Montana n: A state of the northwest United States bordering on Canada. Admitted as the 41st state in 1889. The fourth largest state in the union, it includes vast prairies and numerous majestic mountain ranges.
Syn: Treasure State, Big Sky Country, Last Best Place.
Jones n: slang. An addiction or very deep craving.
Monday, December 11, 2006
The cool part of the MWA for me is the linky goodness. Exposing me to some blogs I don't usually read or sometimes have not even heard of before. Better people than I have said it best: Montana is a small town with really long streets. The MWA is a good way for us Montanans to meet our neighbors.
In the politics section I learned that my perception of Republicans as radical talking points mouthpieces that put party before country is not entierly accurate. Craig at MTPolitics has long been a voice of reason. My other pleasant surprise was Electric City Weblog. Not just shouting talking points and republican right or wrong rhetoric, the posts I read there, more than any other right leaning blog, were actually reasoned and thought out. Well done.
I also learned that my perception of Democrats as whiners and complainers is, well, okay that perception got reinforced on this last trip through the blogosphere. I don't know what to do about it though. My observation of politics over the past couple decades is that this nation desperately needs division of powers. When one party, either party, has too much power things start going to hell in a handbasket. So Dems, as much as I hate your whining I will tolerate you because we need you. You will know when you have gone too far when you see me rooting for the Republicans again.
In the independent aisle I discovered this great post from Moorcat at Pragmatic revolt. One of my single most important issues in the political sphere today and I see precious few people talking about it much less doing anything about it. Thanks for the writeup Moorcat.
Now if there is any one thing that you independent and Libertarian bloggers could do to make your voice better heard I would suggest grow a personality already. It is okay to express your passions in life. Follow Budge's lead and let some of that shine through okay.
Enough of politics. Politics tends to make me angry and I don't enjoy being angry. Forgive me if I don't stop by these blogs all that often.
On the creative and social front my most glaring observation is that no one really knows what the definition of popular culture is. But that is okay, I couldn't define it either. On the one hand it could be representative of all things pop. Pop star musicians, hot teevee shows, latest greatest movies, what the hip people are doing. On the other hand it is fairly popular with me and many people I know to downplay pop and find our own pieces of culture to emphasize. This appears to be the case with Montanans in general so the popular culture blogs tend to be all over the map.
Same could be said of the Montana lifestyle. Talk about a difficult thing to nail down. There is a common idea that the rancher/cowboy/hardworking/independent thing is defining of the Montana lifestyle. Sorta like how Sarpy Sam and Karbon Kounty Moos live. And that is okay because it comes from a powerful western mythos. Many people, myself included, like to soak up some of that myth with the Montana air we breath, even though we will never come closer to cattle than the steak we have for dinner. The crazy truth of it is that the Montana lifestyle is equally embodied by the outdoorsmanship of Out there with Tom or the urban living of Patia Stevens or even myself. I would like to think that I live a Montana lifestyle.
As far as most creative, best writing, best photography, most humorous goes. These things are subjective and I was incredibly impressed will all the nominees. My suggestion is go read all the nominated blogs because they are all good.
I think you should take the time to go read all the best post nominees too. All this reading takes time, I know because I did it myself, but these are our neighbors here. Go visit.
Because I think the best thing about the MWA is the linking and finding new blogs I want to shout out my own personal addendum. Some unofficial categories and the blogs that deserve some linking.
Best Montana blogger new in the past year:
Took her a little while to find her voice and when she did is was about politics. I will forgive her for that because she did some very thoughtful research and writing. I admit, I looked up her ballot initiative analysis when trying to figure out how to cast my vote this year. I'm looking forward to hearing what she has to say in a non election year.
Most unsung Montana blogger:
Just go read her. She has a girly/mommy blog, a Montana lifestyle blog and can crack me up all under one roof.
Single best overall Montana blogger that I go out of my way to read every single day:
Thoughts from the Middle of Nowhere
Sarpy Sam has a lot going for him. His quotations from famous persons alone are a good reason to visit every day but there is more to it than that. Sarpy writes with a simple eloquence and conviction that make him easy to read and very persuasive. He has managed to get me impassioned about the issue of animal id's and I have not been near a cow in over ten years. Add to that his excellent photography and, well, I go out of my way to read his blog every single day. It's that good.
And of course a special shout of thanks goes to Wulfgar for doing the work making these awards possible.
I agree that the awards and reading about them introduces a person to new blogs. I am reading a few more now, including one you recommended. Thanks.
Anyway, I'd like to let you know that not all Libertarians are obnoxious. There's a small 'l' mainstream brand of libertarians out there too. (You can find a hornet's nest of them in places like Phillipsburg, Deer Lodge, Dillon and Twin Bridges.)
We work hard, dress normally, and are polite as punch.
Eric at www.mainstreamlibertarian.com
Fair warning though . . . I am getting revved up on the legislative season.
Thanks for the props!
There is more Jones in the archives: February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 December 2009 January 2010 May 2014