It's spring and I've been lightly kissed by allergies, I'm bone-weary from gardening and stonescaping, and I gave up smoking five days ago. Pipe smoking, that is; I've never tasted a cigarette. I smoked maybe two dozen cigars between my teenaged plastic-tipped blueberry monstrosity days and the drugstore A & C's of my late twenties, when I developed a taste for the real item. Cigar smoking gave way to pipe usage when cigars got trendy and prices got ridiculous, though the latter wouldn't have been a deal breaker by itself. A month ago I just took a notion to quit once the last pouch was finished. No physical addiction involved, only slight cravings and the occasional need to find something to do with my hands, but tobacco does tend to focus the mind wonderfully, its one redeeming feature beyond the old-fashioned joys of cigar connoisseurship now rendered hollow and magazine-slick.
It's like there's a seasonal hole in my personal ozone layer, one that used to be plugged by a haze of African tobaccos from that shop in the Village, and I'm walking around like I know I've forgotten something important but I've not idea if it's Sorry I forgot your birthday important or Oh shit, I burned down the house important.
Or maybe it's just that the Blogosphere is talking about...the Blogosphere, not its most attractive quality, to be sure, but it is difficult to keep coming up with new ways to say George W. Bush is the incompetent inheritor of a global criminal enterprise and that his supporters, both current and erstwhile, have juvenile sexual psychoses obvious to everyone but themselves. Whattya gonna do?
What I did was go to sleep for a few hours, just shortly after I found this from Jane Hamsher:
There is a very good article on Richard Cohen by journalist Gene Lyons , whose work I respect a great deal. In it he notes:
The larger point is that Beltway courtiers like Cohen, Time’s Joe Klein and others currently succumbing to the vapors over critical e-mails from fans thrilled by Colbert’s gutsy performance are on their way out. The brief reign of the celebrity pundit began with cable TV and appears to be ending with the Internet. Washington socialites are quickly being replaced in public esteem by politically oriented bloggers like Josh Marshall, Kevin Drum, the inimitable Digby, Glenn Greenwald, Billmon, Atrios and many others. As Greg Sargent recently pointed out in The American Prospect, “Readers are choosing between the words on a screen offered by Klein and other commentators and the words on a screen offered by bloggers on the basis of one thing alone: The quality of the work.”
I mention this because I’ve seen this same list floated recently as reflecting some ideal future punditocracy. And if the people Lyons mentions were all to step into the roles of the principal political pundits in our culture, I’d be standing under a banner saying "Mission Accomplished" with my own codpiece. But much like my predecessor-in-photo-op it would not be time to declare victory. I agree with Lyons that every single one of the people named is fantastic and worthy of a public stage for their commentary, but to the best that their race and genders are publicly known (and I admit I do not know them all) these are all white men....
Now I don’t think there is any big conspiracy to keep women out of the discourse; just the opposite in fact, I’ve found that liberal male bloggers actually bend over backwards to help us. I can assure you that nobody would probably be reading this blog today if TBogg hadn’t put us on the map by linking to us prominently 4 or 5 times a week until we got our sea legs. And I am just as guilty as everyone else of not linking to women bloggers enough; it’s just laziness. In a rush to feed a hungry blog every day I just don’t take the time to cruise around the blogosphere and listen to new voices the way I used to. That’s a problem.
So here are a list of my favorite women bloggers, it’s off the top of my head and by no means exhaustive so if I left someone out it was accidental:
Pam Spaulding at Pam’s House Blend
Watertiger at Dependable Renegade
Belle Waring at Crooked Timber
Laura Rozen at War and Piece
Barbara O’Brien at Mahablog
Avedon Carol at the Sideshow
Susie Mandrak at Suburban Guerilla
Amanda Marcotte at Pandagon
Sheri Zollinger at World ‘o Crap
Xan, Leah and Chicago Dyke at Corrente
Georgia10 and McJoan at Kos
Emptywheel at The Next Hurrah
Jeralyn at TalkLeft
Ellen Nagler at The Broad View
SusanG at Booman
MaryScott O’Connor at My Left Wing
Lindsey Beyerstein at Majikthise
Athenae at First Draft
Echide of the Snakes
Roxanne at Rox Populi
Julia at Sisypus Shrugged
Okay, she left herself off, and Christy, and the top of her head missed eRobin, who belongs near the top of the list, none of which is to the point. Firedoglake is a terrific site, one which belonged on Gene Lyons' list (not a criticism; I'm sure he has other things to do besides read blogs). And, indeed, it's one that benefited from TBogg's links, which ran to "Why don't you two get a room?" levels, but it's a great blog which would have climbed into the upper reaches without it. So my question is, Where are your goddam links to these women? I've seen an awful lot of links to Atrios, Digby, or TBogg.
Yeah, I understand it's a lot of work putting together a blog, and I just do it in my spare time. And maybe I'm being a bit unfair, because I don't read any of the multi-megablogs on a daily basis. But it seems sorta pandemic with them. Is it any less work for Julia or Roxanne, who are always linking to someplace interesting, and rarely to Kevin Drum?
Really, though, my point--and I'll make it before I run to the car to see if there's any year-old tobacco in the glove box--is What's wrong with the blogosphere being the blogosphere? Why do we want any of these people to "replace" the celebrity punditocracy? Off with their friggin' heads. I already lived through "My Sharona" as a substitute for the Ramones. Replacing Laura Ingraham's headshot with Ana Marie Cox's is not my idea of a rallying cry.
11:38 AM fixed Robin link.