Has the Moose Become a Quadrennial Gathering Spot?

by: Strummerson

Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 02:15:26 AM EST

It was nice to "see" everyone on election night.  But it would be nice if we could actually grow the Moose back to and beyond what it was a few years back.  Feels dead and depressing around here.  Is this dying with a whimper?
Strummerson :: Has the Moose Become a Quadrennial Gathering Spot?
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Depressing is a relative phenomenon. (2.00 / 5)
The Moose is certainly an inside crowd, though I have in recent times run across someone completely left field who reads what we say so lurkers do exist in the real world. Without some change over some period of time it would likely fade away, and that is possible.

There are plenty of lessons I take from the Moose and apply to other purposes. Some found in content and others in style. I think it would be good to try to spin the old girl up to a chattier cafe some day, though in many ways I will miss the Cheers patina.

IMHO the entire political blogosphere is a bit of an aged carnival, paint chipped and linoleum peeling. The Media as a whole is a field of Grey Goo, dissolved from Tom Brockaw's Brain and still not formed into whatever replaces the Old that was Out With.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

happy has some ideas for an update. (2.00 / 4)
they're solid.  everybody watch their moosemail.

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey

[ Parent ]
It's not just the Moose, old Strum my friend (2.00 / 5)
As Blasky says, the whole political blogosphere was changed.

The remit of this site was getting Obama elected, and now we've done that twice...

I spend much more of my time on twitter, with lots of debates, and then links to other sites and blogs.

The Moose would do much better if we could get hold of its Twitter account again, and link to that....

Who has the password?

Kysen? John?

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'

This. (2.00 / 4)
We need to engage and link more on Twitter. New media baby and the Moose is showing it's age. Love this place and I'll always be around though.

Just because they are posting on a progressive site doesn't make them progressives. - John Allen

[ Parent ]
Happy Thanksgiving to one and all! (2.00 / 5)
Thankful today for the family I have here and the friends I have made everywhere. Thankful I get to see for myself how wonderful people everywhere are, most recently the warm hearts of Sana'a and Doha.

Fortunate to have had such a diverse life, to see so clearly the folly of simplistic views that hold such strong attraction.

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all, be glad for what you have in hand and what your futures may hold. :~)

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

The old girl ain't dead to me (2.00 / 3)
I'm a relative newcomer, but this is one of the four blogs -- indeed, the first blog -- that I click into every day after checking the headlines.  I would sorely miss the lively and enlightening conversations here if the Moose were to fade into the swamplands of inactivity.

Maybe I should ramp up the irrelevant photo diaries?  With the right tags they might snag some passing eyeballs* that would settle in to participate.

*And isn't that a lovely image in your brain now?  You're welcome.

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done subjunctively.

I hope it isn't dying (2.00 / 4)
I've enjoyed coming of blogging age with everyone here, although I'm as guilty as anyone else of hibernating between elections.  Still, I hope not to do so to such an extent this time around.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone - I hope you are all safe, happy, and well.

IMO, (2.00 / 5)
it has less to do with the Moose and more to do with life in general -- it gets in the way... a lot. But maybe that's me being egocentric. Maybe my life just gets in the way all the time. It has for about 2 years now, so I don't have a lot of excuses anymore... for one reason or another, I'm just not here most of the time.

Places like DKos have so many users that it isn't so noticeable when people come and go. One person disappears for a while, and there are three to replace her. The natural ebb and flow on that relatively "grand scale" is seldom cause for either excitement or concern. With us, peaks or lulls are very obvious to anyone participating here or watching, and they arouse a great deal of sentiment one way or another for those of us who care. I know a lot of us were excited when we experienced that brief influx of DKos users awhile back. It was fun, but anyone who expected it to last must have been disappointed. Some of them have stayed and been wonderful additions to the herd, and all of them were welcome then and now. But for the most part, they understandably returned to big orange... it was and is their home.

Some of us made a home here. Lots of us were exiled from MyDD, which kinda stopped feeling like a home well before it collapsed under the weight of its own bullheadedness and stupidity. We who learned to call the Moose home will always feel affection and attachment. I do. Yet you will seldom find me here these days. Too caught up in my own shit. The extent of my involvement in the "outside world" (i.e., the world outside my immediate surroundings: my home, my cats, my job, my family, my limited social engagements) is pretty much... uhhhhh, nonexistent. I get preoccupied with my tiny little "real life," and either A) don't have the time, or B) lack the energy to engage much on the blogs. I miss it... but not enough, most of the time, to do anything about it.

