Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The long absence

I've been nudged by precisely one person about my absence from this tiny forum over the past month, and that after promising a post of some weight, size, and temperament. I have no excuse, except to present the current cascade of scoffing, incredulity, and righteous indignation echoing from columnists far and wide on this day just past known as Labor Day. It seems that they've all suddenly discovered that the main purpose of our current economic ideology is the collective deprivation of those who have some to provide more for those who have much.

I've been saying that (and many other things like it, on topics not constrained solely to the economy, as well) for years. And I get really tired of repeating myself on the same issues, over and over, especially when the arguments against my statements become weaker and weaker as time goes on. Far be it from me to arrogate enlightenment to myself. There are many more people than me who've been saying this long before the timid morons and the Washington Post started. And that's perhaps precisely the point: I'm not sure that anything emerging here is in any way different or of more particular value to the struggle at large than anything else.

At one point, I assumed that this would be a viable venting outlet. But venting often invites feedback, and with so little of it, the compulsion to keep venting becomes very weak; almost pedantic. So, apologies to those who expected something better, but no guarantees on when and how much singing to the void will continue in the future. There are a lot of other things to read on the Web, anyway...


Anonymous Juscha said...

Now, now, I'm here! You're in my line-up of blogs that I regularly check, and I was really looking forward to your longer rant that you promised . . .

4:50 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Here's my rambling rant of a comment, as the nudger in question.

Greens, progressives, radicals, and malcontents generally do not lack for coherent and convincing writers. We have two problems: one, we don't read each other, and two, we're so diffused that it's more trouble than it's worth to track each other down, even if we wanted to read each other.

One possible solution is highly individualized blogs, which work if and only if the content is of consistent quality and quantity. The opposite solution is a wide-open forum like IMCs, which will publish nearly anything. The first is too intense for most folks to maintain, and the second has too low a signal-to-noise ratio to be taken seriously.

By far the most successful community blog ever is Slashdot (which preceded the word "blog" by a good six or seven years). Hundreds, if not thousands, of blogs have tried to replicate their model, which is simply that the community brings stories to team, which filters them. I myself tried this in '99-2000 with a site I called Greendot, and I'm trying again with Chlorophyll.us, with some rather feeble success.

My point is that we need a group effort that is open, but not tear-the-doors-off-their-hinges open. We need a forum, but we need to remember that a forum is about listening more than speaking. I really don't care if it's a newspaper, a magazine, a communal blog, a radio station, or whatever, but we need to work together. I think we need to strengthen something that already exists, because starting something new just perpetuates the problem.

Progressive, independent community media are fundamental to social change. We Greens and progressives are pretty good at discussing the message, but now we need to talk about the medium.

9:55 PM  

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