Montana Jones

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

What I learned voting in the Montana Weblog Awards

You know the drill, go see Wulfgar, carefully consider the ballot and then vote. Reading all those blogs will probably take a while so you better get started.

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.

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I totally agree!
I found a lot of Montana blogs I knew nothing about and have really enjoyed them :)
Thanks for the comments, you make me blush.

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.
Thanks for the kind words, but the credit really goes to Rove.
I'm a Texan by home address, but a Montanan/Alaskan by heart. I had the pleasure of petitioning/campaiging in your lovely state for 6 months this year for the Property Rights initiative, that the liberals like Schweitzer got thrown off the ballot. (This is after they rudely and severely blocked petititoners like me from gathering signatures screaming at anyone who might sign.)

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
lol. Just in case you didn't remember Jones, it was your blog that got me into blogging. But if you had asked me back in March if I would have been a political initiative junkie, I would have looked at you like you were talking Martian.

Fair warning though . . . I am getting revved up on the legislative season.

Thanks for the props!
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