Now, all that is a personal problem for me. Everyone else, I dunno. I do know that silence breeds silence. The quieter we are, the quieter we become. No one wants to write diaries knowing they won't be read or commented on. No one wants to hang out on a blog where no one comments or writes any new diaries.

The solution? I have no idea. I'm part of the problem. Just throwing my 2 cents out there.

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.

My silence is for many similar reasons (2.00 / 6)
But also my spare writing time has shrunk in the last year, due to the book and the Daily Beast gig. I tweet a lot now, because it enables me to engage with people who are a real danger, or in places of influence. But it's kinda the day job, and I'm slightly constrained with my journalistic role. I learned to debate and engage properly here, and so it will always be a home away from home.

So maybe we should just accept that the fierce urgency of now has gone (for the moment) from this place, and these particular set of issues around Obama's presidency, and pushing back to the tea-party crazy. Maybe we should also accept that diaries will become more weekly than daily, and accumulate comments over a longer period.

It's not the same as the buzz and whizz of the boycott last september, but on the other hand the technology of soapblox is out of date for that.

On the other hand, the Moose is busier than 99 percent of other blogs, and still gets a meaningful conversation going, when lots of places either have no comments, or hundreds of nasty, irrelevant and pusillanimous ones

Just my 2d sterling pennies worth

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'

[ Parent ]
It is not a problem. (2.00 / 2)

The solution? I have no idea. I'm part of the problem. Just throwing my 2 cents out there.

It has been my fortune to have met many wonderful people in person as I have traveled around meatspace. Moving as much as I have married with the rare shape of my career has allowed me to not just meet but get to know well an amazing spectrum of people.

As more of a mobile actor I end up knowing most of my friends in slices of time. Where I am lucky there are many of those slices to give the relationships at least the jerky continuity of flip cards if not the intimate continuity of film. I seem to be exempt from the "he/she didn't call me for two years so I don't talk to them anymore" rule to most of my friends who are more geographically fixed. That this Rule is too much a part of how we see relationships is one of my big take-aways from observing life.

Of course I miss you when you are not around. But we are friends, and I understand. Each turn of fate that brings you across my bow for a moment or a mile I appreciate. I am not going to think directly at the idea of never seeing you again any more than I would with any other friend.

This is how most of our relationships are, I would suggest. Even those whose contacts are constant leave each conversation without assurance that tomorrow will offer another. We cannot be happy if we require each person in our sphere to reappear with clockwork regularity. Rather the sweet wine of knowing we will be picking up the conversation in-stream a day or a decade later makes relationships hang as comfortably as tailored pajamas regardless the meter.

Don't think you have to apologize for not keeping a ball in the air as dues to maintain your membership in this little klatch. I have just begun to know you, sricki-mine. There is all the time in the world ahead of us for talk, and I will always be certain that we will.


John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Blogs were places (2.00 / 4)
for people to vent frustration that turn into calls to action.

How many of us here are in a position where we need to do that?

My life, meh, its ok. I have a job, friends, family, home, food, a warm hoodie to relax in, wine, beer, Christmas lights, a cat. I got a urinary tract infection, which sucks, but doctor gave me antibiotics and I'll be ok next week.

I don't have much to complain about. The worse thing to happen to me in the last few months was the tree where I built my little brother's tree house collapsed in Hurricane Sandy, but he stopped using that thing last summer anyway.

And Obama was reelected, and that came as a pleasant surprise to me.  

The thing about being a pessimist (2.00 / 4)
Is that life's inevitable surprises tend to be good -- after all, you've already factored in all the bad stuff.  ;0)

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done subjunctively.

[ Parent ]
FTW (2.00 / 2)
I got a urinary tract infection, which sucks, but doctor gave me antibiotics and I'll be ok next week.

Just because they are posting on a progressive site doesn't make them progressives. - John Allen

[ Parent ]
My Fellow Moose (2.00 / 5)
I've been avoiding this comment for emotional reasons; the Moose is so dear to me.  But it is clearly a case, above all else, of "mission accomplished."  I blew in with Obama, at MyDD and now here, and I've always had a hunch I would blow out with him when the time comes.  And what a ride it has been.  I had the feeling when Obama was re-elected that we had reached a milestone.

