THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
Wow. I set my expectations low and Kerry delivered high, high high.
Seriously -- a president who fought for the country, who believes in crazy ideas like... oh I dunno... SCIENCE and FISCAL RESPONSIBILTY! That is out there! Americans of all stripes no longer have to plug their nose in the voting booth. John Kerry stands for everyone.*
* Except upper-crust right-wing ideologues who live in some sort of imaginary bubble. Those guys only stand for themselves, and they have led us astray.
DEARTH OF MN LEFTY BLOGS?
Fraters Libertas says there aren't any good local lefty blogs:
FRATERS LIBERTASI think the primary reason for this disparity is that the mainstream media already adequatley [sic] presents the perspective of the Left on these matters, every single day, over and over again. Numerous media outlets employing hundreds of professional, highly educated journalists to articulate their exact feelings on politics and life. So, there is no motivation for amateurs to take up the cause.
I don't know that the local media is less balanced than anyplace else in the country. Are local journalists "articulating feelings" on politics and life, or are they reporting fairly? I don't know the answers, and I have to admit I don't read local papers much since blogs and online news commandeered my reading habits.
Fraters seems to discount the Northern Alliance's nemesis, Twin Cities Babelogue, because they're spawned from City Pages. I'd say the Northern Alliance Radio Show makes them just as much an alt-media conglomerate as the City Pages/Babelogue folks. Not to mention, Power Line has a long history of publishing articles in the mainstream press, and Hugh Hewitt has quite a few books under his belt.
Regardless, the Northern Alliance is very good at what they do. Most independent local lefty blogs aren't as seriously committed, in-depth and influential as those guys. Nearly everyone in the "Upper Midwest Blog Managers Association" is lefty – see Let's Fight and Secret Farm – but most of us don't post exclusively about politics. Why? It's bloody exhausting! I tend to go in political spurts, then I need to focus on other things. Like my documentary, or... strippers. Space Waitress was Minnesota's best left-leaning blog last year, easily on par with the Northern Alliance.
I'm inspired to seek out more DIY lefty political blogs of Minnesota. Here are a handful - feel free to add more in the comments:
MINNESOTA BLOGGER GETS CREDENTIALED
Minnesota right-wing blogger Captain Ed has been credentialed for the GOP convention. Congrats to the Cap'n and his quarters.
MIKE GUNTHER MUSIC VIDEO
If filming Mike Gunther and his restless souls in a swirl of burlesque dancers ain't livin', brother you can shoot me dead as I stand.
A little taste [Quicktime, 470k]
I was ostensibly D.P. of this little fandango, and my pal Suzanne provided direction and wine when she wasn't banging chains on an oil drum.
Video geek rundown: VX2000 and GL2 on tripods, PD100 handheld by moi (from which these stills were taken).
I just love this scene. After we were all done shooting and most of the dancers had left, we shot the whole band playing the song with ukeleles and they found a whole new life. We all had big smiles on our faces.
These are the Tin Star Sisters. The cigarettes are fake. The aura of cool is real.
(I keep accidentally calling them "The Twinkletown Girls" and variations thereof.)
BLOGGING CONVENTIONS IN 2000
Meanwhile, take a look at MPR's Convention Blog by Bob Collins. Word from my man on the inside: "He's the sharpest wonk here, and a helluva good writer."
DNC MEDIA DISPATCH
Know of anyone else making DIY media at the convention? Please leave a comment or shoot me an email.
DNC BLOGGER ROUNDUP
I sent a few feelers out looking for Blogumentary "eyes and ears" at the convention. Jay Rosen will be doing a bit of audioblogging. Even better, Blogging of the President's Matt Stoller and Westin Kriebel have camera and will blog. I'm hoping Matt will file a video report from the convention, explaining why he's there and why this is
important revolutionary. "The revolution will be videoblogged." Heh.
Howard Dean had some smart things to say at the Blogger Breakfast: "Mainstream media are the last people to figure out whats really going on in America, because they spend so much time in Washington."
15,000 journalists and 5,000 delegates? Whew. I'm excited that bloggers are there on "Blogger Blvd." but what will we learn? Mathew Gross has a good point about convention bloggers: they'll provide better coverage of the early part of the convention, the speeches you won't see on TV. And of course, we'll get what bloggers give best - opinion and attitude. Check out Reason for a few more highlights.
Having tread this ground before — I was the only credentialed blogger at the Minnesota state DFL convention — I can attest that these affairs can be... boring. Decisions are actually made at state conventions, which might be one reason why it's not very exciting. Real democracy is messy, slow, and sometimes unpredictable. I think the most important thing Lori and I learned was that it's confusing for a newbie, and there needs to be a "Delegate for Dummies" or something along those lines to encourage greater participation.
I'd argue it's more important to have bloggers at state conventions and other local political events. I know I've never seen Sen. Mark Dayton so fiery in all my life, and Sen. John Edwards made more scathing remarks about Bush than I've heard him say on television. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak lashed out at Gov. Pawlenty and called for an end to the bus strike. I posted numerous video clips from the local conventions, stuff you're not going to find anyplace else. Local is where it's at, especially for bloggers. Bloggers can fill in the, err, lacunae.
AT THE PLAIN HOUSE
Thank you, Odin, for letting us into your house and giving me the wonderful interview I've sought for nearly two years. You know what's weird? Layne is actually an interactive hologram in Odin's living room. Hot.
There were two VW bugs on the premises. One for Mr. Plain Layne and one for Mrs. Plain Layne. Neither one is black though.
Layne's music collection? Not fictional. Both Odin and Layne love Radio K. This makes Chuck very happy indeed.
Look for a "Sasquatch sighting"-esque dramatic recreation of our near-misses with Layne in Blogumentary.
MASSIVE BLOG PARTY
Mitch and Fraters Libertas have wrapups. Hey, whaddya call 60 right-wing bloggers in an Irish bar? I call it "Cindy," no particular reason. Twas a good time, and nice to meet all the lads. Lefty highlight: Lileks holding court, smoking a cigarillo, fuming about how much Hannity pisses him off. Sweet.
More exciting details in the coming months. Thanks to Rob Nelson for being such a great guy and putting together another amazing documentary lineup. I couldn't be happier!