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February 11, 2003
All about me

I'd suggest you pass on this entry and go read something more interesting or something that's more the kind of thing you should be worrying about right now.

Along with the value, of blogging, I've been contemplating my political opinions recently.

It's just, you see, that I'm not so much for one party's platform as I am against Bush and all of his political and religious personas and agendas.

And it's necessary to be for something. It's easy to sit around and complain that someone else ain't doing it right and heaven knows the current Administration just begs for any intelligent person to do so, but it's not so simple, especially for the average know-nothing like myself, to be for things.

It's easy to point a finger and say this Administration is using "No Child Left Behind!" as a rallying cry while, behind their backs they're indifferent to those issues that are of most importance to children, but not as easy to explain how all children could rationally be given an equal and fair chance at success. No, this Administration shouldn't be making hypocritical speeches, but I don't know how I'd solve the problem, either.

It's easy to scream down the house when people's civil liberties are infringed because the Bill of Rights was overridden by panicked legislation from a shaken Congress, but not so easy to explain how I'd handle improving security in a nation like this.

It's easy to be angered over the Bushleaguer's indifferent slashing of the budgets for necessary federal programs because I think of the cost to the millions of individuals dependent on those programs, but the truth is that I'm not necessarily for a huge, federal government.

If there's such a thing as, "economies of scale" then surely there's such a thing as "dis-economies of scale" and I defy anyone to ignore the fact that millions upon millions of dollars that might be used to aid the needy are eaten up by the costs of running a huge bureaucracy. I do think that that same amount of tax revenue, if collected on and used at the city and state levels, would translate into more assistance.

Of course, some states and some cities have less revenue to begin with, meaning they'd be left with less revenue to work with if not for the feds parceling out the money from a central source and that's how we got nationally subsidized assistance programs in the first place.

This just isn't a simple issue.

Also.

It's easy to shout in outrage against opening up our untouched wilderness areas for oil exploration while also objecting to this Administration's grab for the oil of Iraq, as I'm sitting here at an electronic computer, eating my microwaved meal in a centrally heated building, secure in the knowledge that the current to the lights will continue to flow and that my gasoline-powered car will take me comfortably home again.

I'm not unaware of the irony.

Nor do I think that using paper towels made from largely recycled materials absolves me of crass consumerism.

I'm going to go start being for things. More thought is needed....

Posted by AnneZook at 09:16 AM | Comments (0)
February 10, 2003
Navel-gazing

I've been considering this-here bloggin' thing.

Specifically, I've been considering a previous entry about the pros and cons of blogging. After having posted that typical, emotion-driven response to the subject, it continued to percolate in my head.

Is there a end to all of this blogging, a raison d'Ítre for the hours we spend gathering, contemplating, and commenting on events?

For some bloggers there is, of course.

If you're Joshua Marshall, writing the things you can't say in a newspaper column, or Eric Alterman or someone else making a living from this, then there's a reason to continue.

If you've been blogging for a while and are getting wide recognition, if you're intelligent and articulate, then there's a point to keeping up with it all because people are listening.

What about the other 9,990 of us? Are we, in the end, just a bunch of me-too coat-tail clingers?

Should we leave the punditry and commentary to those who got here first? Should we read the BigBlogs, make our decisions based on their source material and their responses, then go out and take action instead of adding to the weight of opinion?

Is energy that should be put into activism being frivolled away in results-free ranting? Are we actually participating in a process, arrving in some way at a useful consensus, or are we just kicking metaphorical cats and cursing into thin air?

Maybe we should cap political commentary blogs. Pick the top 500 (see Blogstreet) and let them talk. The rest of us could spend our time reading, maybe commenting, and coming to conclusions. Even taking action, assuming that the energy generated by 500 blogs is enough to reach critical mass and inspire us all to stand up, walk outside, and raise our voices. (I'm a life-long procrastinator who hasn't yet reached the point where I'm inclined to do more than air my arrogance in a convenient forum.)

As it turns out, I still don't have an actual point, but I'm bothered by this subject, maybe more than I should be.

It's unarguable, though, that thought that isn't translated into action might as well not have existed at all. I shouldn't penalize the rest of the world for my own procrastination, but I can't be the only person around who means to take action and who wants to take action but who is somehow always a day or two late getting around to it.

Posted by AnneZook at 02:35 PM | Comments (0)