That we would be an eclectic cohort of Obama supporters seems perfectly appropriate to our collective fandom, such as it is.  I can't imagine sharing these remarkable and dramatic historical times with a brighter, funnier more well-intentioned bunch of people and I thank you one and all for that.  What a honk.  To have been a participant in this willing band is just the greatest honour I can imagine.  

Which brings me to the next point, I had always pined for the opportunity to take a seat at the Algonquin round table and that's now ticked off my bucket list.  As an inquiry into the "whole is greater than the sum" question among intelligent, well-informed seekers of truth this anarcho-syndicalist experiment in blogging seems an unqualified success and that's both encouraging and instructive.  And above all else it was bitingly funny throughout in real-time which counts for a lot.  Again, an honour to be present in such company and share so many hours of, mostly, respectful good will and collectively profound insight.

As for teh Twitter, well...  Best of British luck to ya, "paint chipped and linoleum peeling" notwithstanding.  I will trawl raw tweets at the first sign of momentous news but I never get the feeling I'm opening a good book.  SMS works for ADHD, Haiku, slagging and epitaphs.  It's a blessing to the Dorothy Parkers of the world but otherwise lacks cogency.  

That we just happened to participate here when the fashion was thousand word essays and multi-sentence comments is just one of those happy coincidences of Nature which keeps me Pagan.  I honestly can't say where it goes from here but I am sure going to miss it if it goes.  Maybe we need coded signal rings or something.

Let's see how it goes (2.00 / 5)
It's not as if anyone needs to shut down the place and turn off the lights. Yes, there's a sadness that this isn't as busy as it used to be - but I must confess that after twitter and the daily beast, the Moose is still my third most visited site on my chrome browser.

Comments like Shaun's just go to show that everything needn't be measured in currency and immediacy. There's a place for the longer considered ruminations, and also a need for a welcome inn to stop off during our various journeys. We might not inhabit the Moose day to day, but the road would be emptier and longer without this welcome hostelry full of passing friends.  

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'

[ Parent ]
A welcome inn. (2.00 / 4)
There's a place for the longer considered ruminations, and also a need for a welcome inn to stop off during our various journeys.

Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name.

I have always had a canted view of the goal and purpose of the Moose. In the earliest scheming there was talk of how to make it bigger and badder than all the rest, with Bob Swern at the helm of that tack. The input I put into those conversations tried to keep an open ear if that was something the herd heard calling.

While it would not have disappointed me if the Moose had gone to rival GOS for visibility - the more stage life offers to play my Ham, the better - the nub at the kernel of the discussion on discourse that led here was itself always more to my interest.

How do we - by any definition of "we" - carry on about matters of some weight in this new public arena?

How do we do that to any possible end without succumbing to the violently visible punji pits and dead falls of current blogospheric climates? Is it Authoritarianism or the Public Forum that can quell the unruly spirits and liberate debate?

For me - while the conversations themselves have, as you both say, been the sublime value that makes this all more than an experiment to me - the subtle answers to those questions that could only have been whispered over spans of time have always been the bass note behind the bouquet.

I don't see the Moose more or less alive now than it has been at other periods. My own involvement has been variously obsessive or absent, Shaun here and you too Peter have been either prolific or missed for periods of time. John and I trample and mend our fences (my turn, this time) with an almost seasonal cycle, many others of the original herd pop in with more or less frequency but we are mostly all still here in a comfortable way. Generations of Moose not among the initial gene pool have been around so long their pride of ownership is no less and sometimes more than many involved in carving the original encampment.

That 'welcome inn' aspect of the Moose has crossed my mind several times over the years. A mellow old inn is a rare thing in part due to the Death by Success of the majority of the inns from any given age. Constant upgrades to Keep with The Times result in complete tear-down/rebuilds to the point that the Olde Inn isn't, anymore.

It would not be the worst dotage for the Olde Elch to just stay the way it is for any number of years, in a way. Patina
ed rafters and leather couches and low, worn, comfortable tables where pipe smoke and the tant of whiskey in the air mix with the sweet tang of khat. A quill pen scratches a diagram on parchment pinned to the wall with a scrolled knife as a fitted regulars and wild-eyed travelers encompass points for consideration by those in attendance.

