Sunday, July 23, 2006

An Echo, Not a Choice

I'm cheating.

On July 5, in response to some of the conversations and exhortations at the Sorensen Institute's Virginia bloggers' summit, F.T. Rea at SlantBlog proposed a "weekend without echoes":

I do think that notion of a group of bloggers trying to go for a brief spell without adding more noise to the echo chamber -- by writing original material and not merely cutting and pasting and linking -- is something to pursue. Some bloggers I know are already doing that, for the most part. At times I have saluted some of them in my comments on their blogs.

Accordingly, I’d like to propose that bloggers who want to participate in a little experiment, use the weekend of July 21-23 to show the rest of the blogosphere that it can be done. It would be a weekend vacation from copying, and piling on, and talking points ... a weekend without calling everyone with whom one disagrees a “liberal,” or a “conservative,” as if those are dirty words....

This will cost you nothing. Anyone can play. There will be no policeman to cite a blogger who seems to have violated the spirit of the Weekend Without Echoes. All you have to do is say, “OK, I'll try it, too.” Then do it.

I had almost forgotten about the proposal until Vivian Paige referenced it on Friday. So I decided to look at what people around Virginia were doing in terms of "original" work without the "copying, and piling on, and talking points."

I have nothing original at hand, but I thought it might be useful to visit various blogs and report on what they're doing right here, creating my own echo chamber.

Bryan Scrafford at Ambivalent Mumblings decided to do a "live blog" yesterday afternoon, engaging in a conversation with his readers on various issues they find interesting and important.

Jerry Griffin, who writes at the VB Dems Blog, has a post on Thelma Drake's proposal to deny citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants, even if those children are born in the United States. He calls it "Disregarding the Constitution -- Thelma Style."

Waldo -- oh, Waldo! -- technically meets the letter of the "weekend without echoes" theme but somehow, I think, violates its spirit by recycling an article he wrote about the Democrats' way of managing voter lists for Campaigns and Elections magazine two months ago. Not that there's anything wrong with that (says the blogger who recycles articles he wrote in 1989).

At South of the James, Conaway Haskins has a tribute to his wife, Erika, and the inspiration she provides. (She blogs at Get Out There, Richmond!)

Contrasted with Jerry Griffin (who supports Phil Kellam in the Drake-Kellam congressional contest), "Insider" at Hampton Roads Politics posted a piece on yestereday's Thelma & Phil debate titled "Kellam flip-flops on war." (Aren't there a lot of flip-flops in Virginia Beach this time of year?) By the way, Hampton Roads Politics is one of the newest additions to the Old Dominion Blog Alliance.

Jason Kenney posts a picture of an offer for a "Free Subway ham sandwich" under the heading, "Links I Don't Trust." I don't blame him.

Marijean Jaggers
-- who blogs from both Charlottesville and St. Louis (is this some sort of Lewis & Clark thing?) -- writes about her dream about losing a tooth and what it might mean.

CR UVa, blogging at The Red Stater, has some comments about U.S. Senate candidate James Webb. The update, however, seems to be a bit of an echo.

ImNotEmeril posts a photo and a few paragraphs about the mother deer and her fawns who come to feed in his yard.

Vivian Paige has her own comments on yesterday's Kellam-Drake debate and also republishes an article her father wrote back in 1958.

Over at the blog he writes jointly with Delegate Kris Amundson, Delegate Bob Brink has a few thoughts on the temporary quarters of the General Assembly.

Diverging from the "weekend without echoes" theme but promising to make the effort later in the weekend (there are about 11 hours left, by my clock), Charlottesville's Semi Truths points us to an article about the moron vote and who might claim it.

Craig, musing at Craig's Musings, asks what Prince William County will look like five and ten years from now.

Thomas Krehbiel
is really taking this challenge seriously. He has not one, not two, but three separate posts meant to fit under the "weekend without echoes" theme. The first introduces himself and his blog and how it fits into the weekend's challenge. The second concludes, "When there's nothing to write about, write about it!" And the third addresses "the moral authority of the Bible," noting
Some people opposed to gay-friendly churches cite something in (or not in) the Bible for precedent. This puzzles me. It would surely have gotten me burned at the stake in the first millennium, but to my unscholarly way of thinking, the credibility of the Bible as a source of moral authority suffers a bit from the inherent contradictions within it. For example, how does one reconcile that "love thy neighbor," "kill the homosexuals," and "thou shalt not kill" all come from the same collection of books? That alone seems to indicate some human fallibility within the writings of the Bible.
(Oops! There's that echo again!)

Equality Loudoun has a long, analytical article with the title "The Abstract Model of Gender Polarity." The money-shot paragraph is this:
There are an infinite number of ways in which two people can be complementary that do not involve their specific roles in reproductive biology. Real marriages are each a unique example of complementarity, not merely reproductions from a one-size-fits-all template.
There's a sub-theme developing here, fully unintentional, as I have been visiting blogs in the order their writers posted to SlantBlog saying they would participate in the "weekend without echoes."

Writing at March to a Different Drummer, Bill Garnett has a report on Equality Virginia's training session at VCU for activists who will be campaigning against the Marshall/Newman Amendment this fall.

That's it so far. There may be other participants who are writing without echoes. (It looks like I'm not one of them.) Anyone else who has an original post they would like featured, please note it in the comments area, below.

Update: Through the magic of Google, I have discovered that Anonymous Is a Woman has decided to join the weekend's challenge, with a report on a meeting of the NoVa Labor Council. Melissa, one of the "Ditzy Democrats" also has a contribution. And Charles at TwoConservatives has what I think is a play-by-play report of a soccer game. (He doesn't name the sport.)


Vivian J. Paige said...

A couple of others:
Sisyphus has posted a couple. As has Mosquito blog.

Waldo Jaquith said...

Eh, I figured I wrote it and it never appeared online, so good enough. :) I hope to finish another piece tonight, this one a genuine original.

Tim said...

ROTFL, Rick!

We'll be original when we damn well feel like it, thanks!

David said...

Thank you, Rick. It's always good to know where the money is.

CR UVa said...

Indeed, it is harder to write truly original political material. I cannot promise to be like a journalist; I would always have compared myself more to an editorialist anyway.

Hello, my pseduonym is CR UVa, and I have an echo problem.