I was only gone one day and two nights, but I’m as tired as if I trekked the Himalayas. The fact that, even now that we’re home, the kids are screaming in the background (“Give it to me. You promised me!” “I did not. You’re cheating.” “Mommy!” “MOMMMMMMYYYYY!!!!”), may go some way to explaining this fatigue. Frankly, for my kids to spend two and a half months in each other’s company is way too much closeness. They’re really very nice kids, and they often play well together, but this summer, whether they were at home or at camp, was just a little too much together time. They need some absence from each other during the school day to make their hearts grow fonder. In any event, 48 hours in their company, both keeping up with them, and sending them periodically to their respective corners, left me a wee bit drained. I’ll be up and blogging tomorrow (I hope), but until then I wanted to pass on to you a couple of things that got passed on to me.
According to Technorati, there are tens of millions of blogs currently being published around the world. We’re told that a new one literally launches every minute. These online journals cover every imaginable topic — and some we’d rather not imagine. So why create PoliticalMavens.com and why do so now?
Though only a few years old, the blogosphere has already accomplished some amazing feats. “Citizen journalists” were instrumental in sending into early retirement a seasoned network news anchor and humiliating news organizations. They’ve rallied and impassioned grassroots America.
They’ve also given a voice to those who otherwise wouldn’t have them.
And that’s not necessarily a good thing.
For all the hype — and let’s not delude ourselves, there’s A LOT of hype — too many blogs are contributing to the coarsening of American discourse. With stiff competition, and most averaging only a few hundred readers — at best — daily, for bloggers on both sides of the political aisle, being shrill and negative seems to have translated into influence and, one suspects, receiving the attention they so crave.
It needn’t be this way.
As a former rabbinical student who spent years studying the Talmud, I know a thing or two about debate. Pursuing Truth and truth is not about zingers or implied accusations. It’s about ideas — right as well as wrong. It’s about informed analysis rather than speculation. And, most importantly, it’s about being passionate.
The goal of PoliticalMavens.com is to serve as a forum of enlightenment in an effort to clarify one’s thinking. Those who have been invited to become PM “fellows” are aboard because of their accomplishments. They deserve to be heard for one reason: Their hard earned experience. Among our contributors are a former governor and a mayor of a major metropolitan city; former ambassadors and a presidential deputy chief of staff, studio heads, Pulitzer and Emmy winners, cultural icons and New York Times best selling authors. You get the idea.
With two prominent political parties in America, there’s a prevailing belief that being bi-partisan is synonymous with being disloyal and weak. Opinion makers continue to preach the need to choose sides — and stick with your choice no matter what. Such is not the thinking man’s way.
PoliticalMavens.com is for thinkers.
It sounds like a very good site for quality legal analysis, addressing issues both at home and abroad. (Thanks for the tip, Richard.)
And if you like playing with words, Gates of Vienna is requesting slogans to help people wake up to the danger of those terrorists who use radical Islam as their fascist vehicle of choice. (Thanks for the tip, jg.) I have absolute no cleverness in this area, but I bet many of you do.
Last, but not least, keep an eye on Webloggin. The editor is promising that, in a few days, he’ll run a post explaining the ins and outs of including pictures in your blog. There are both legal and practical issues you need to consider before running any pictures. I know that his information will change how I blog.