Monday, January 28, 2008


I just received my latest copy of The New York Review of Books in the mail, and turned immediately to the article by Sarah Boxer with the simple title, Blogs. Once assigned to "create an anthology of blogs" for a book, she addresses that insurmountable task in the article. She also reviews several recent books about blogs. Aside from describing what a blog is, some of the legal rules concerning blogs, and the difference between blogs and journalistic and/or book writing, she finishes with a wonderful allegory of superheroes and bloggers, summing it up with the phrase, "They [bloggers] are what they write." I think that is true.

Speaking of blogging, the discussion amongst several Idaho bloggers over at RedStateRebels on the topic of videos versus live speakers at the Frank Church Banquet is interesting, important, and somewhat amusing. I think the idea of videos is great; however, I prefer live speakers (especially since I have to spend so much money and travel that far...I may as well live in Canada....). Of course, since the IDP has only posted partial information about the Frank Church Banquet, it's difficult to know exactly what the weekend's plans entail. Now I've heard that the candidates will not only have a chance to speak on Friday evening, but that they will all have hospitality rooms as well. If that's the case, then videos at the banquet no longer seem like such a bad idea.

I think that the problem here is that the IDP just doesn't release enough information at any given time. This tends to make their activities appear secretive, ill-planned, or just plain unorganized. Things seem to be getting better now that some re-organization of the website is going on, we have a new party chair, the Chair of County Chairs is a well-organized and diplomatic, and Shelley and Randy are around to keep everyone apprised of what they know. But the IDP still needs to do more to keep one step ahead of the bloggers..... if that's even possible.

Unfortunately for me, I am unable to get to Boise before about 8:30 Friday evening so I'll miss out on everything that day. Luckily for me, I am not afraid of speaking to candidates and asking them tough questions like how could you possibly support more nuclear energy in Idaho when there's nothing to do with the waste, it uses so much water and its costs to taxpayers are outrageous?; or how could you even think of mentioning pro-logging in Boundary County when not only is it the single most controversial wedge issue here, and, when Risch's roadless plan puts so much of Boundary County into the General Forest (read "protected by USFS whim") category; or what is your plan for withdrawal from Iraq; or what would you do in the US Congress to fight corporate monopolies; or how do you stand on the death penalty, on gay marriage, on the second amendment; and so forth.

Anyway, for the moment, I'm just trying to get enough money together to attend the Frank Church Banquet....

Back to blogging, which I think is a wonderful way for people to connect. It's great, creative, informative, occasionally malevolent, but usually positively purposeful (as in the "alternative" press), sometimes petty as well as brilliant, witty, idiotic, cathartic and blatantly over-personal, stream of consciousness as well as the well-researched academic article, and the adjectives go on and on.

I think that the Idaho bloggers have done quite well in bringing together diverse areas of this state so that suddenly it's not just north, south east and west, but Idaho as one entity. Not that regional differences don't exist and I, for one, make that obvious. But now I know what's going on in Boise, Pocatello, Idaho Falls or Moscow. I hear about energy plans around Idaho, the latest Bill Sali idiocies, what's happening in the ID Legislature, Larry Craig's latest presents to the IDP, environmental concerns around the state, as well as about food, restaurants, drink, local politics, and so forth. All thanks to Idaho's bloggers.

Indeed, meeting these bloggers at the Frank Church Banquet will probably be just as exciting, if not more so, than watching our candidates speak, uh, act, uh, whatever it is they'll be going (no offense intended, candidates, but blogging is just, well, just so interesting). Maybe it's just appreciation of the writing. As Anais Nin once wrote, "We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection."

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