Tuesday, 18 November 2008

i always read your blog...

decided to have a night off last night, cos denzel washington was on tv, and i hate to miss a denzel washington movie! ok, i'm allowed a few idiosyncrasies.

in the meantime, i've been thinking about blogging. as you've probably seen, chris trotter is back blogging on his own moderated site (hat tip: the standard). i hope things will be better for him there, as i don't think he got off to a particularly good start at his previous place. one of his mistakes was to annoy many left-wing bloggers (no right turn, the greens, us at the hand mirror) so that those of us who would have been his natural allies in the comments section pretty much stayed away. which left a pretty nasty and distinctly right-wing bias to the comments.

moderation will help in that regard, as he can now directly control the tone of the comments. that's something i'm still not ready to do away with, even though i know it puts people off commenting. i guess it's because my time on the internet is limited, so i'm not able to immediately respond to any nastiness that might come my way. it's so much easier at the hand mirror, where there are a group of us who can keep an eye on things. mind you, can't say i've refused to publish any comments (except for the viagra spam i got as a result of a post titled "men's health". sheesh.)

but what had me thinking even more about blogging in general was the meltdown that melissa mcewan had over at shakesville. hardly surprising, when you look at the amount of time and effort it takes for her to keep that site running. which makes my own attempts look rather weak in comparison! but then, what an impact her work has had on so many people around the world. i'm so glad she's back, and i hope things work out over the next little while for her and the shakesville team.

and i guess that's what blogging is about. trying to change the way people view the world, with the force of our writing. there are some days when i feel like blogging is a chore, but those are very few. mostly i love to write, and i still hope one day to have the time to write the novel sitting inside my head and waiting to get out. (aaah, paid to write, how nice would that be!)

i've figured out, given the way people react when i say it to them and the way i react when someone says it to me, that saying the words "i always read your blog" are about the nicest compliment you can give a person. in fact, it's pretty close to "i love you", because you're basically telling them that you love their written thoughts enough to come back and read them regularly.

on to other things. dr sapna has written an interesting piece about one of the new members of mr obama's team. i haven't had time to go through it and the related links yet, but i can see that it raises some important concerns.

mr key has announced his new cabinet, and it's more than a little scary. the worst bits are mr mccully as our foreign minister, and wayne mapp in charge of defence. let's just hope that mr obama is much more successful at peaceful international relations than his predecessor, because i hate the thought of these 2 making any decisions about us joining in a foreign war.

the waikato times makes the point that the top 4 members of cabinet have all the business-related portfolios, so you can see what's most important to the incoming government. social development doesn't chime in until number 16, and has gone to a newcomer with no previous experience in holding a ministerial position. in fact, she's only had 3 years in parliament. now that is really scary.

the women of colour feature, but with pretty insignificant portfolios. ms te heuheu gets courts, which is meaty, but PI affairs and arms control not much. ms wong gets ethnic affairs and women's affairs.

rod oram pointed out this morning how mr key has already gone back on his election promise to implement the ETS, and can't see how new legislation can possibly be ready by sept 2009, as is being claimed currently. read here for the consequences of private sector consultants reviewing the public sector, without public sector employees being allowed to have any input.

too depressing really. so i'm concentrating on what's shaping to be a great day on 10 december here in hamilton. looks like we'll have participation from some schools, the museum, amnesty, the united nations organisation, shama, artmakers, waikato interfaith council, waikato ethnic council, waikato migrant resource centre, the police, hamilton city council, and various other social service agencies. if you're from the waikato, or know anyone in the waikato, please send out our flyer (pdf) to your networks and encourage everyone you know to get involved at some point during the day.


Deborah said...

I do always read your blog.

I try to leave comments too, 'tho I don't always manage it. It's a way of acknowledging the work done by the writer.

The meltdown at Shakesville was unsurprising, and very sad. I found my there during the US primaries, when I couldn't stand some of the other US feminist blogs - so pro-Obama and anti-Clinton that they couldn't even acknowledge the sexism that Clinton faced. Shakesville didn't have a corporate view, but the writers there who were pro-Clinton were quite open in saying that if Clinton didn't get the nomination, then of course they would support Obama. And when Palin was nominated as a VP-candidate, they promptly opened up a Palin sexism watch, not because they supported her, but because feminists assail misogyny, no matter where it is found, and no matter whom it is directed against. I'm very glad Melissa is up and blogging again.

Mr Key's cabinet worries me too, but I'm still inclined to wait and see, and give them a chance to show what they will do. But... Simon Power's "hang 'em high" response to the verdict in the tragedy of Nia Glassie and her family doesn't give me much confidence.

stargazer said...

thanx deborah, i do appreciate it. can't say i'm good at leaving comments - i hardly leave any on the blogs i read regularly. mostly a lack of time, often because the conversation had moved on by the time i'm reading, and usually because i can't think of anything to say that hasn't already been said really well by a previous commenter or the original blogger. so i don't get too worried about lack of comments here.

Craig Ranapia said...

i don't think he got off to a particularly good start at his previous place. one of his mistakes was to annoy many left-wing bloggers (no right turn, the greens, us at the hand mirror) so that those of us who would have been his natural allies in the comments section pretty much stayed away. which left a pretty nasty and distinctly right-wing bias to the comments.

I think Trotter's problem was more fundamental. As I said at the time, I had to wonder whether he really believed Winston Peters was subject to the "political equivalent of a gang rape" (which would be bad enough), or was trolling for exactly the kind of reaction he received (which is worse, in my book). And he does it in his newspaper columns too.

If Chris wants things to "be better", then he should take a good hard look at the tone he sets. Frankly, the Michael Laws of The Left persona he's adopted recently isn't inspiring me to add him to the RSS reader. In fact, I've deleted 90% of political blogs (both domestic and foreign) from it this year, and feel no desire to put them back.