Sunday, May 21, 2006

Papa Sees Kos at St. Elmo's

Yesterday, Mama and I went to our weekly yoga in Del Ray with Deborah and Dave, which was both helpful for dealing with our recent loss and more difficult, particularly during meditation, because of it.

Afterward, Dave and I headed down the street to St. Elmo's for some food and coffee, and to await the arrival of Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, founder of Daily Kos, who was speaking along with the coauthor of Crashing the Gate, Jerome Armstrong. They're on a book tour, and this event was put together by several local groups, including Raising Kaine, a progressive Virginia blog, and Brian Moran.

Kos and Armstrong, knowing I was shooting with my phone, stood almost on top of us.

Moran, whom Mama and I volunteered for throughout the last election, is the Chair of the Democratic Caucus in the Virginia House of Delegates, and he's also our local delegate.

Moran introduces Kos and Armstrong, reading from the book.

We got the notice from Jim Turner, Moran's volunteer coordinator during the campaign, and who is now on Moran's staff. Jim told us that Audra, who had headed up Moran's campaign was now one of the first staffers at Mark Warner's office in New Hampshire.


I figured that I'd better pay close attention and report on anything of interest, particularly since the local Del Ray blogger, DelRayder of the DelRadius blog, had just thrown in the towel. He has since retracted said towel, but in the ensuing gap in coverage, he still appeared to miss this event. There were several other bloggers there, however, including Josh and Dan from Raising Kaine, Teacher Ken, and Ben from Not Larry Sabato, and I'm sure that you can get a substantive report from one of those places. (Update: I've checked all of them and none seem to have a report yet. So just remember that when you want your breaking Virginia political news fix, come to Papa.)

There's not much to my report other than to say that Markos and Jerome are out spreading the word in person just as they do online. The word of the day was that "we need to get away from single-issue campaigns," according to Markos. (read about the results of the Chafee endorsement)

Kos explains that you can change the world while wearing your pajamas, but eventually you have to go out for staples, like coffee and beer.

In addition, Armstrong said that it's important to engage in ongoing activities at the grassroots, with an eye toward how those efforts tie in to larger progressive movements and causes. Another way of saying "think globally, act locally."

Being in Del Ray, they were preaching to the choir, but a little churchin' up never hurt nobody's spirit. It was good to see that so many people took the time to come out and hear what they had to say, and heartening to see that they are still fighting the good fight, in spite of becoming big names--at least in the political arena.

The assembled masses, who didn't know I was shooting with my phone.

I was excited to see Markos, although I don't read Daily Kos often now. Back when People-Powered Howard was actually people-powered, and Kos was one of the people who empowered him, I read it fairly regularly. What's important to me now is not the blog, or the community that it's become, it's their message, which is that we'd all better get together and get going if we're going to get anywhere.

Kos. How can you tell? He's the one who hasn't got shit all over him, plus he's got the best lighting in the place.

To be sure, their message is not the only thing--the tool that conveys their message also interests and propels me. You're reading one result of that interest, the other results include the blogs that I've created at work (which got me and Mama a free trip to Chicago) and the top secret new ones that we're working on, and the friendships that I've formed and deepened using this tool--including with family members.

In 10 years, I think that blogs won't be mentioned outside of "whatever happened to. . ." infographic features in USA Today, but we will still be communicating online, coming closer together from great distances. That's something else that's important to me, if only because without email, Mama and I probably would have never gotten married.

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