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February 08, 2005

Digital Underground

I was reading Doug from Bogus Gold, one of my favorite "new" bloggers, is contributing to the excellent Dayton v. Kennedyt blog. Actually, BoGold and DvK are among a long list of local blogs that have started - or become apparent to me, anyway- in the past year.

I use SharpReader at home to do most of my blog reading these days; it's faster and easier than flipping through the blogroll on my site itself. And on my SharpReader, I have a long, long section labelled "MOB", short for "Minnesota Organization of Bloggers". They're a wildly eclectic bunch - from the eclectic Doug to the acerbic Nihilist to the astute Jay Reding to the astringent Chumley to the ass-focused Ryan (yes, dude, you probably are typecast...) to the only non-Mitch person that's ever written on "Shot...", Steve Gigl of Giggleblog...

...you get the point. I remember pretty distinctly how wierd it felt just a little over two years ago, when the Fraters and I realized, almost simultaneously, that each of us weren't the only bloggers in the Twin Cities, and Saint Paul told me about this other blog, Powerline, that was pretty good too. Today, they're busting out all over the place.

When Hugh Hewitt christened the Northern Alliance, around the time of the '02 elections, he named it because it seemed that we conservative bloggers were a beleaguered minority in the middle of stereotypically liberal Minnesota.

Here in the uber-stereotypically-liberal Twin Cities, we really are, of course. Which brings me to my question; why have the Twin Cities turned into such a center for right-of-center blogs?

Leave a comment; I'm curious.

Posted by Mitch at February 8, 2005 06:20 AM | TrackBack
Comments

Umm. There actually are a fair number of lefties blogging in town. But there's a larger number on the Minneapolis Issues list, and other older electronic communications methods, too. Different circles.

There are also a fair number of anarchists/minarchists/libertarians around town. But we tend to talk about things other than politics. Why spend our time arguing with everybody, especially when both sides seem to want bigger, more controlling government (though controlling different things)?

Me? I'm proud to be called a wingnut. Both by the people who think USA-PATRIOT made us safer and by the people who think John Ashcroft is Satan.

Posted by: DaveP at February 8, 2005 08:09 AM

I think it has more to do with being in the minority. For years, we've been frustrated by distortions from the media and the inability to get our side of the story out. We've written letters to the editor without being noticed. If we complain about broadcast news, then we're shooed away. This is our first big step towards having our own voice in the grand scheme of things.
Lefties don't have as much push towards this, because the media reinforces their attitudes and viewpoints.

Posted by: Peder at February 8, 2005 09:20 AM

Hey Mitch. Thanks for the plugs.

I'm a little puzzled as well about your question. Peder's point above surely is part of it. But I personally never wrote letters to the editor or complained to television stations. I did my writing on the Internet (Electronic BBS, then Usenet, then Free Republic, etc.), and I have anecdotal evidence from other local bloggers they had similar outlets.

I started my blog as little more than a single place I could post the kind of stuff I had previously been writing to many different bulletin-board websites at the time.

I do know the Minnesota Republican Party has been growing and improving for the past several years, while the DFL seemed to be resting on the laurels of past dominance. Is this related to blogging? I have no idea.

Posted by: Doug at February 8, 2005 09:35 AM

Mitch,

Ahem.

Your snub of us has been noted.

Looking forwart to listening to Power Line Radio- er Fraters Libertas Radio- tonight.

LF

Posted by: LearnedFoot at February 8, 2005 09:58 AM

No snub intended, Foot! There are so many, I haven't even gotten them all onto my blogroll yet. I read KR!

Posted by: mitch at February 8, 2005 10:10 AM

"There are also a fair number of anarchists/minarchists/libertarians around town. But we tend to talk about things other than politics. Why spend our time arguing with everybody, especially when both sides seem to want bigger, more controlling government (though controlling different things)?"

I second DaveP's comment. When I go to parties, I find that I get attacked from both sides, first by the left because I said/shown that the government is not responsible for providing health care for all and then from the right because I said that the FCC should not be regulating what is said on the airwaves. So, instead, I talk about beer and how yummy it tastes.

Posted by: Scott McGerik at February 8, 2005 11:04 AM

Scott:

It's LESS FILLING!

