Monday, February 16, 2004

Blogs and Blogging

A few quick introductions, and an announcement. Some folks I know have taken up blogging recently, and three more different blogs than these you're not likely ever to find linked together in one post. (That's one thing I'm especially grateful for in my life: a wide variety of intelligent, opinionated, and sympathetic friends.) First up, Matt Stannard's The Underview. Matt is a debate coach (and a very successful one) at the University of Wyoming; he is also an old and dear friend, a committed Marxist and radical thinker, who was at least as responsible (if not more so) than anyone else for my engagement in things political and philosophical. I always had those leanings, I suppose, but knowing Matt back at BYU in the early 1990s, watching him and learning from him as he protested the first Gulf War, articulated intelligent critiques of power structures all around us, and (as the years past) went through some very difficult times of his own, gave me inspiration, energy and direction. I've since veered off in a different direction than the one Matt and I were both on back in the day (and maybe he's veered a little too), but I'm as anxious as ever to hear what he has to say. I trust that sooner or later the rest of the strong left/socialist blogosphere will stumble across his writing, and stand up and take notice.

Rob Fergus is also an old friend from BYU (he and Matt and I actually all worked on an underground student newspaper together), and his politics are also much more radical than mine--and as with Matt, I like hearing what he has to say, because it keeps me on my toes, and helps me get to the heart of things. I don't know how much politics will appear on his blog, Urban Birdscapes, but I do hope a little sneaks in here and there. Rob is a dedicated environmentalist, and is very interested in turning critiques of our social and material economy into plans of action to help create more sustainable environments, for us and all our fellow creatures (particularly, if you couldn't guess, birds). One of these days I have to get down to Texas and go birdwatching with Rob. Until then, I'll just read his blog.

Coming from a very different point of view, Julie Sorrell is one of my graduate students here at ASU, and it's a delight to regularly read up on her thoughts at her blog, Julie's Cafe. Julie is a homemaker who has decided, now that her kids are (mostly) grown, to return to school and engage the world in a new and different way. Her mind has been set on fire by political ideas and international conflicts, particularly the war in Iraq. She's quite conservative, witty, fast thinking, at times sentimental but more often cynical (but in a good way), and willing to push her ideas as far as they will take her. (Not many women returning to school for the first time in over a decade would throw themselves into politics of the Middle East and Islamic culture.) Show your support, and stop by regularly.

Oh, and the announcement? I'll be guest blogging at A Fistful of Euros for the next week or so. I'll link whatever I write there on this page. If you're not reading AFOE, you should be.