Tuesday, July 12, 2005
A different kind of applesauce
Ping or not, I'd been meaning to post something about Dru's blog. It's one of my favorites, and has been for awhile, though I'm not sure I can explain why. It has to do with the way Dru writes about politics -- or maybe it would be better to say that it has to do with the way in which Dru's blogging is a political act.
I tried to articulate this the other day, commenting on this post over at It's Matt's World. Matt was asking his readers whether they thought of his blog as a political blog after learning, to his surprise, that some of them didn't think that it was.
It has always seemed to me that Matt's blog is political, even though the overtly political content has thinned out over the last couple of months. Anyway, this is what I wrote there:
Here's a 60s cliche for you: the personal is political.
I think it's true, and I think that some of the best political blogs display their politics through their engagement with personal issues. One of the best examples of this is Dru Blood, who mostly blogs about getting by as a divorced single mother.
Saying that this kind of stuff is political requires us to expand our definition of politics so that it has to do with more than who holds which office when. But I think that's something we need to do, especially if we think that the established structures tend to marginalize the problems of many segments of society.
Even more so than Matt, Dru's blogging has to do with day to day life. Occasionally, Dru will explicitly link her life and her politics, but usually you have to read between the lines a little bit.
One of the oddities of the American way of looking at things, it seems to me, is that we tend to take it as given that economics is pervasive while simultaneously believing that politics has only to do with laws, offices, and elections. I don't really know how we convinced ourselves to believe such contradictory things, but I'm pretty sure that the effect is to insure that many of the institutions and practices that most affect our lives are insulated from political criticism.
That's not how things should be, and blogs like Dru's are part of the solution. I guess that's what I wanted to say.