Jon Swift does us a Boswellin favor by pointing us toward the calandar. Yes, it is that time again, to celebrate Blogroll Amnesty Day.
To be completely honest, I'm not sure if I ever knew of the first one; Jon Swift gives us the history of it.
The idea that links are the capital of the blogosphere seems so obvious that you would think an economist like Atrios of Eschaton would have realized it long ago. And as he is a progressive who has accumulated quite a bit of link wealth, you might also think he would be in favor of redistributing some of that wealth instead of just letting it trickle down. So when he announced last year that he was declaring February 3 Blogroll Amnesty Day, and other bloggers followed suit, I assumed he meant that he was opening his blogroll up to the masses. I sent him a polite email pointing out that his blog was on my blogroll and I would really appreciate it if he would add my blog to his. I never heard back from him.Well, that makes it clearer.
When February 3 rolled around, many bloggers discovered to their horror that instead of adding new blogs to his blogroll he was throwing many off, including some bloggers who were his longtime friends. Blogroll Amnesty Day, it turned out, was a very Orwellian concept. Instead of granting amnesty to others he was granting amnesty to himself not to feel bad for hurting others feelings. Though Atrios has stubbornly refused to acknowledge that he made a mistake, some bloggers who initially joined him, backtracked. Markos of the Daily Kos instituted a second blogroll that consisted of random links from diarists. PZ Myers of Pharyngula now has real Blogroll Amnesty Days where he invites anyone who has blogrolled him to join his blogroll. And in the wake of the bloodletting quite a number of smaller blogs, like my friend skippy the bush kangaroo, changed their own blogroll policies and now link more freely to others.
I have not linked to Atrios for years - or Dkos (though I have a dusty diary over there) simply because they are all too aware of how cool they are, and I have an allergy to "kool kids" that dates back to grade school. I don't spend a lot of time listening to them chatter about one another, or who is "in" and who is "out" - I did seventh grade once, survived it by the skin of my teeth and have no desire to repeat the phenomonon. Just incedentally, in the wake of the slow-motion collapse of Pajamas Media, and their shedding of their Seminal Talent, does it really make sense for liberals and progressives to start trying to enclose their own Commons?
Such mindless partisanship and groupthink leads people to believe that Sarah Palin or Harry Trueman would be "safe" choices. Why other people have to relearn this lesson again and again - with actual guns and policies involved - shows me that whatever diseased perveristy I suffer from, it might be a good thing if it were communicable.
For a Canadian example, I recall talking to someone attending a Social Credit Riding Association meeting, asking aloud why the hell they were supporting William Vander Zalm for party leader.
The Response: "Because he's electable." The point to this for those unfamiliar with now obscure political trivia - The BC Social Credit Party barely maintains a legal existance. He WAS electable. He was elected. The rest was fairly predictable to anyone who didn't think that being a Socred and going to all the fun Socred Parties made you Cool.)
The popularity of an idea does not make it correct.
I find it a lot more productive to write for Google anyhow; if you can work "Brittney Spears naked" into a post, it's almost as good as an Atrios one-liner - and no pandering is required. Irony aside, I'm constantly amazed at the things that show up on my engine results; were it not for Google, I'd never have known of the widespread suspicion that soy protein was a key ingredient in the "Feminazi/Faggot Axis" to turn real men into metrosexuals obsessed with home decor, arugula and human rights.
FYI, you beef-based wackadoodles - do some googling to find out exactly who controls the soybean supply in the US and you will find they are brought to you by the fine people who bring you High Fructose Corn Syrup. (And what about soy protein meal being fed to your favorite food? What about the spiritual and hormonal danger of eating gay and lesbian beef?) But I digress - slightly, and yet, not all that much. B.A.D. is about retaining the immense power of the Internet to bring us the unexpected thought and the unanticipated connection.
As rude as the purge was, I get very, very little traffic from the blogrolls I'm on and I have to tell you, probably send less. They do take up a lot of space and I can see the problem for those blogs that actually make money via their monetizing.
I can't even remember the last time I clicked on a naked blogroll, and I don't think I've added to my blogroll in months. I have gotten followers, added them to feed-rolls and followed blogs alike - using those nifty built in Blogger widgets - and found things well worth reading. For the longest time, I've been meaning to move them over, and I suppose this is as good a time as any. Well, any day now.
So, first, a few from my blogroll that I think are worth your notice:
Declarations of Pride: Queerly compelling
This Can't Be Happening: Dave Lindorff's place.
Then there's the Dark Wraith - who writes stuff like this:
I swear, with what you Republicans have done to conservatism, if it weren't for Leftist half-wits like Naomi Klein, pompous phonies like David Sirota, and Nobel Prize-winning disgraces like that opportunist Al Gore and that free-trade charlatan Paul Krugman, I would almost be unable shake my head in disgust when I hear the name "John Kenneth Galbraith" being stirred from its much-deserved grave these days.
American politics has become nothing but a cheap doughnut: sugar-coated fat with no center. President Obama, himself, has assembled a team I have decried as Right-wing, incapable of escaping the clutches of foreign interests, enamored of authoritarianism in administrative appointments, and generally less than the very best this nation could bring to bear on the problems we face.
Being an honest to Ghu economist, he's probably worth a regular consultation in these troubled times.
And then a token, randomly found link which I'll add to my sidebar. Sometime Soon, I promise..
Things I've Learned from Wikipedia is witty, smart and has little to do with politics - other than being about The Great Satan itself, Wikipedia. All Right-Thinking People patronize "Conservapedia" exclusively. Speaking of cafeteria tables, and places that you'd never, EVER find out about something like this:
Monday, December 29, 2008 Entry: Heil Honey I'm Home!Anyway, that's enough for one day. I'm getting seriously depressed. Oh, btw, if you link to me and I am not linking back, do please let me know.
Heil Honey I'm Home was a British sitcom that touted itself as a lost series from the 1950s, and therefore was styled to parody shows like Leave it to Beaver. The main characters were Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun. Yeah. Apparently most of the plots revolved around Adolf's inability to get along with their neighbors. The Goldensteins. I say "apparently" because the network pulled it after one episode.
There has to be a Valkyrie joke in there somewhere, but I'm too busy being flabbergasted to make it.