as told to Anonymoses Hyperlincoln III
Once upon a time, there existed a man, and the man was a cone. But not that kind of cone. He was a Cone. And this was, decidedly, a good thing, for tis better to be a surname than to live in Surinam, and both are far better than being a shape...unless, that is, that shape is not unlike that possessed of your humble narrator and guide, Anonymoses the Archon.
At any rate, this good Mister Cone was talking to a good mister David Hoggard, and it occurred in their joint mind, that Buberian I-thouness that transcends time and space, to, maybe, create a happening, yes, and one centered around blogging, and bloggers, as they had suddenly become the stewards into whose hands the fate of the world had been entrusted...strange though it may seem at first.
And sure as eggs is eggs, their vision became reality, and their reality drew crafty and deipnosophical blogsmiths from throughout the land...which of course ends at Virginia, South Carolina and Tennessee. Some carpooled from our beloved capital, Raleigh, wherefrom my own grandparents hailed. Others came from that great center of culture, and home to America's first public university, Chapel Hill. And yet others came from lowly Charlotte, home of NASCAR and ketchup consumption*.
Most, however, came from their beloved Greensboro...named for collard greens, since everyone there ate them with great relish and sound. Well, let me amend that to read, "pretty good relish". I never really understood why it should be cooked with pork parts. Probly goes back to Isaac or sump'm. Hell, ask them! I'm from Charlotte! We got Wendy's!
And speaking of "got Wendy's", I got wind the other day that the mighty Piedmont Bloggers were taking their show on tour, and that they were, in essence, a new model for society, partly based on the knowledge gained at Black Mountain College, but coupled with all that the Internet can bring to bear upon the issues confronting bipeds in Bushworld.
There is even talk of a radio and television network, along with movies, broadway shows, the Beijing Opera, Dai Rakuda Kan, Live from the Roof of the White House, and other marvelous venues, but need we have anything to do with them? No. So why do I bring them up?
Now, you know that if I tell you, I will also have to sell you an automobile. Oh you do! Good!
Well, I will tell you why I bring it up, but not until the fifthteenth chapter, by which time you will have completely lost interest, and the fact that I write it in Hittite makes it all the less likely that you'll find out that, indeed, I have forgotten why I brought this up. Product-placement, maybe. Or maybe the Armagnac. These things are yet to be discovered.
So yes, Piedmont Bloggers. Who were they again, Margie? Oh yeah. Archons of the Blogosphere. Big phucking deal. Bet ya caint say that on ABCNNBCBS!
No, Jethro. I cannot. And I'd rather YOU didn't either. Besides, I haven't told the good folks who have had the karma (I shant make value judgements!) to be reading these words of wisdom, that Collardboro, rather greensboro, (oops! should I capitalize upon the moment?) is the erstwhither home of one William Sydney Porter, if my memory joins me, or better known as the candybar, Oh Henry! ... and where a lot of people spilt blood during the Revolutionary War.
Now some time in between the two, this Porter feller goes and changes his name to "O. Henry" of all thangs, and proceeds to write some of the most clever and beloved stories in America's history. And he was from this great city where the initial meeting of the great Piedmont Bloggers held their meeting of the minds. And just look around at the results!
Heaven on Earth. And you thought it couldn't be done. Not in your lifetime. Not in your lazy, couch-potato, good-for-nothing lifetime. But there it is! And you cannot doubt your eyes. Or your president. Not since the Ashcroft Dictates were handed down.
"Ah! 'The New Dictation!'. Haven't had time to absorb that one, yet, Sahib."
So why bring it up? Again. Chapter 15.
And then it happened...
It was a warm Saturday August morning in Greensboro, North Carolina, and the sun was shining. Shiny, happy people gathered in an art museum and began sharing ideas, bagels and coffee.
Greeting each Piedmont Blogger as they entered the Sanctum Sanctorum, was Mister Cone, himself, looking much more awake than I felt, and a good deal younger and more sprightly than in his online portrait. David Duchovny with a beard, maybe. At any rate, he made everyone feel welcome, thus facilitating further introductions and conversations that seemed to not want to end...so it was eventually carried down the street and into a Thai restaurant on the groovy Tate Street...on which the author once lived lo those many years ago, and also where the blog conference was held. Do I hear the Twilight Zone theme?
No. It was actually Pictures of Matchstick Men. Very similar though!
And so it was that the brave Piedmond Bloggers forced their way into the mind of Anonymoses.
So who were these other characters? You've only mentioned a few names. What are you, stupid?
To answer that question, I have devised a series of self-guided self-observational meditations, based on the poetry of Rumi and Spacius, only translated into Cobol, then back into Tocharian B, then transliterated into math symbols read by Steven Hawking. Well, not really, but I could! Instead, I turned to resident blogger-poet, Billy Jones, who was the master of virtual ceremonies. His skill set includes the ability to expand the size of a blog ten thousand fold. And he does it with his hands. Quite remarkable really, when you consider that in just one day, his productivity was 600,000%. And this is why he is not a lackbeard.
