WSS Featured Blogger: Julia of Sisyphus Shrugged
- Name: Julia
- Blog: Sisyphus Shrugged
- Tag Line:Lasciate ogni speranza and put your feet up
- Location: NYC
1. How did you start blogging? Why do you keep at it?
Almost completely by accident. I started writing a LiveJournal because we were cut off from IM at work and I was going through typing withdrawal. I told six people where it was. Months later, I was reviewed by a LiveJournal reviewing community and they highlighted a post I'd written about Carter's trip to Cuba, and people started reading for the politics. I've always been a news junkie and politics is one of my major interests, so I went with it. After that it sort of accreted slowly until Jeanne D'Arc, the godmother of female political blogs, linked to a post I wrote and it snowballed.
Why do I keep at it? Well, occasionally it's really hard to keep up with, but it's always been an article of faith with me that a lot of what's wrong with politics in America comes from people just not having the time or the obsessive interest to keep up with the news and track down what's really going on. The "news establishment" doesn't make it any easier by throwing up confetti storms of jargon instead of explaining (my role models are Molly Ivinsand Dean Swift). I try to provide a little bit of context, or point out what the story doesn't say but should, or just say "Do you believe this shit?" I figure if I have a chance to say some of the stuff I think should be said, I should say it. It's sort of a put up or shut up thing (and no one who knows me thinks that's a real choice)..
2. What are your most important issues?
I've got a very broad populist streak. It frustrates me that comparatively few people are making most of the decisions for this country because they get involved and they vote. More power to them, but a lot of people who disagree with them are so dispirited that they don't get involved and they don't vote. I badly want to convince anyone I can reach that they can make a difference. A few votes here, a few votes there, before you know it you got a constituency.
3. What's the nicest recognition you've ever received from the media and/or the blogosphere?
I was on Air America twice, which was exciting, although I was completely terrified. Also, I'm on the sidebars at the Ms. Magazine blog and the Business Week blog, which fills me with glee. On the blog side, Teresa Nielsen-Hayden said I was a good writer, TBogg said I was funny and the Poor Man said I was shrill. Can't beat that.
4. Who is your audience? What is unique about your blog?
I have no idea. I have a terrific Friends List on LiveJournal but I had to screen comments when I started to get a lot of ads for porn sites, and I think it discourages commenting, which is a shame. I usually find out someone's been reading when I get linked (I haunt Technorati. Just for research purposes, of course). I'd like to think people come by for the writing, but mostly I'm just really pleased that they come by.
I really do talk like that, by the way. I have witnesses.
5. Most frustrating aspect of blogging?
Meta. Definitely meta. We have much bigger fish to fry right now. If I could have one wish for the left blogosphere, it would be that everyone with an urge to pronounce on who does and doesn't matter would cross their legs and hold it in until November 4th.
6. What's the one point you'd like a reader to take away from your blog- the one thing for them to really "get"?
I'd like them to know that you don't have to wait for someone to tell you you're qualified to make your own decisions about politics and that you don't have to wait for someone to tell you that your opinions matter. Most of the world's gatekeepers are self-appointed. Once you make it your business to know what's going on, appoint yourself.
Also I would like to point out that I have a seriously cool kid.