Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Captain Plaid - Why I'll Continue Blogging!

I’ve been busy lately but I’m getting a fair amount done around the property. Time is scarce even with the summer vacation from “teaching” the “scholars” I was working with this past year. I’ve also had some flack from my conservative/evangelical family on my blogging and the rare “Letter to the Editor” to my local rag, even those that were mistakenly viewed as such. My ex-wife has gone on the warpath to boot! I have several projects that are going to take some serious effort and time, plus I’ve got to figure out how to start making a living this Fall. I’ll admit I’ve pondered dropping the whole blogging enterprise. I’d continue to read as much as I could but might stop posting. But I’m not, at least not just yet. Here’s why:

    1. Blogging gives me a chance to vent. “If you aren’t outraged then you aren’t paying attention!” seems to work for me. I am often amazed at the lack of understanding in our “leadership” from the national to local level. Journalist and pundits disappoint me as well at times yet the pseudo-commentators and Astroturf organizations and those playing The Mighty Wurlitzer deserve my/our scorn.
    2. Blogging lets me communicate and connect. I do read several major and also a few minor blogs yet rarely comment. However, I can feel connections with others that are concerned enough to share. I’m stuck here in the boonies of East Alabama with less human contact than might be ideal. I like being alone at times yet admittedly enjoy intellectual discourse and basic banter about the things of life. Sharing ideas and thoughts seems so human. Blogging, both reading and writing posts, seems very suitable for that process.
    3. Writing, and thinking for that matter, can be a creative release. I like to build and do. I am sure my mind is improved from the process. Seems harmless at least. I’d love to be able to profit financially from the work yet doubt that will happen. But I do profit in other ways.
    4. I truly learn from reading and thinking. Blogs, plus the links and resources they’ve sent me to as well, have taught me so much. I am learning how to be a better writer, with a long ways to go admittedly, yet even this relatively well-educated man learns plenty every day from reading the posts of some super smart folks. I believe we should learn until we die. When we stop learning then we might as well check out. I’m just forty. I think often that a well seasoned man could contribute to this sort of effort even it he can’t work like a young man.
    5. This blogging seems so democratic. Regular folks are able to challenge the authorities and powerful and those with an audience. The marketplace of ideas on steroids it seems.
    6. Blogging is a bargain. A high speed line tied to an admittedly old computer and I’m there. Lots of bang for the buck it seems.
    7. Blogging expands my world. I get to read ideas from people around the planet that I’d otherwise never know. I get views certainly from locations that I’m not likely to visit. I hear from the Left Coast to DC to Philly to NYC to The ATL to Colorado to …
    8. I feel more patriotic by blogging. I’m connected to a group that cares about our nation. We often are critical of our governments yet I think that is the ultimate sign of patriotism. We seek the ideal that this country can be. I believe in the work of the ACLU and other groups that seek the protections of those freedoms and traditions that makes this nation still worth saving. I believe in social justice and these efforts allow me to work in those fields.
    9. I like politics and public policy. Armchair wonk? My four main blogs had been thought out as “thinking globally and acting locally”, with Marque Stuart being an aside that I hope to return to as able. Captain Plaid (nation/world) to Captain Bama (region) to Tin Shop Tartan (local) work in that continuum. Captain Jimi lets me fight the culture war in one location yet I continue to believe there’s often overlap in all areas. I still think Progressivism may best be "sold” through local applications. Fighting back against conservatism’s powerful message machine almost requires insurgency on the local level given how the mainstream media and some Democrats continue to let them get away with distortions and talking points. Also, some centrist Democrats are nearly as bad at the GOP with their allegiances to The Big Mules very certain. Progressives have few leaders on the national stage, with Russ Feingold being one exception it seems. In Alabama and locally, Lefty Progressives are even more rare.
    10. Finally, I blogged on Howard Zinn via Captain Plaid just yesterday. One segment he wrote was “…we still might accept as our civic duty the responsibility to buttress our fellow citizens against the mendacity of our high officials.” So I’m carrying out my “civic duty” perhaps? “Responsibility” is a good word. We do the painful at times due to duty. Nothing could be more important for citizens of our world than to engage and care. I do.

I’ll soldier on, as always. Peace … or War!