Hoo boy. I tossed out a challenge to point me towards some good liberal essayists (along with a few gratuitous cheap shots at some liberal bloggers I don’t care for). I got responses, and I got them in spades.
First of all, I have to confess to a bit of a brain-fart. I referred to both “Atrios” and “Eschaton.” I meant Atrios and Kos (spit). It was a careless mistake, and I oughta be more careful. My thanks to those who caught it, and called me on it. That’s one of the more painful things about the blogosphere, and one of its most useful: there’s a near-infinite supply of fact-checkers ready and eager to point out every single mistake you make and repeatedly rub your nose in it.
Secondly, several people took me to task for not knowing who Dave Neiwert or a few other people were. I’m going to defend my ignorance here.
There’s an old crack about some people as feeling a false sense of achievement in their lofty positions — usually phrased as “he was born on third base, and thought he hit a triple.” I find myself especially sensitive to that sentiment, because in a blogging sense I was, indeed, “born on third base.” I was invited to temporarily join a highly successful blog, and somewhere along the line the “temporary” part kind of fell by the wayside. I didn’t work my way up through the ranks, mastering the art of linking and trackbacking and building up my own reputation. I piggybacked on Kevin’s, and have ridden it to this day.
While others might see that as a tremendous advantage, it has its drawbacks, too. Other bloggers can point to moments where they knew they “made it,” their moments of greatest glory, their proudest achievements, their finest scoops. I first came to prominence through Kevin’s caption contests, which means that whenever I feel the need to be brutally honest, I have to confess that my blogging career is built on a foundation of fart jokes.
It also means I make a lot of “rookie mistakes.” I’ve only been blogging for about a year and a half, and for the first couple of months I respected Kevin’s request and limited myself to weekends. Then I started putting out stuff during the week because “it was too timely to hold off on,” and pushing it further and further, until it reached the point where I try to put up at least three pieces a day now. I’ve also managed to “break” Wizbang numerous times (just ask Kevin and Paul how many — I’m sure they’ve kept track) out of sheer blissful ignorance.
Thirdly, among all the crap, several people actually took my challenge seriously and steered me towards several liberals who actually do write longer, more thoughtful pieces. I’m working my way through them, and will post about the ones I think are worthwhile reads. I’ve already found a couple good ones, thanks to Dylan and his readers. I’d do it sooner, but The Day Job demands way, way too much of my time.