B8: Blogosphere

Still within the element of ‘Air’ this week, I turn to the letter ‘B’ to frame my blogging subjects. Since I left off with the poisoned media airways, I progress to the blogosphere. Some people hate that term, but I don’t much mind. And, the Air aspect of communication and connection still pertains. I can remember five years ago when I first read about web logs=blogs and I couldn’t imagine being that forthcoming on a global format. Ha!

My most valuable source of information is the internet. I rely on progressive writers following academically grounded standards in journalism and fact checking to point me to the best and the brightest on the web. Here I find the best accounting of the news of our world. Faster than was imaginable even a few years ago, I am able to witness truth, to hear actual words spoken. Most importantly, I can comment and question and even contribute. I am no longer captive to these clowns in the mainstream media.

Update: I have a disclaimer, I absolutely refuse to visit the Daily Kos because it hasn't been a progressive blog I respect for more than a year now. There is a frightening group mind at work there that discounts all the points I make in this post. That is all. I will make a point of including respected blogs in my blogroll.

As an overview, for me the blogs biggest benefits lie within the internet itself. The best have been:
  1. Getting information not being reported by our corporate news.
  2. Creating trust in the accuracy of what I read in the popular progressive blogs.
  3. Challenging the lies, the rightwing narratives broadcast in corporate news.
  4. Organizing united fronts against bad legislation, illegal actions, judicial outrages, etc.
  5. Teaching me and millions of others about global warming and climate change.
  6. Providing activist outlets, ideas and life choices.
  7. Promoting community and commitment.
  8. Participation in what I value most highly, among those I respect.
  9. Access to amazingly witty, erudite and brilliant minds.
  10. Access to lizardbrain, drooling fucknuckle memes – forewarned is forearmed.
  11. Links to tools – dictionarys, calculators, conversions, weather, maps, zip codes, rates, etc.
  12. No cost. Without this I could not list anything else.
I vividly remember finding progressive blogs when it seemed that nobody I worked with or met were talking about the same political problems I was seeing all around me. I marched against the Iraq invasion in February of 2003 with the millions all over the world. But, I only accidentally found that there was going to be a march in Phoenix because of the blogosphere. I searched all of the print media and the broadcast new sites on the internet and there was absolutely no information. I called my son and my friend in California and Colorado and they said they knew nothing about any march. Yet, tens of thousands marched. The follow-up was also nearly non-existent.

Words are powerful. Despite the internet still not being universally available to all citizens, the numbers grow. More importantly, the progressive blogosphere have had some effect in challenging the right wing memes, the talking points coming directly from the White House through the think tanks to the punditry. The press is largely acting as a stenographic pool, whereas the progressive blogs challenge the narrative.

I remember well when Melissa McEwan and Amanda Marcotte were attacked across the rightwing blogs and threatened by Bill Donohue of the Catholic League. Everything they were accused of was false, yet they had to leave their involvement with the Edwards campaign and both received death threats. The hate out there is stunning. The misogyny in our culture is stronger now than I recall in years. Women in the blogosphere have be attacked as noted in the above story. For this reason I chose to close comments on make-a-(green) plan. I have zero tolerance for bloviating buttheads. Though this isn’t a political blog per se and I am not as prone to hate, I just chose not to entertain trolls - even ‘concern’ trolls.

I have been giving examples here from the politically liberal blogosphere. Yet, I don’t see a demarcation between sustainable living and progressive politics. When it comes to the biosphere, the environment, IMHO there is nothing in the Conservative Party that conserves. Conservation is absent from the Bu$h Administration policies of the last seven years, if not the last three decades of conservative party platforms. The evidence is our national infrastructure is crumbling even made mainstream media news - New Orleans levees, Minneapolis bridge.

Blogs about healing our environment, reducing consumption, peak oil, sustainable living, going green, low impact, reducing carbon, reducing, recycling, reusing, eating locally, etc. are my favorite place to visit each and every morning. I usually feel like these blogs are the only encouragement we get that is sincere. Greenwashing (corporate advertising with misleading green information) and Astroturf (grassroots paid for by vested interests) are subjects for another day.

I laughed with Sharon’s article this last weekend, titled But Honey, the Crazy Woman on the Blog Made Me Do It! Then Crunchy Chicken followed up with a poll to rank Those Crazy Environmentalist Nut Jobs.

I am really getting a kick out of the community crossover here and the fun. I wrote a comment to at least introduce the idea that it is self-sabotage to buy into the notion that we are abhorrent to be environmentalists. A portion of that follows.

But, I am also glad several voices broached the obvious though rarely stated reality. Of course environmentalists are told they are whacky, extreme, radical yada yada yada. Billions of dollars are at stake for the powers that be. We are supposed to be too embarrassed or afraid of being strident. You know the message, just keep driving, eating junk food, shopping at WalMart and eating meat.

What other country on the planet makes environmental activists terrorists, but not the people bombing clinics?

Two things, I don’t believe it is an accident that the prevailing attitude is being an environmentalist is kooky or crazy. Powers that do not want the American consumer to stop consuming spend billions to keep us embarrassed to step up to the environmental movement. If bright, activist women believe they need to sneak their ideas under the man of the house’s nose, or that women and girls should be ashamed to talk about using a Diva Cup, we know that women are (at minimum) still not wielding the psychological equity one would imagine of the 21st century relationship. Sigh.

Here are my favorite places to visit each day. It is like studying at a living, vibrant University of the Blogosphere.
Several of these blogs are written by professional writers, like Colin Bevan (NIM) , the Canadian journalist Vanessa and Sharon Astyk (Casaubon). Earthfamilyalpha has writers, poetry, music and art. Path to Freedom is a family I hope everyone checks out as they expand their website this year. Then there are all of us who are simply writing for our own reasons. This is a remarkable phenomenon and I feel it a gift that I can be a part of it at this time and place in my life.

I would like to bring more of a feminist, progressive voice to the environmental blogs and a green, sustainable voice to the progressive blogs. We all in this together.

Bloggrrl Poster from Shakesville
Flickr for letter b