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This post represents a benchmark, and a celebration. Most blogs don’t actually get past their first and only entry, the “Independent” on 27 August suggested a figure of one million still born blogs in 2008. The figure can only have risen since. Of the rest some 60% to 80% of the rest die off inside a month. So for The Oligarch Kings to still be here is a triumph.
To be doing the hundredth is something then.
It’s been interesting. Chasing wasps in libraries was one thing, but I have found doing the blog quite different from what I thought it would be, and that has been largely because I had fondly imagined, that at last, I would be writing free of interruptions, deadlines, and sub editors endlessly being pedantic and insisting I spell things correctly. I thought I was free to loftily declaim on whatever came to mind.
Only that didn’t happen. Having eschewed the dark world of “The Scotsman”, “Scotland on Sunday” and other print organs that I had worked with in the past, I found I had simply swapped one sub editor for dozens. Everyone has a view and don’t you just tell me too.
The whole process has become something of an act of collaboration. I have found that I do a simple post, and then for others to come back in the comments section with detailed bits I had missed out, or to embed video dumps off YouTube that I had missed. Or just to argue I am wrong. Sometimes I will be asked to do pieces on subjects people ask about, or be pointed in the right direction of others. I even get emails and phonecalls.
So who are these people?
The first are those who comment. Unlike other blogs I don’t ask that you jump through hoops to be “pre-registered” or other guff. I’m just pleased you want to say something, so, here, you just can. If its spam, violent, or mad I may choose to remove it. A God of Blog must have some powers. But I don’t remove simply because I disagree.
Then there are those who have been kind enough to lift some of my posts wholesale and incorporate them in their aggregate blogs. This has really helped spread knowledge of the blog about. Some keep doing it too! I am particularly grateful to James at PoliticalDog101 for his encouragement here. His site is an interesting mix really worth the detour. Its on the blogroll. Just click and you go straight there.
Well, there are the subscribers too. Not that I even know who you all are. To be a subscriber you just enter your email address in the bar on the home page with the address you want the post sent to. And, when one is written and published, a copy is automatically sent to that address. That’s it. I don’t know who you are, or where you are. I don’t ask. There are no ads, no spam, no begging letters, just blog. It doesn’t cost anything. And the fact I know I have so many subscribers, and they haven’t gone away, is a huge encouragement that what I am doing is not just amusing me. And in itself that is encouraging.
Does the blog change things? Do any blogs change things?
The aim of this blog, The Oligarch Kings, – when it doesn’t get diverted – is concerned with those noble families in America who control the system of government. The oligarchy that squats, complacent and unchallenged, on the great offices of state.
The United States has long recognised that economic cartels are unfair to the customers of the good supplied, and have sought to strike these down. However, when it comes to cartels of political influence influencing control of the democratic process, far from seeking to remove these also in the name of the customers – the electorate- they entrench such cartels and oligarchies
They have concealed this truth rather well. Blogs – where they are well written and researched – provide an information stream that simply will not be available elsewhere in the corporately controlled media world of America and Europe. They give a fresh voice to dissent and those who feel feebly that “it’s just not right”. We know they are a bunch of lying bastards and here through the media of blogs is how we know it, and how we can prove it! They can, when well applied, transform the relationship between politicians and the public.
It is not however a view shared by our cousins, the “professional journalists” who when asked, are scathing of the practise. Two recent examples impress. Rod Liddle in his regular column for the “Sunday Times” recently described those who blog as “a vast network of talentless and embittered individuals tapping away at their keyboards in the intellectual vacuum of cyberspace”. Yasmin Alibbai-Brown writing for the “Independent” on Monday 6th September in “The Stench from the Blogosphere “ wrote that those who blog are “ pumped up with the gas of self regard and malice…these creatures of the night will have sent over their foul invective, racist missiles and illiterate essays….scribblers in their unlit rooms, practising their peculiar form of onanism .”
Bloggers – as our journalistic cousins see us
Ranting peasants we may be, but I do notice this, that the blogosphere is easily ahead of the wave of print media. Consistently I find news items, and trends, up to a week ahead of when they break in the established media. I frequently beat Mark Mardell and the BBC to the chase! (So much then for being free of deadlines!) There is the game of seeing how far ahead you can beat your favourite media organ to the punch. And the blogosphere has the space to deal at length with issues in far greater depth than the corporate run TV or paper press do.
It doesn’t hurt to know what is being done to us all in the name of “democracy” and how they twist the system to their own ends. Blogs are not just an addition to the mix they can be an alternative to the increasingly corporate press. Blogs can act like the investigative press of old. Blogs give the dissenting a voice. Without exaggeration it gives the interested information sometimes simply not available through mainstream media. Without Blogs, Iranian and Chinese dissidents would be unheard, and for us they are our electric samizdat, forever keeping check on power and its media lap dogs on a leash.
And finally I’d just like to suggest you stop on by every day….
Copyright David Macadam 2010