Legend has it that Matt Gross had come down from blogger heaven to add gravitas, wit and guidance to the celebration, and I, for one, want to corroborate that would-be urban legend. And he was not only there, he was trustworthy, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, cheerful, brave, and clean.
Matt was the man who is largely responsible for Howard Dean's meteoric rise early on, when no one thought he had a chance in Hell. And now he is helping to shape Erskine Bowles' campaign into a winning campaign. Matt has had a bright past, and is sure to have an even brighter future. I guarantee it.
Also adding gravitas to what was quickformed in weeks, and not in exotic Palo Alto, where BloggerCon III was to transpire at the lovely Stanford campus, or in the ancient halls of Harvard, two places known for attracting blognoscenti and the bloggerati, but rather in a mid-sized city in North Carolina which, although relatively unknown, promises to not always be so --and I smell victory -- was the great legend, Jerry Whatsisname? Just kidding! The one and only Jerry Bledsoe, author of many a 5-star book, and delighter and instructor of Carolinians far and wide, with his journalistic contributions.
And adding not gravitas, but a sort of levitogravitas, or gravitolevity, although properly called jocoseriosity, was the inevitable AND inimitable Bradford von Krantzenstein, or Brad Krantz for Bermuda short. And Mister Krantz was not long before he dropped the proverbial stinkbomb by insinuating that writing is not of worth if it not sold. But Mister Krantz perhaps deliberately left out the fact that a gift when converted into a commodity renders the bearer of the gift susceptible to losing that gift. Or as Schopenhouer warned, "writing for money has spelled the death of literature." But of course, the risible Mister Krantz was being his rascal self, and, his nudging was fuel for the group to rachet it up a notch. So we thank him for doing what he does best...get people to thinking. This is why he is one of the Legends of which I report.
Two legends that didn't make it, and may not have even known about the Conference, since they didn't get my email in time, are Charlotte talk show host, Mike Collins, and the lovely producer of the show, Wendy Braatz...both of whom I only just met today, the day after the Convention, because they had an Open House at the WFAE studios, which bring such great things to Charlotte as "Charlotte Talks" and NPR. I had the added pleasure of hearing Michael Reno Harrell, who was entertaining the guests, and who graced me with the great ballad, "The Nickle", about a girl from Syracuse who comes South.
Mister Edward Cone might like to know that Mister Collins is not unlike Mister Christopher Lydon, whose respectable work he is already familiar, since he was once a guest on his A-list rolodex watch. No wait. Something like that, or suckmycat, if you are from the deep south.
Anyway, I told Mike and Wendy that I was going to convince them to interview Mister Cone, if he would be so kind, and maybe Misters Gross or Hoggard, should their hands not already be full -- not assuming, mind, that Mister Cone's hands are idle. Of course they are not, so lay off! It's just that he was the host of the most recent conference (unconference), and has the added advantage of having been interviewed before. Not that the others haven't mind. Oh, never mind!
Among the blognoscenti was the good and young man, Jay Ovittore, who had to bear my calling him Joe, but whose forebearance was a deep well indeed. One of the younger Legends, Joe said to Anonymoses during post-prandial chit-chit that he had no interest in selling his ideas, but rather wanted to give them freely. Will this limit his abilities? I don't think so. And neither did (referring back to a previous conversation) Mister Cone or Ms Sinreich, both of whom actual do sell some of their work, but, because of their magnanimity, are not in fear of losing it.
Such magnanimity should be the coin of the realm, especially in the world of politics...which too often corrupts into just another way for someone to boost their wealth or power. But, as Lin Yu Tang, from his perch created by having been the only Chinese Nobel Prize winner, tells us: People are largely motivated by fear. The desire for wealth is but a fear of poverty. The desire for power is but a fear of impotence. The desire for Fame is but a fear of obscurity. And the desire for "Success" is but a combination of the three other fears...and a fear of failure therewith.
But Piedmont Blogger-politicians are not like this. They are fearless bodhisattvas guided by love and caring. Among the fearless bodhisattvas were Sally Greene, Jeff Thigpen, Mike Barber, Kirk Perkins, and Don Vaughan. But, as Gerry Goulder of Guilford GOP News, who is also a mighty Piedmont Blogger, points out:
Republicans are losing on the Internet. I attended the Piedmont Bloggers Conference this weekend. I may have been the only Republican political blogger present. Many local Democrat politicians were present, and they introduced me to a plethora of Democrat blogger web sites...Blogs increase participation, build a community, extend beyond campaign season, and build a strong bond between office holders/candidates and the voting public.
To fix the problem, all that need be done is to shut down blogs and the internet. Either that, or open it up to all people, and encourage and facilitate its use. At least that's what my plumber tells me. And he has a master's degree. In Science.