Flutterby™! : politics is local

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politics is local

2006-03-29 01:52:38.986921+00 by Dan Lyke 8 comments

Over at Medley, Lyn looks at that list of most popular weblogs in September of 2000 that I linked to a few days ago. One of the things I'd missed was that the author says:

There are no political blogs on the list—they hadn’t been invented yet. Actually, I got the impression that many bloggers got a bit shirty when political blogs started up, and started getting popular—politics (and especially right-wing politics) wasn’t what the blog-powered future was supposed to be about. Blogs were supposed to be personal, thoughtful, witty, sincere, not brash and combative.

Lyn has a good rant about what it means to be political, and her points have me thinking a bit about that notion. Although these days we think of "politics" as having something to do with a multitude of blood-sucking creatures, isn't it really about affairs having to do with the citizens?

Recently, Charlene and I went to a disaster preparedness evening. They had a little slideshow on organization, and a hierarchical liason structure to the fire department, and after a little while I realized two things:

  1. We already had an ad-hoc structure within our neighborhood that was most of what they were talking about formalizing.
  2. While I'm happy to work with the fire department, and might even sign up to be a neighborhood liason, if it all goes to hell we are clearly on our own. Better that I should teach my neighbors about, say, swiftwater rescue, or coordinate with them on moving supplies by mountain bike if we lose the road out, than depend on folks who are going to be way overworked, who've only book learning on situations I have direct experience with, and who think that big 4WD will save them.

Which comes back to Lyn's notion of what counts as politics. If politics means "of the people" or "of the citizens", we shouldn't excuse the current Washington D.C. freakshow with the label. Whether or not we groan or cheer when we read 'em, sites like Talking Points Memo and Instapundit aren't generally about citizens, or at least not about people who comport themselves like citizens ought. Nor are the issues they report on really germane to our lives, while I have a rush of schadenfreude with every Republocrat or Demican who gets taken down for bribery or what have you, the difference is largely that the others haven't gotten caught yet. And while we have a set of civil liberties issues with the current regime, remember that we lost ground on that front under the previous administration too.

And the only thing we can do to change that is to start with our neighbors and the people in our various communities, understand why they continue to vote for these power structures, and help them to understand that centralizing services is a bad idea and that voting for empty promises in a flashy suit is a worse one.

So, yeah, we've had political weblogs for as long as there have been weblogs. Politics should be local, must be local, and diluting the word by giving it to people whose only function is to provide publicity to the dysfunctional freakshow harms us all.

[ related topics: Politics Weblogs moron Community Education ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2006-03-29 15:45:15.895832+00 by: acm

help! a swath or two of text appear to have been lost in the last two paragraphs (or fragments thereof). fill us in, fill in! :)


#Comment Re: made: 2006-03-29 17:06:46.720948+00 by: Dan Lyke

Or just delete enough to stop it while it's still coherent [grin].

#Comment Re: made: 2006-03-29 17:36:22.905186+00 by: Dan Lyke [edit history]

Just because I ran across it: I expressed unease about media coverage that looks on politics as though it were a horse race back in February 2000.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-03-29 19:57:33.314767+00 by: spc476


You might want to disable Trackback—that Feb 2002 entry is rife with gambling links now.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-03-30 00:42:19.333381+00 by: Dan Lyke

Thank you, I didn't even notice. Trackbacks are now gone entirely, too much work to dig through to try to find the good ones.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-03-30 06:26:14.867347+00 by: TC

Self reliance... go figure. it never seems to go out of style

don't discount big 4WDs they are useful tools

#Comment Re: made: 2006-03-30 13:56:34.05551+00 by: meuon

(I'm an owner of a BIG 4WD) - But what happens is people think they can get out of -anything- with that Hummer. - And then they find it has limits when the paths are gone, and it don't fit in between the trees and the road is washed out. (I've seen Dan's road). Some of my most critical things would become my water purification filter (no, not a Brita), and my camp stoves (including the one made from a coffee can that burns anything that burns), and our bicycles. And while I may carry a .45, I'll be hunting meat with a .22. Boots. Good shoes. Sleeping bags. Very important. - All of a sudden all those camping things become very important, as will my solar panels, battery charger and LED Lights. Which reminds me, my home medical/triage kit is very much missing and I need to rebuild it. - Superglue, Suture Kits, Ibuprofen and Aspirin, and some anti-histimens and such..hemostats..

#Comment Re: made: 2006-03-30 19:59:05.125091+00 by: Dan Lyke

In this case the 4WD involved fire department trucks. So, yeah, big 4WD. On the other hand, the scenario out here that happened in the early '80s involved water over Sir Francis Drake, the main east-west artery in and out. As someone with extensive swift-water experience, if the water is that high then there's a good chance that there are things under the water that will be hazardous to any vehicle, not to mention the potential issues should you get out of your vehicle (someone made a comment about "canoes", and it was all I could do to not lay about me with a clue stick).

Yeah, water purification, camp stove, an extra set of polyprolyne long underwear, tops and bottoms, a sleeping bag...

And the nice thing about being out in West Marin amongst all the stoners is that I'm guessing hemostats will be available.