We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
And it's not just blogs. Websites, news and opinion outlets...well, like, duh? But I am realizing how much the net is like living inside a library - a big one, like the New York Public Library - a universe of words and thoughts and pictures. Even if you are retired, which the Bird Dog is far from being, you can't begin to scratch the surface. That is why, just like Taranto at the WSJ, Maggie's Farm has a team of retrievers - each one smarter than me. (They are listed under "About Us," but it isn't complete.) And it should not be surprising to me how many folks write and think well, and just want to put their stuff out there, hoping someone will appreciate it or use it. Writing ability, combined with thinking ability, is as much of a miracle as musical talent - and, like musical talent, it is remarkable how generously that miracle is handed out.
Obviously, most media opinion outlets offer essays, but most bloggers offer essays too - some very short and some lengthy and scholarly. As more people use the net for information and for brain food, we are seeing a resurgence of the essay. Francis Bacon would be pleased. I always felt that the late Stephen J. Gould was the best essayist of our time. Each piece was a compact, perfectly-constructed gem. Like a good sonnet. Blog essays are dashed off - people have jobs and kids and bills to pay and cows to milk. And the writing tends to be more colloquial and casual. But still dang good, as Napoleon Dynamite would say. Glenn Reynolds can sometimes say 100 words in just one "Huh?"
Here at Maggie's Farm, we try to offer the new kind of format - the Blog Format - with no real hard news - there are plenty of good sources there. We want to be a source if interesting stuff, and some semi-frivolous stuff to provide an outlet for our amateur (amateurish?) auteurs. And, as we claim, politics is not our only interest. It is to us what professional sports are to many - entertaining and emotional and topical and silly but meaningless in the final end. But we will not tolerate fools trying to run our lives or to shape our world - we are proud Yankees. And we ain't fools, despite our lack of deep education.