Quick Hits - January 17

After wrestling unproductively with the code behind the Non Partisan Canadians blog aggregator, I was pleasantly surprised when everything fell into place quite by accident. Some bloggers had complained that their posts were not appearing on this page, and the problem, it seems, comes down to the software’s inability to cope with a space placed before one of the variables.

Or something like that.

Whatever the case, the Blogging Alliance of Non Partisan Canadians is now a proper free-for-all, with nobody being left out (except for Andrew Spicer, until he fixes his RSS feed.

Now if only I can get my software to produce an RSS feed…

Speaking of RSS feeds, who here is still using my RSS 1.0 feed to grab the latest items on this website? It’s the one with the URL ending index.rdf. Could you migrate to my RSS 2.0 feed (index.xml)? I would like to eliminate the 1.0 feed and save a little pressure on my server.

The very anti-Bush Jack Cluth of the People’s Republic of Seabrook is still happy to call a spade a spade over Russian loon Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s mysogenistic remarks about Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. I especially loved Jack’s take on the situation:

Vladimir Zhirinovsky seems to have pronounced difficulties with a brilliant African-American woman who speaks fluent Russian and could probably drink him under the table.

Well said, Jack. Well said!

Oh, cool! The blog Kids Lit is reporting that Sam Raimi, director of the Evil Dead flicks and, more recently, the Spiderman movies, is set to direct an adaptation of Terry Pratchet’s Wee Free Men (link here).

Wee Free Men is a delightful book, which I reviewed here.

The same blog also points to a Sci Fi Wire report mentioning that Warner Brothers have acquired the movie rights to Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are. Why do I get the sense that we’re facing impending doom to the level of Mike Myers’ Cat in the Hat?

Repeat after me: you can’t adapt picture books! You can’t adapt picture books! You can’t adapt picture books!

Seems the Cylons of the new Battlestar Galactica have taken some collateral damage. Look here for photographic evidence (Link courtesy Moses Moore and Blake Winton.

What Will I be Blogging About on January 24th?

Antonia Zerbisias wonders at the state of the Canadian blogosphere after the election, which the Tories could well have won. She wonders how long the various right-wing bloggers will be in their state of euphoria. Will they take credit for their party’s victory, and then turn their fangs on the mainstream media? Or will they, as Jay Currie speculates, break into their red Tory / libertarian / social conservative components and engage in a civil war? Or will they turn on Harper if he fails to live up to heightened expectations?

And what of the LibLoggers, the Blogging NDP and the Progressives? Will they ramp up the criticism as they take on the mantle of blogging opposition?

Well, I don’t know about you, but on January 24, I’ll probably be hard at work calculating the results of the Bow. James Bow Election Pool (make your second round predictions here, but after that, I will continue to do what I’ve always done: write what comes to my head, in order to keep my fingers loose and my mind limber. I’ll probably also be talking incessantly about preparations for the release of The Unwritten Girl.

And, frankly, I think that’s how the blogosphere is going to continue.

Antonia’s post illustrates a conceit held by many Canadian political bloggers: that political blogs are the sum total of the Canadian blogosphere. And nothing can be further from the truth.

Consider: will Brett Lamb be blogging any differently after a Conservative victory? I’m betting Spacing’s Wire will continue to be hard at work focusing on Toronto issues. The election that will get far more play on that blog will be the municipal one this coming November. And what about Jordon Cooper? After all, God takes no side in politics.

Even though most Canadians who can vote do vote, most Canadians aren’t nearly as political as we junkies of the political blogosphere. And many Canadians with blogs are just the same. While I’m sure interesting things will happen in the months ahead for all of the political blogging associations (I’m sure the Non Partisan Canadians will be as fascinating a read as ever), we mustn’t get ahead of ourselves. Our influence is largely illusionary. We only get a fraction of the attention from regular Canadians that the mainstream media gets, and at best the blogosphere’s influence has been to allow stories to incubate (as in the case of the Income Trust scandal).

We shouldn’t forget that we remain in an echo chamber. A more diverse echo chamber than the fractured American political blogosphere, but an echo chamber nonetheless, preaching only to the people who care, and not to most of the people who go out and vote. We will have hundreds of fascinating conversations within our community. And the wider blogosphere, just like the rest of Canada, will drink their coffee and dunk their donuts and continue with their actual lives.

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