Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Reviving Orcinus

Back in January of 2003, when I started up this little blog, I barely could have conceived the path that would follow. Indeed, it was kind of a toss-off thing, something to while away some time while my baby daughter napped and to get some of the material I had in my files in at least a form of print.

Then it became much more than that. Suddenly I had hundreds, then thousands, of readers daily, and just like that I was posting almost daily and attracting a regular audience. Five years later, I was editing and managing a blog on a national scale -- first (rather briefly), and then Crooks and Liars for the better part of four years.

When I first hired on as a national-blog editor, I tried to keep Orcinus running by cross-posting my material there over to here. But I didn't anticipate the crushing load imposed by those jobs, and the difficulty of monitoring two sites at once. So, as most of you who once may have read here regularly are aware, I slowly let Orcinus fade into the sunset, occasionally reawakening to insert back posts. But it was an enterprise in which I was not very involved any longer.

I quit holding the reins at C&L last January, though I still contribute there as a senior editor and occasional writer (see my blog there). To some extent I was burned out on blogging and needed a break, but more importantly I needed to prepare to promote And Hell Followed With Her, and to begin work on Of Orcas and Men. It has been a crazy busy spring and summer.

But now it's past and I'm settling into writing mode full time for Of Orcas and Men, and it seemed like an opportune time to restart my old blog here at Orcinus.

I'm going to try to get back to posting daily, or mostly daily. And the posts will feature my traditional mix: an emphasis on watchdogging the radical right in America and all its permutations, documenting extremist violence, thuggery, and acts of domestic terrorism, combined with a healthy dose of environmental reporting, with a strong emphasis on an animal I write about a great deal, the killer whale, aka Orcinus orca. 

I'll continue writing for C&L and cross-posting here, but as many of you know, there's a lot of material I liked to post here that was never appropriate for a national political blog and is mostly fun or interesting stuff. That will be back.

But I'm also going to be doing something I did more in the early days of the blog -- that is, waxing philosophic (some of you may even recall my failed Media Revolt Manifesto). After all, I have studied philosophy for years and over them have developed some ideas of my own. And I like discussing them with other people who are interested in having a real conversation.

I am struck by the overwhelming need for a progressive movement -- political, cultural, and personal -- predicated on enshrining the innate and intrinsic worth of every individual human being, and doing so through the power of communitarian action and institutions. I would call it a Human Movement. And I would like to bring it to shape through the power of collaborative discussion that's really only possible through Internet-based media, such as a blog like this one, where we can keep it small and personal.

As I did in gradually transforming the conversations that resulted from Rush, Newspeak and Fascism and The Rise of Pseudo-Fascism into a single book -- The Eliminationists -- these conversations may well result someday in becoming part of a larger written thesis. Certainly, those ideas were shaped and sculpted by those conversations (I really still think of that book as a collaborative effort), and I consider the democratic/egalitarian approach to shaping movements the healthiest thing for them.

So come join in the conversation. I'm going to be busy writing Of Orcas and Men over the next few months, and I have another exciting book project waiting shortly behind it.

But the conversation about a new kind of political movement is one we need to have, and it really can't wait any longer. I'm hoping you all will come and join.

Secondarily, I am making very little money at any of this (sorry gang, the book-writing business does not pay the bills unless you write a young-adult fiction series or hit the jackpot with a bestseller). I am in fact barely staying afloat these days.

So if you want to help contribute to the work I'm undertaking here -- knowing what I've done in the past -- I would deeply appreciate any donation you can come up with. It will definitely make a difference in my ability to keep doing this work.

See you all in the weeks ahead. 

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