Engaged Citizens and In-Group Activists
As commenter Will noted in response to Marc’s post, Matt Jerzyk thought it worth pointing out something that surely we all noticed (indeed, on which we three mused when the photographer told us that he’d be shooting the RI Future gang the following night): that the Phoenix photos buck left/right stereotypes. In that quality, however, they do no more than express reality.
Ian elides a significant difference, I think, in his statement that we who founded AR “were motivated by a similar desire [to Jerzyk’s] to provide a broader and more consequential forum for [our] ideas and philosophy.” Here’s RI Future’s nutshell catalyst:
Matt Jerzyk launched his Rhode Island’s Future blog in January 2005 because, after having worked locally in community- and union-organizing, “I saw first-hand how difficult it was to penetrate the media cabal with progressive stories of hope and change.”
Here’s what I told Ian:
At some point in late 2003 Andrew emailed me with the suggestion of a group blog. Around that time, he was writing periodically for TechCentralStation, and I was doing the same with National Review Online. The idea lost steam at that time, but a year later, an increasing sense that things were seriously awry in our state led us to take another look at the notion.
On one side, a local activist and unionist sees blogging as a way to sell “progressive stories.” On the other side, a few opinion scribblers think there are important points to be made about local matters. Piecing together one blog is a law-school student; piecing together the other is a carpenter.
It would push real life a bit far toward fiction to make too much of this point, but the stereotype that the Left has found useful in a rebellious age is undermined by more than sweaters versus suit jackets.
(N.B. — For the record, I do not wish, with this post, to scuttle our little burst of comity, even if the Phoenix did give RI Future a color table-of-contents picture in the print edition. Bitter? I’m praying and polishing my gun even as I type.)