Okay, so a coupla days ago I got pretty damn sick & tired of seeing the mainstream media lazily & uncritically repeat Sarah Palin’s claim — a false claim, one hardly needs to add — that it’s cost the State of Alaska two million dollars to resolve supposedly “frivolous” ethics complaints against her. So on the spur of the moment I decided to write a blog post about it during my lunchtime. Being the geek that I am though, I wanted to be thorough. So… it took a lot longer than lunchtime. It took, in fact, my entire Monday evening, & into the wee hours of Tuesday morning.
…. (All while my friend Marcia hung out watching 7 back-to-back episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer which, focused as I was, I was barely aware of except to know they were Season 2 episodes including about the first half of the arc in which Angel the vampire-with-a-soul reverts to Angelus the-vampire-without-a-soul because of that pesky curse should he ever experience perfect happiness.)….
And thus was the post entitled “The two million dollar meme” conceived, written, & posted.
And wow. Did it take off. I wrote at lunchtime yesterday on Facebook,
This post has taken off much more than I remotely imagined it would. I’m used to daily readership making out at 200 or so for my entire site. This post alone has already tripled that rate, & it’s not even been up quite 12 hours.
By the time I hit the sack last night around midnight, it had 993 hits. Today, at this writing, it’s had 413 more. The site as a whole has had 1,298 hits yesterday: my prior record was 288 hits on June 16, the day I posted my second most popular post, “The new Carrie Prejean?” about the participation of the newly crowned Mrs. Alaska United States® on the “antigay” side of our local equal rights battle). which to date has only 145 hits. Which told me one very important thing: readers prefer reading about the former 2nd runner up Miss Alaska to the current Mrs. Alaska United States®. Maybe I should find & post that piece I wrote in college about the former 2nd runner up Miss America & see how Anita Bryant rates?
I’ve also received a lot of comments, many of them expressing the hope that the meme post would show up on the front page of Huffington Post, or would be sent to AP, WaPo, NYT, Rachel Maddow. (I really liked that last suggestion especially — Georgia in NC wrote “this piece reminds me of how she approaches complicated stories” — what intelligent geeky workaday workadyke of the north wouldn’t be complimented by a comparison to the equally intelligent geeky but much more good-looking pundit-who-also-happens-to-be-a-lesbian of MSNBC?)
It’s all been really cool. But it’s also got me worried: if I don’t look out, people are going to mistake me for a political blogger.
Well. Maybe I am. Sometimes. Call me an occasional political blogger. Because while it’s very true that I have neither the time nor the inclination to blog on politics as much as the many top-notch progressive Alaska bloggers we’ve already got — AKMuckraker of the Mudflats, Shannyn Moore, Celtic Diva, Phil Munger at Progressive Alaska, Steve at What Do I Know? Gryphen at Immoral Minority, to name but a few — I have found myself sometimes called to blog about matters political. Hence the recently added category Polis. I’ve especially written a lot of politically oriented posts about the Anchorage equal rights ordinance.
But again: occasional. The main reason I set up this site & blog was to help me get back into the flow of writing, of living my life as a writer. And while writing about politics is writing — well, it’s not my writing, the stuff close to my heart. Besides, I also work a full-time job.
Besides, sometimes the political stuff can really whack me out. I admitted to several folks last night, at the most recent Anchorage Assembly meeting on the proposed equal rights ordinance, that it wasn’t only sore hands that had kept me from blogging much about the ordinance for the past bunch of days: it was also the sheer emotional exhaustion from the continual assault of antigay “Truth is not hate” hate speech coming from the redshirted Christianist right at these public hearings. I needed a break. So I took one.
Another factor about how I handle political posts is that my style isn’t really amenable to fast-response writing, which is a feature of a lot of the best political bloggers I read. But me, I like to think a lot about what I’m writing. I like to go deep. I like to be thorough & as comprehensive as I can. I like to source all my references thoroughly. I like — apparently — to write term papers. (I sure never thought so when I was in college). And that takes a long time. Especially since, as previously mentioned, I work a full-time job. And I also need a certain amount of down time or I am liable to put myself into a depression.
I’ve got plans to do more work no the Palin “expensive ethics complaints” stuff — I’m particularly interested in the way she’s shifted the story to a different explanation, once confronted with the fact of the actual Alaska Personnel Board costs reported last week — & I also plan to get all geeky-comprehensive with some stuff about the Anchorage equal rights ordinance. But, I’ll have to do it in my own time, & around the schedule of my life. Tonight, for example, is my normal night to visit my friend Sylvia. Tomorrow night, I’ll be catching a red-eye for a four-day trip to Spokane to join my family in remembering my father, who died in late May. I don’t know that I’ll even have time before next Tuesday to respond suitably to some of the issues raised in comments on the meme post. I hope you’ll forbear.
Meanwhile, I noticed something else in checking my blog stats: that the “About me” page was receiving a lot more visits. In fact, it’s now the 4th most visited page on this blog (currently with 73 hits). But the info on it was embarrassingly thin. So I spent most of my lunch period filling it out a bit. It might even now be kinda interesting. I hope so.
And check out the categories Polis and Ordinance for some of the other politically-oriented posts I’ve written. I’m particularly proud of some of the posts in the recently-invented category about our most prominent local Christianist minister, The incredibly true adventures of Rev. Jerry Prevo.