the landscape, leaving devastation and chaos in his wake. Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies, rivers and seas boiling, dogs and cats, living together, mass hysteria!
This weekend has witnessed a blogswarm in honor of Blogroll Amnesty Day. It's dedicated to the idea of linking and promoting the fine work of bloggers who aren't
Personally, I'm rather fond of gigantic mutant lizards, as well as the work of many "A-list" bloggers. But there are times I read posts that seem surprisingly dismissive of bloggers who aren't as prominent, and who aren't necessarily blogging as their primary job, for greater influence with a given political party or for media gigs (luckily, the blogosphere also allows for dissections of such posts and more measured followups by their authors). Those are all valid reasons for blogging, and sincere kudos to those bloggers who can make a living doing it, but of course, the vast majority don't.
I wouldn't think writing about why people blog would be necessary, but I'm also surprised when people don't see the point of supporting the arts, or when friggin' professors don't understand the value of teaching literature. I understand why some bloggers are loathe to write about blogging itself, but given the mainstream media's still frequent dismissal of even prominent bloggers and their fact-checking, sometimes it's sorta necessary. ("Why the hell are you spending all that time blogging" is also a question many bloggers with families or the similarly over-committed may face fairly often, from others or ourselves!) Every blogger can speak for him or herself, and there's certainly not one way to blog — where would be the fun in that? But in my experience, I'd say blogging is about personal expression, about community, about an exchange of ideas, and giving more people a voice. Political blogging specifically is a way of more directly engaging in democracy, giving vent to justified frustrations and engaging in positive activism. Jane Hamsher put it nicely when she wrote:
During the '90s, railing at the TV set was the isometric sport of the silent majority... That isolation ended with the advent of the progressive blogosphere, which acts as a virtual water cooler for those who not only want to rail at the TV set, they want the TV set to listen.
As to the value of linking smaller blogs from those vituperative, foul-mouthed bloggers of the left, I would hope that, given that "democracy" thing, explaining such linkage isn't necessary, but Joe Gandelman at The Moderate Voice has a nice summary (via Skippy).
In any case, thanks to Jon Swift and Skippy, thanks to Blue Gal, and thanks to all those who make a habit of linking less trafficked blogs (such as Melissa McEwan and her thrice-weekly blogwhoring links and threads). Thanks especially to Mike Finnigan of Mike's Blog Roundup at John Amato's Crooks and Liars, where they do indeed celebrate Blogroll Amnesty Day the year 'round.
Finally, here's a set of blogs I'm highlighting for Blogroll Amnesty Day. While VS is rather low on the totem pole (and I suppose I should release sitemeter data to tracking sites), I get to fudge on the "less-trafficked blogs" thing thanks to BH. (Ha! Just try and stop me!)
House of the Rising Sons: Fade has a nice habit of highlighting other people's work, and has gone all poetic for this Blogroll Amnesty Day.
Ice Station Tango: It's hard to keep up with all the places Station Agent blogs, but head down to the chilly south to see Tom Cruise acting creepy and Bush acting even creepier. (Funnily enough, VS and BH got a shout-out for this event over there I just saw now. Thanks!)
Suzi Riot... Rants from the Left: Some days Suzi riots, and other days she just dissects the BS. (Okay, now I'm getting embarrassed, since she kindly linked VS in her B.A.D. post. I swear, I didn't plan this!)
Sugar Land is Dreaming could use a little love, and spending five hours on Arabic homework certainly does make the world a better place.
Cheyanne's Campsite: When not discussing Deer Hunting with Jesus, Chayanne considers the quality of all those jobs mentions by politicians.
The Non Sequitur provides "A Logical Analysis of Political Media." Run by two philosophy professors who sure know their informal logical fallacies, it makes for a fun and educational read. Check out "The Goldberg Variation."
The Nefarious Lair of LGPPP, Inc. (Lesbian Gangs Packing Pink Pistols): "An Organization Bent on World Domination," and doing it in style. To paraphrase Kent Brockman, I, for one, welcome our new lesbian overlords.
There are too many good blogs out there, and too little time to read them all, but I promise to do a better job this year reading, linking, learning, and spreadin' the luv. So more to come. Happy blogging!
(Cool pic courtesy of Skippy.)
(Another cool pic, courtesy of Zen Comix.)
(Cross-posted at The Blue Herald, for more link luv, natch.)