Can you hear me now?

Jon Swift is a big star who labors heroically for the internet underdogs, and reminds us always that this blogosphere was meant to be a far-reaching, multifaceted, interwoven network of social equals in community.

His highly anticipated goodwill gesture, Best Blog Posts of 2007 is finally up, each one contributed by the bloggers themselves.

Some are very funny, some are quite serious, some will make you angry and some will make you say “Huh?” Go ahead and click on a link that sounds intriguing or from a blog you haven’t read before or check in with an old favorite. You may not agree with what someone has written, but contrary to popular belief, there hasn’t been a single documented case of anyone’s head exploding from reading a post he or she disagrees with. I certainly don’t agree with everything that is linked to here, but I do believe, like a real conservative, in the marketplace of ideas, in letting 1,000 flowers bloom (as Chiang Kai-shek once said), that more discussion is better than less, and every one of these posts is worth reading.

Sadly, it appears the lone mad post was submitted by yours truly, and I wish there were others, his offer was open to all comers, who only had to step up and respond, then sit back and bask in the warm glow of higher traffic. Perhaps there are craxxxy progressives who prefer blogging from inside the closet, or feel unsafe/defensive/unworthy/too cool for inclusion in the larger fray, or are just not yet reading the sublime Jon Swift, if that’s even possible. At any rate I welcome your insight on the vagaries of self-imposed marginalization, and leave 2007 in love and gratitude that some people who are not even me might actually know the score:

I think this round-up reflects what is best about the blogosphere — that it gives so many talented people a chance to express themselves and makes it so much easier for the government to know who to arrest first in case of a national emergency.

Appetite? Meet banquet.

Updated to add: Oh my stars and garters, turns out there is in fact another post besides my own that speaks to mental health issues, by a certain Unruly Duckling, who chose pro-psychiatry as her most significant message to the world in 2007:

I hear of people who refuse medication because they worry it will turn them into some kind of vapidly grinning zombie or that the withdrawal symptoms won’t ever allow them to go off the drugs. I am here to suggest to you that

IF YOU FEEL BAD, YOU SHOULD TAKE THE DRUGS!

Gracious, this blogger certainly appears to be arguing with someone. Will non-dominant voices of knowledge, experience and self-determination do the nation a favor and put their truth out there?

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Posted in Letters to Woody
8 comments on “Can you hear me now?
  1. grizzledanold says:

    Sure. You want what one thinks, right? Why, I don’t know, seems distractive.
    But, I offer what I told a friend over at the Shelter. She put it up. Although it applies to discussion boards, not blogs, it’s still all one thing – internet participation.
    I really don’t like it, nor feel that “ each and every post is worthwhile,” or some such nonsense like that.
    That’s rubbish.
    But, here’s the Shelter post, for what it‘s worth, and that’s absolutely nothin’ in a box ( no bow):

    i’ve talked to grizz about this over the years, and he feels that people on a board are not part of a life but become unhealthy intrusions on a life in a very surrealistic and bizarre way. he feels many, many people on an internet board have no business thinking of themselves as friends much less part of another’s life. yet on an almost daily basis, they are there under that assumption. he feels it prevents the resumption or growth of a healthy life.

  2. Kay Olson says:

    Yesterday was the first I’d heard of Jon Swift and his year-end round-up. I hope, like you, that next year brings more disability-savvy links to that collection. Glad yours is part of it this time around.

    Happy New Year.

  3. flawedplan says:

    We may be seeing a new mental disorder in the DSM reflecting Internet addiction, Grizz, but it’s not all chatboards, lolcats and downloading porn. The political blogosphere is a culture, in it you can expect to find intent, reputation, strategy and an eye toward outcomes; social change. If you have any doubt about the impact of blogging on the national scene over the last five years you may have some catching up to do.

    Kay, I’m honored to see you here, and I want to congratulate you on the new gig at Alas, and of course thank you for including Writhe Safely in your introductory post.

  4. grizzledanold says:

    I don’t have doubt about it, I have doubt about its worth.
    Could do more harm than good you know. Too much distorted power; too much power that’s distorted.
    I like blogs as sources of information, I don’t like the damn posts on them that much. I want to be silent, in a tomb, receiving, not giving, dead to the world. Now what could be wrong with that? A deep slumber, without pause, without breath, without harmony – just information spinning its wiles all the while. A good place to lay ones head and mourn – forever; don’t you think? Don’t answer, that would be a post.

    It’s not just internet addiction, it’s real lack of contact. In a vibrant or peaceful way. You know, let’s all get together for bridge, bombs, and golf balls through eyes of needles. What that means, I don’t know, but I think I heard Huckabee say it the other day.

  5. grizzledanold says:

    I want to add I’m not talking just about internet addiction, I’m talking about abuse. I don’t know one person who hasn’t been scarred by emotional abuse from board sites. Perhaps this extends to blogs too; I have no reason to believe it couldn’t. Many leave, and leave much the worse for the experience. To stay actually would be masochistic, and I know some who seem to have evolved into that condition.
    These are not innocent communities, and they don’t operate purely in a benevolent structure. What makes them harmful is the gradually gathered intrusion of sadists.

    Don’t forget too, that much as leaflets in the past spread propaganda and slander, compared to them the disinformation disseminated at many sites is further reaching, more intense, and enjoys virtual (no pun intended) unstoppable impunity.

  6. Denise says:

    This is very interesting. Thanks for the heads up!

  7. thememoryartist says:

    Yep. I hear you, even through the closet door. :0P

  8. flawedplan says:

    Hi TMA, sometimes we need to take a break, nothing wrong with that.

    Grizz, today’s NYT piece may serve as counterpoint to your thoughtful cautions:

    http://www.groupnewsblog.net/2007/12/ny-times-magazine-steven-gilliard-jr.html

    Amen.

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