Posted by: Ryan at February 8, 2005 11:16 AM

LOL! Only if you're drinking Miller Lite...

Posted by: Dave V at February 8, 2005 12:29 PM

Mitch, I'm following Hugh's advice to read many, many blogs before launching my own and have visited yours many times. I've pondered the same question, though. Here are a few reasons that have occurred to me:

1. Plagues. Minnesota is plagued by mosquitos and liberals. While slapping a mosquito brings some satisfaction, slapping a liberal gets you sent to Anger Management. Therefore we blog.
2. The need for an outlet. The StarTribune and Pioneer Press only publish one of our letters to the editor for every 8 or 10 from the left.
3. Familiarity breeds contempt. No one knows better that socialism doesnít work than someone who has experienced it up close.
4. Perspective. Transplants such as myself know that Republicans in Minnesota sound like Democrats in at least 46 other states.
5. A target-rich environment. If you canít find an example of mushy thinking or stubborn wrong-headedness every day, your body may have assumed room temperature (if it has, donít worry, it doesnít mean you canít still vote).
6. Size of Audience. Each year you can be fairly certain that at least 50% of Minnesota high school graduates are able to read.
7. Because itís not Nice.

I'm sure there are many more I might address if I ever start blogging (name under consideration: The Minfidel, since I don't believe the government is the all-powerful source of our blessings).

Carry on.

Posted by: John S. at February 8, 2005 04:03 PM

Ryan,

Mmmm, beer.

Posted by: Scott McGerik at February 8, 2005 06:48 PM

Why are there so many right-leaning blogs in ultra-lib Minnesota?
It's all part of the vast right wing conspiracy.
Karl Rove had something put in the water.
It's just a matter of time before everyone is under the thumb of his evil plan.

Posted by: Jo at February 8, 2005 08:50 PM

It is my experience that my fellow liberals prefer to just keep their politics to themselves. Blogging represents debate, argumentation, and confrontation... something most of my liberal friends prefer to avoid. But my conservative friends tend to enjoy this sort of debate.

Now that is not to say that liberals don't like politics or don't follow politics... it is just that they believe everyone is entitled to their opinion that the debate only leads to animosity (see Fox News).

Posted by: Carson at February 8, 2005 11:19 PM

Sorry, that should read "everyone is entitled to their opinion AND that debate will only lead to animosity.

Posted by: Carson at February 8, 2005 11:21 PM

John S.: You have nailed it.

Jo: That's right, and I am proud to be a Charter Member of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. I even have a mug from Rush Limbaugh proclaiming that to be so.

Carson: Debate only leads to animosity? Have you never read Plato's Republic?

Everyone learns from a good, solid debate--the participants, the moderator, and those in attendance when the opponents come in with well-researched, logical views. It's only when one or both sides come in with lies and half-truths combined with a moderator that doesn't challenge those lies. (See CNN.)

And people wonder why I switched from blue to red.

Posted by: Paul at February 9, 2005 12:57 AM

Paul-
If you had read my comment correctly, you would have understood it to mean that the screaming talking heads on television turn my fellow liberal friends away from politics.
And if you are so sick of lies and half-truths, why are you proud to have a Limbaugh mug?

Posted by: Paul at February 9, 2005 09:53 AM

Suffering under JFK-worshipping,Strib-reading, liberal nuns for 12 years as the one of two GOPers in my class willing to say so,I encountered the thought police in the Poli Sci classes at St.Thomas.They made you parrot back their liberal dreck in blue books for 4 years while your skin crawled.After that, noone can question why Minnesota,the seat of Humphrey,McCarthy and Wellstone would have such a strong conservative blog response as both reasoned and therapeutic.Thank God for blogs.

Posted by: Ed Viehman at February 9, 2005 10:52 AM

Sorry, the last Paul comment was mine. It should just be addressed to Paul.

Posted by: Carson at February 9, 2005 11:30 AM

"Now that is not to say that liberals don't like politics or don't follow politics... it is just that they believe everyone is entitled to their opinion..."

Have you been on a collage campus lately? From what I hear, conservitives do not deserve an opinion or a voice.

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