Breaking news is hawked on the street just outside, fast food is found on the corner. Whether quicker custom trends of us each or us all at a given time, I think there will always be charm to inns like the Moose. It may not be much more than rearranging the chairs over the years but it will not go away.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Thanks to all for your characteristically candid and thoughtful responses (2.00 / 4)
I understand and/or agree with most of it.

Take it as a love letter from Strum.  Just wish we were all popping down this lovely virtual pub/clubhouse a bit more often because I miss it/you/us.

I have three major fora for social interaction in the digital universe.  One is an email list with a circle of dear friends in NY that waxes and wanes.  Most of us used to live in a toxic warehouse together.  Then there is a GreTscH guitar blog which offers me access to a demographic I would likely never spend any time with or on otherwise.  The there is the Moose.

I came to the Moose like many of us from the train-wreck of MyDD, the nest that Jerome built and then crapped all over and abandoned.  DKos always seemed too big for me.  More an enormous nightclub than a pub.  Moose felt just right.  It's precisely because of how busy I am with family and work that I treasure the Moose.  There is not Algonquin long table or authorian round table or village pub or cafe or coffee house or post-industrial communal living room or sacred lodge of the magic martian buffalo where I can spend time with people who share some of my playfully serious and seriously playful social and political sensibilities.  I've tried on occasion to encourage some of my NY crowd to join, but as most of us they are already spread thin in their commitments.  Some write and edit for 3QuarksDaily and The Smart Set.  So when the Moose is more active, I am enlivened in many senses, though Dr. Ms. Strum often has to augment her volume to get me to close the laptop and help feed the more recent humans who have claimed the right to live in our home.  When I'm squabbling with someone on DKos about homogenizing and fetishizing Palestinians, projecting their own crap onto them so they can feel like champions of justice, I feel more guilty about my divided attentions.  When I squabble with Moose, I learn and am nourished.

The future is unwritten

Yeah. I knew (2.00 / 4)
This whole diary was about your guilt. Personally, I blame you Strum, for not picking up your plectrum more often, and playing morer lush lullabies on the electrons of Moose Lurv.

Only kiddin' ya...

I never feel guilty about abandoning other sites. But that's the perverse effect. I sometimes don't want to look at the Moose in case it's in pain - I care that much.

So all I'm saying is, let live. Because of our multifarious common connections, I'm sure we'll always turn up here when the important conversation is needed to be had. Those liens of affinity and common understanding, like old friends, don't need the daily churn of popularity and grandstanding like so many other blogs. I'm not leaving, and I don't think anyone in this thread is proposing that. But our commitments, like committed companions, come out of joy rather obligation. To say the unsayable, or to reach for meaning... impossible to do in any other forum I know. And for me, it's final - nothing's final. And if that holding on means a whimper rather than a bang, so be it.

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'

[ Parent ]
Agreed things are quiet. (2.00 / 6)
Hopefully Moose will be alive and kicking inspite of twitter, Facebook, lame excuses like job,  busy, election specific, life..blah blah.  I've my own set lame excuses for my absence. But I do read the blog regularly only in a more reflective mode.

I skimmed a number of comments that seem to echo my plight. (2.00 / 3)
Largely work is killing me right now; like a lot of industries the newspaper still needs to go whether there is a holiday or not.  Add a 45-minute commute at either end of the day and I only have so much time.

Fog mentioned that I had an idea and since we're talking out loud I'll toss this in the comments: I'd like to see us look a redesigning the Moose to perhaps remove the "rec list" and go to a format more like either Balloon Juice or LGF.  Do we need a front page and a side bar?  Do we want to have featured front pagers and then "other?"  We do have people who can FP articles but should someone be more responsible for putting up something new periodically?  Is this something we want to put in an article (do we call it a diary these days) to get input?  I can do that since my day today actually might go relatively smoothly.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

Articles. (2.00 / 3)
Diaries have zippers and are stained with tears.

Write it up, sunshine. Let's have a discussion about the room. I'm in. :~)

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Great ideas (2.00 / 3)
The FP/other idea is redundant. Dammit we're all front pagers.

To have editors of the blog, who feel obliged to command/control/write something responsible all the time, is just not the model anyone

Like twitter (apologies for mentioning the name - sheesh) we need a flatter, more equal universe, which doesn't pretend to echo some kind of moribund print model

I don't know Balloon Juice or LGF - but anything that gets over this false hurdle of editorial imprimatur sounds good to me.

Better a Loose Moose than a Vamoose Moose

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'

[ Parent ]

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