It’s time once again for the annual First Draft fundraising drive.
Go blog, it’s your birthday
We gonna party like it’s your birthday
Seriously, last year around this time we asked you to tell us what you thought of the work we’d been doing by clicking the donation link.
We’re doing it again because we’ve done some major work this year, work which was supported by your voices and your wallets. We upgraded to the chinchilla servers last fall, and though the past couple of weeks have had some hiccups it’s only because someday pretty soon we’re gonna need to upgrade to a bunny or something. You sent Scout to New Orleans and she sent back extraordinary pictures and stories we weren’t getting from other media. Holden tracks Pony Blow’s lies better than any ten reporters, and I try to remind people not to kill themselves over this stuff too often by posting about furry animals and sci-fi.
It’s extraordinary, the community of people here. We argue and we bitch and we make jokes and we are, as we’ve always been, a public meeting place. Anybody can come in and start talking. I can’t believe this blog’s two years old already. In some ways it feels like I just met everyone over at the crack den yesterday. But I can’t imagine a day without them, and without all of you, and without this place, so I’m asking: Can you? And what is that worth?
I’ve been kicking around in my head for a couple of days now some kind of response toRobert’s post here about how the election isn’t going to fix everything, because on one level, of course not, but on another, it’s scary how right he is. And my answer to him is that it’s not time to bow out of the party but to turn the music up. We’ve got an election in three weeks but when it’s over, we’re going to need the work of our hands and voices and we’re going to need to make just as much noise as ever. We’re going to have to sharpen our teeth to fight just as hard as we ever have.
Even if we manage to eke out the slimmest of margins of victory next month, we’re going to have a Democratic Congress that’ll be like a newborn effin’ deer, and we’ll need to continue to poke and prod and beat and cajole and reward and shout just as loud if we win as if we lost. We’re going to need to keep writing Harry letters and sending Barbara flowers and answering Kerry’s e-mails with “so what are you going to do about it, white boy?” and cheering them on to greater things, and it’s an exhausting thought, the thought that this fight’s just starting and it’s so much more than politics, so much more than one election. It’s about what kind of country we are and what kind of country we want to become, and I know of no better place to have that conversation, no better group of people to have it with.
We’re going to need to do as Dylan said in the song Robert cites, a song that’s been my favorite as long as I could recognize music:
I’m a-goin’ back out ‘fore the rain starts a-fallin’,
I’ll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest,
Where the people are many and their hands are all empty,
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters,
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison,
Where the executioner’s face is always well hidden,
Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten,
Where black is the color, where none is the number,
And I’ll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it,
And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it,
Then I’ll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin’,
But I’ll know my song well before I start singin’,
We’re going to need places to come together to talk about the stupidity of the chattering classes and the mendacity of the Republican Noise Machine and the Happy Democrats and Pony Blow and Katrina, because none of these stories will magically end with a Democratic Congress. We’re going to need pictures of ferrets, man, and Holden and Tena and Scout and I are going to need the freedom you’ve been giving us, to do the work we do here come hell or hard rain.
Give if you can. Tell us if this place has meant something to you. Tell us if we’ve done good.
Snail mail for those of you who don’t want to use Paypal:
P.O. Box 4042
Oak Park, IL 60301
And thank you.