Outside a Small Circle of Friends

As you could probably tell from yesterday’s post, I’ve become increasingly frustrated by what’s happening in our country. Luckily, though, thanks to the wonderful world of the internet I don’t have to spend all my time reading the American press.

I’m taking my time and spending it outside America, quite a bit of it in Canada. Awhile back I linked to Motime Like the Present,and while exploring his site I found a delightful essay entitled, “Enlightened Romantics: The Origins of Liberal-Democratic Faith in America.”. While it feels a little strange having to depend on a Canadian living in Verdun (a working-class suburb of Montreal, Quebec) to show us the wisdom of our own traditons, I find it hard to fault David Fiore’s conclusion that, “Ralph Waldo Emerson and Theodore Parker (and other Transcendental theorists) made an enduring contribution to American political culture by enthroning dissent as the most important religious duty of the individual.” Too bad Americans like Ashcroft and his minions think it’s their religious duty to stamp out political dissent.

I’ve been spending even more time at Bookninja, a Canadian literary site apparently produced and frequented by a number of young Canadian poets and writers. I got there through my referrer logs, which led me to a Quicktopic page where they referred to one my past entries on T.S. Eliot. Being the big mouth that I am, I couldn’t allow some incorrect speculation about the source of my opinion stand. One thing led to another, and, in short, I wondered out loud how I might participate in the discussion. One of the participants emailed me directions and even volunteered the name of a Canadian poet he was particularly fond of in an exchange of emails.

Coincidentally enough, part of my early fascination with the site was because they were effectively using Steve Yost’s Quicktopics. I found Steve quite awhile through my referrer log, and thought even then that if I started getting enough comments on various entries that I would love to use his site. I especially appreciated the ability to post a comment and then go back and correct obvious errors after you’ve posted them.

I’ve also been spending time in England at Stephen Moran’sZozimus where I’m particularly fond of “Johnny they hardly knew ya.” Turns out Stephen is also responsible for Sloe Wine and the Willesden Herald, two other sites linked to me earlier. Zozimus is definitely my favorite of the three, though, since far too often I feel like an outsider who’s missed out on an insider joke at The Willesden Herald.

That’s not to say that I’ve entirely abandoned America. After all Leslie still nags when I haven’t cooked dinner on my night to cook, and Skye comes and lies his poor sad head on my lap while I’m sitting at the computer if I haven’t taken him out for our daily walk and allowed him to drag me around our five miles of park.

I’ve also been reading over at m759’s Xanga Site a retired software worker who I also found by following my referrer logs. By managing to combine interests in literature and mathematics, he’s created what is often a fascinating combination of materials.