Saturday, August 16, 2008

Five years

Yesterday marked the fifth anniversary of the launching of this blog at its original location. A few name changes, a few staffing changes, and a near brush with Ted Barlow's Disease later, it's still here. Go figure.

I decided to start blogging mainly as a means to vent, after being exposed to way too much Faux News during a trip to visit in-laws in the summer of 2003 - the sheer volume of pro-war and pro-Bush propaganda had just about driven me nuts, and when I got back home, one of my first actions was to get a Blogger account (blogging was a bit different back in the pre-Google days, in some ways better, in some ways worse, but I digress). The blog was launched on what was called "Fair and Balanced Friday" in 2003, originally under the name "Fair and Balanced? Yeah, Right!" I quickly realized that was an awful name and settled on The Left End of the Dial - a somewhat less lame title that made reference to an old Replacements tune ("Left of the Dial") and my favorite radio stations (usually the college run stations located at the left end of the dial, back in the good old days when radios still had dials). After an address change precipitated by a Blogger-induced disaster, and the subsequent readership loss, I began pondering either a Ted Barlow-style fate or perhaps some attempt at revitalization including a name change. The title Notes From Underground emerged as a possibility due to an ongoing interest in existentialist thought, the novella by Dostoevsky by the same title, and a shared criticism of what the protagonist of Dostoevsky's protagonist deemed "men of action" who go through the motions of life without engaging in a critical examination of their surroundings.

I might still have a veteran reader from back around five years ago, but most of the folks in the comments are very recent arrivals. I suspect that once it became obvious that I wasn't going to be a reliable pro-Democrat blogger, that became a turn-off to those who had pro-Democrat leanings. Being anti-Bush might have been one of the few areas where those comprising the so-called "left blogosphere" actually agreed. Beyond that, there may have been some variations along the anti-war theme (I'm basically against all forms of state terrorism, which is what wars amount to) among what passes for "left" in the US, but that's really about it. Really, a lot of the so-called "left" was never all that "left" to begin with - that includes those who are partisan Democrats who seem to be completely down with the program of neoliberal globalist capitalism, as well as some of 9-11 truth folks (such as Kurt Nimmo) who although very consistent critics of the Bush regime tended to associate themselves with some sites and individuals who promote a right-wing perspective that I find more than a little unsettling.

There is not much to add to that, I suppose. The Blogtopia Class of 2003 offered up a number of great blogs, a few of which I'll mention (and please try not to take offense if I leave you out): Enemy of the State (Ductape Fatwa's blog, which went silent a couple years ago), American Leftist, Left I on the News, Mickey Z: Cool Observer, Orcinus, Baghdad Burning, Lotus - Surviving a Dark Time, and I'm sure a host of others who will slip my mind.

As long as I can keep finding access to a computer with Internet access and of course as long as I can draw a breath, this blog will likely continue.

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