I have been sadly remiss in not mentioning the December installment of Jeff’s monthly fundraiser til now, for which lapse I am duly mortified. This time around, it also happens to be his tenth blogiversary, a milestone this hogwallow also passed a cpl-three months back, and which esteemed fellow OG Bill Quick will be passing at Christmas. Our old friend Stephen Green, who singlehandedly raised this blog’s traffic exponentially from the twenty or so hits a day at which it had previously languished until he linked the Tough Chicks post (kind of the first link to this joint by any of the “majors” out there if you don’t count Hawkgirl linking a brief remonstrance on quitting smoking which is now lost forever and forgotten) will also be reaching the decade mark soon, bless his heart.
What got me to thinking along the lines of the old days and the old gang is, Jeff has been reposting some of his golden oldies over at his place the last week or so. And, well, the boy has done some truly amazing stuff over the years. Smart, incisive, offbeat, unconventional, sidesplittingly funny–Jeff was pushing the limits of this form before anyone even knew what those limits were–before they even existed, before anyone even knew it was a “form.” He’s become more tightly focused since his recent return, and the various blog-wars he’s gotten caught up in here and there have left their scars, I’d guess. But after ten years, he still does this thing we do at a higher level than most, a level I can only aspire to and never possibly reach.
We’re all guilty now and then of taking this stuff too seriously, of letting it get to us and drag us down. We all walk the ragged edge of becoming bitter and cynical–how could you not, given what we see happening in this country these days? Jeff has struggled with that just like the rest of us, but somehow, I’ll guarantee you he still gets up in the morning after ten years of the long slog and does the same thing I do, the same thing all of us who have endured do: grabs that cup of coffee and heads for his news and blog bookmarks or RSS reader looking for the story that is going to annoy him, shock him, inspire him, amuse him, or otherwise goad him into producing more of those good, true words and then throwing them out there to see what sticks. To share them with whoever cares to come in and spend a few valuable minutes reading; to provoke a response from those bold enough to step out of the lurkers’ shadow and comment back.
I probably take it all less seriously than most; certainly less so than the really big dogs out there, who have to practically eat, sleep, and breathe politics every day because it’s how they make their living. Even if I considered myself astute enough to go full-time at it, I probably wouldn’t; music, bikes, old cars, my little girl, all of those things matter way too much to me to ever let mere politics take me from them to the degree required. I know politics MATTERS, and that we live in crucial times wherein we each must give of our best and all, but still. Making much more than an avocation of it might not be unhealthy for everybody, but I know it would be for me.
And I think now and then of some of those originals who are no longer posting, or that I’ve lost track of at least, and wonder where they are now and what they’re doing. I’ll toss some of the old blog names out there, and you can feel free to discuss your own reminiscences in the comments if you like: Hawkgirl; Spleenville; Cut On The Bias; Blogs Of War; Iraq The Model; Sergeant Stryker. USS Clueless. And of course Daily Pundit, Vodkapundit, Jeff’s old Creatical, Glenn. I used to be pretty tight in the internet sense with John Cole of Balloon Juice back in the day, but given his current political bent, I doubt he’d want to say a whole lot to me today, and I haven’t had any interaction with him in years. That’s okay; he was always a good guy to me, and disagree though we might–hell, do–now, I have no problem with him, and can’t imagine that I ever would.
All of which digression is by way of saying that you should go on over to Jeff’s, enjoy some good reads from the long-ago, sift through the archives a bit, and throw something in the tip jar if you can. It’s far too much of a struggle making ends meet these days for me to be able to chip in myself, and I hate that. But if I could, Jeff’s is certainly one of the tipjars I’d be hitting. He’s another one I consider a friend; he’s always been good to me, encouraging, supportive, and I’m glad he’s back in the groove again after his absence. You should be too. The blogosphere was a duller, less interesting place without him.
It sure is odd to ponder this history, to know it even exists at all. That all this came from just a bunch of folks upset over 9/11 and what we knew the response was going to be from certain quarters. Strange to think that there’s been real influence exerted over the course of human events by some pretty ordinary folks just sitting around drinking coffee, maybe smoking a cigarette (or worse), and just howling into the void, unable to keep silent, and taking advantage of a new way of sharing ideas with others they never met face to face, and likely never would.
If FederalGovCo ever gets the kind of control over the Innarwebs they covet, such a thing won’t ever happen again. Maybe it won’t anyway. But it did once, and it’s nothing short of marvelous.