Yesterday afternoon, I received an e-mail from my good friend Jon Swift, reasonable conservative blogger extraordinaire, who asked for my help in spreading the word about Blog Amnesty Day, an annual celebration that is held on February 3rd of each year that commemorates, as he wrote in his missive, “when we celebrate smaller blogs by linking to a few that deserve some recognition.” Jon wrote a wonderful (as always) post about the history behind B.A.D., which began two years ago when King Duncan the Black and many of his A-list blog brethren and sistren decided they would adopt a philosophy of “I’ve got mine, you get yours” (throwing smaller blogs off their blogrolls and into the cold waters of the Blogtopian© Sea below) and relieve themselves of their liberal guilt by granting themselves “amnesty.” In the take-no-prisoners satiric words of World O’Crap (the first major blog to link to Thrilling Days of Yesteryear—even though I’m certain Scott and S.Z. regretted it afterward):
Yes, it was exactly one year ago that Atrios, deciding the blogtopian ecosystem was getting a bit untidy and could use a bracing splash of monoculture, declared that all the world should be taxed. No. Wait. That was Caesar Augustus. Check that. He announced “Blogroll Amnesty Day,” which immediately earned a spot in the “I Don’t Think That Word Means What You Think It Means” Wing of the Museum of Disingenuousness, right between the “Clear Skies” exhibit and the “Healthy Forests” food court, since by “amnesty” he actually meant “massacre,” although it sounds better in the original Aramaic (“Slay all their kine, they go down to slaughter, Woe is on them for come hath their day and their site meter shall be as a desert”).
I have to confess that while I had a passing familiarity with the Eschaton
Purge Amnesty Act of 2007, I wasn’t all that surprised by this because blogging, when you get down to the meat of it, is not unlike high school: factions soon develop between the kewl kidz, sportos, motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, waistoids, dweebies, dickheads, Jets, Sharks and The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street. (As someone who would was more “notorious” than “popular” during my four-year stretch in Ravenswood High Penitentiary, I know whereof I speak.) But Jon and many others were quick to point out the hypocrisy in all this: liberal bloggers embrace the concept of diversity and listening to different voices…in theory, though, not in practice. Many of the top liberal blogs…link to the other top liberal blogs, creating essentially a left-wing echo chamber—something that conservative blogs, to their credit, do not. (Several blogs on my blogroll espouse politics that are 180 degrees from my own, and while I may not agree with what they say, I’d take a bullet in defending their right to say it. But it would have to be in the leg or the arm, because I hear getting gut-shot can be particularly agonizing. Actually, if you could manage just to graze me that would be perfect.)
When I first started TDOY, I had a “liberal policy” regarding the practice of “blogrolling”: if your blog linked to mine, I would reciprocate provided said blog wasn’t of a pornographic or spam nature—or as Jon himself once said: “anything else your mother would be embarrassed to read.” (Jon also had a comment about the difficulties of starting a blog that I found very funny: "'Build it and they will come' apparently only works with magic baseball fields.") I consider this policy sacrosanct, and the only times I’ve ever “pruned” blogs from the blogroll is when the links no longer work…or when a blogger has given it up and gone into more honest work.
Many bloggers participating in B.A.D. will observe the commemoration a variety of ways, mostly centering on recognizing well-written and interesting blogs who for various reasons slip through the cracks. While I agree on the importance of B.A.D., I’m a bit squeamish in using the term “small or smaller blogs” because I don’t believe there are such animals—just blogs who’ve yet to find their voice. But in observance of this occasion, I will make you these promises:
If someone has a blog that includes Thrilling Days of Yesteryear in their bloglinks, and I have failed to reciprocate (I’m generally pretty good at catching this but I’m not always perfect) in kind, e-mail me (the address is in the profile section) and I will rectify it tuit suite.
If someone would like me to link to their blog—the only proviso, of course, is reciprocation—again…e-mail…under profile. I’ll only be too happy to do so.
My blogroll consists of a variety of divergent voices and I constantly find myself updating it (and believe me, this is a good thing)—in this past week, I have added several blogs that were pointed out to me either by my blogging colleagues or just random searches on the Google…and include such gems as Out of the Past: A Classic Film Blog, Television Obscurities, Killer Covers, Kinoglaz Cineforum and rand’s esoteric otr. I know there a lot more out there, so keep those cards and letters coming!
©The term “blogtopian” is acknowledged to be the property of skippy the bush kangaroo, Ltd.