Monday, June 26, 2006

Netroots include the Young

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to sit down and read the blogsphere and it was certainly a good weekend to read it. Then I needed to sit back and interpret it all. Of course, I did need to lean on some people for understanding, they know who they are, and I thank them for it. If you haven't had the opportunity to follow the Zengerle Follies, I recommend that you read James Wolcott's post. Afterall, the right wingers are saying:

It's a bizarre phenomenon, the blogosphere. It radiates democracy's dream of full participation but practices democracy's nightmare of populist crudity, character-assassination, and emotional stupefaction. It's hard fascism with a Microsoft face.
And Lee goes on to demean the commentors of blogs stating that we lack concentration. My only guess is that Lee really has not been an internet user for very long. Since we all know what it was like when the internet first came into our homes. We would sit in front of the computer and travel from link to link wondering how we were ever going to find our way back to the beginning. Sure, it took a little time to adjust but we did. And it was Digby, who I think by now you know I read daily, who brought the "Lee article" to its knees. It is brilliant and unsurprising from Digby.

We all know there is a fight between the big media and the blogsphere, after all, they are losing readership. Jerralyn at Talk Left put it so bluntly and I loved reading her words:

Big media has a dog in this fight. Newspapers are losing readers like a sieve to bloggers and online media. Have you noticed that every newspaper now has "blogs," most of which seem more like articles that didn't make the cut of the paper's final edition -- articles written by traditional journalists in that impersonal, reporting tone with too much prose and too few external links? It's like they don't have a clue what this blogging thing is all about.

By the time the word "blog" is understood by mainstream Americans, bloggers will have moved on. Markos and those in the netroots once again will leave big media in the dust. Politicians, if they are smart, will hang with the netroots to avoid a similar fate.

And the media knows that, why do you think they descended on Yearly Kos? They realized that there is a base out there, which is very much opposed to the Bush Agenda. Georgia10 shared it in this great post:

Yes, the Democratic Party does have a base.

And boy, judging from the reaction from some quarters of the press, it was like they stumbled upon a New World filled with an undiscovered indigenous people. Who are these members of the "netroots"? How do they interact? What are their goals? Who is their leader? Do they light bonfires and eat their young?

We saw it as the media descended upon YearlyKos, armed with cameras and notepads ready to "observe" this strange phenomenon, this corporeal gathering of the newly discovered Democratic base, as if they were filming a Discovery Channel documentary. For quite a while, their coverage of us focused not so much on us as much as on our reaction to things--such as our reaction to Colbert's speech.

We have always been here, of course. The only difference is that the internet has allowed us to meet in a 21st century public square of sorts. And yeah, like people do when they get together for change, we (gasp!) organize and we (holy shit!) debate strategy. We argue. We support each other. We raise money. We spend money. We make miracles happen, and we make mistakes. And, unlike the Republican base, we do this all publicly. Our debate is online, naked and raw. Millions attend our town hall meetings, and each participant speaks out in her own unique (and yeah, usually anonymous) voice.

I love the ending of her post:
All of us--a whole movement greater than the sum of its parts, powered by ordinary people who are pursing an extraordinary concept of change.
But a more curious thing is happening, and I know it is not only in my household, I saw it in Blue Girl's post. The movement involves our children. They want to know what their parents are doing. They see us involved and they want to be a part of it. Why just yesterday as we were all reading and listening to the radio, my youngest daughter turned to me and said "Democrats are talking on the radio, Mom." What she was referring to was the commercial by Ned Lamont.

Things are changing so rapidly, and it is no deep dark secret.

Crossposted at Team Bio.

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