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September 14, 2004

The Carnival Turns Two

When I first started the Carnival I never expected it to last for a year. Last year around this time, had you asked me if it would last another, I would have considered the possibility for a moment or two before answering, "Nah."

I'm a candle in the darkness, I am. In fact, the long life of the Carnival--long in terms of the Internet, that is, for if a calendar year is the equivalent of seven for a dog then surely it is something along the lines of a decade in Internet time--is due to the fact that, not only does it keep on keeping on, something that I've long considered essential to blogging success, it's developed the primary characteristic of a successful meme--the ability to survive and prosper in a changing environment.

Had I insisted on hosting every Carnival at Hraka it would have vanished into the Internet ether before a year was out, because as any host will tell you, it takes a truckload of time to put together, and I would have tired of the effort. Had I instituted a rule that submissions reach a certain level of quality as defined by each host, then dozens of posts would have been snipped away, and dozens of authors would have departed forever, not only depleting the potential host pool, but spreading acrimony far and wide. As the Jollyblogger points out in one of the posts below, subjective decisions like that promote anger, not tolerance. Worst of all, it doesn't encourage people to...keep on keeping on.

I have a friend that prides himself on the crispness of his lane changes on the highway. I have another who tries to cast an 8 ounce fishing weight one yard further down the high school football field every day after class is over. Cast, reel in, cast. Again and again and again, for an hour a day. When he reaches 100 yards, is it Art? 150? If he ever reaches 200, he'll be one of only a handful of men in the world who have done so. How could it not be Art? He's not trying for 200, though. He's trying for one yard further than yesterday.

Is blogging Art? It's bound to be, eventually. There are too many people participating for it not to eventually produce works of staggering intellect, transcendent beauty and infectious humor. Many will argue that it already has. But most of us aren't aiming for those Olympian heights, not just yet. Most of us want to cast one yard further than we did yesterday.

So here we are, sitting in our pajamas, just one single yard further along than we were yesterday. But if you look back, our starting point has vanished into the distant haze.

See you next year. Same time, same blog. Different place.

Fred1st's Coveted Top Spot
point2point - Rather Kidnapped by Forgers, Replaced by Android Fake - How could you have believed that I, Dan Rather, would have allowed that kind of thing to get on the air? Not in a million years.” The veteran newsman seemed to be on the verge of an emotional breakdown as he wiped what appeared to be a tear from his eye. "If you prick us, do we not bleed?" he asked.

Love Actually
Wicked Thoughts - The Best Kiddy Wisdom Yet - When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouths.

Taken In Hand - My Deep Dark Secret - I have so much more self esteem just having been able to finally tell the secret I kept for 30 years. I married this most wonderful man seven years ago, but it wasn't until four months ago when we switched to domestic discipline that I got my cowboy from Texas.

Tim Worstall - More Old School Tie - Jill Lowe, who died on August 19 aged 67, swapped life in Pimlico for marriage to a peasant farmer in the mustard fields of Rajasthan;

The People's Republic of Seabrook - Remembering.... - I’ve already had my memorial. When I was in Minneapolis-St.Paul last month, I stopped by my alma mater, Macalester College, in St. Paul. I visited the tree that I helped plant two years ago in the memory of a friend and classmate, Tim Haviland, who died in 1 World Trade Center on 9.11.01.

White Pebble - What We Tell Each Other - Apropos of nothing, we’d find ourselves saying, “Where were you when JFK was shot?” And we’d all have our stories ready. (Sitting in second grade, right in front of Amy Berger who burst into tears because she thought the killer would immediately travel from Dallas to Cincinnati to kill us too.)

Natural Highs
RoguePundit - Oregon's Eventual Wolves - The wolves reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park have killed over double the number of cattle and nearly four times the number of sheep than was originally a number of pets. However on a percentage basis, wolves kill only a fraction of a percent of the cattle and sheep on nearby ranches.

WOLves - What’s Next for Bloggers? - More people will be reading blogs, no matter how CBS comes out of this, because the story could not have come about without alert bloggers raising questions of the documents’ authenticity. As most of you who’ve been reading blogs for a while realize, blogs are like potato chips – you can’t read just one.

King of Fools - Distributed Intelligence - The Collective-Mind of The Blogosphere, Left Brain Edition.

Sneakeasy's Joint - Sneak's Wide World of Blogging - I have 155 blogs in my Personal Blogroll, and over 100 other magazine, news, and other sites in my collection of links, and they all write on more than War and Politics if you only take the time to search out the pieces.

Art For Art's Sake
Koranteng's Toli - Vibing with Abbey Lincoln - Now mind you there was a little trepidation: when you start calling someone 'living legend', you are subconsciously wondering just how much longer she'll be living.

Musings from Brian J. Noggle - The Most Censored Blogger in America - Many times, the boot of Big Publication has stood upon my neck as I have written to express my own precious personal feelings and thoughts, and I have been censored! As a matter of fact, it's not just been the jackboot of Big Publication, but the centipede parade of Big Publication, Medium Publication, Literary and Little Publication, Regional Theatre, Literary Agents, and on occasion, Web zines.

D-42 - Josh Cohen's Fall Preview - Because it's Star Trek, I have to watch it... but on the other hand, I can't bring myself to actually call it Star Trek.

Dodgeblogium - Shadowed - Eden and the Sage both flinched at that most particular of knocks on the door. It was the one that the pair had come to know well, the restrained desperation of someone keen to be heard but not to sound panicked.

The Big Picture - Michael Moore Withdraws F911 From Competition - I suggest that the real reason he’s not submitting it for that Oscar is because he knows it isn’t a documentary. He knows it’s so full of false statements that it can’t be considered one.

Adventures in Rathergate
Les Jones Blog - What's the Conservative Equivalent of Rathergate? - I credited lefty bloggers Josh Marshal, Kevin Drum, and Matthew Yglesias for expressing doubts about the documents, and noted that Kevin at Lean Left had gone back and forth. Atrios hasn't wavered in his confidence the documents are genuine, which tells me something about his credibility, though it's pretty much what I already knew.

Tex The Pontificator - Playing Devil's Advocate - Let's assume Kerry's service was all he paints it as being, coupling that with the above assumptions about Bush's service. What does that tell us about their respective fitness to be president? Damn little...

Watcher of Weasels - I Question The Timing! - ...As I recall, making Vietnam the centerpiece of his campaign was his brilliant idea in the first place... was he really that surprised when some of the folks he falsely accused of being war criminals might have a few harsh words for him in return?

The SmarterCop - Unfair And Talentless - But where does the media draw the line in allowing partisan operatives to contribute their time and talents to one side or another in campaigns, and all the while maintain a journalistic integrity of ethics?

Quibbles & Bits - CBS Memos And Kerry - Grave mistakes like the CBS memos are not the product of a vast conspiracy, Right or Left Wing. These mistakes come from a gross misperception of the thoughts and leanings of the people of the United States.

Classical Values - Stuck In An Imaginary Past? - I'm not running for anything, but in the early 1970s I was a crazed Marxist-Leninist who did not live a clean and sober life! Unlike some members of my generation I admit that I was wrong in those days. But so what? How important is any of it now?

Irreconcilable Musings - UPI: Fed Us Bogus Story - ...if these allegations have been "vetted and proofed by thousands", how can the Air Force (the only real authority on the issue) refute the charge?

Considerettes - Fisking Sidney - Dubya can't go 2 minutes without bragging about how he used to fly Swift Planes around the Sabine River delta, how he spent Christmas Eve 5 miles across the Louisiana border getting shot at by the inhabitants of the bayou, and how he hung onto the hat of a CIA agent he dropped over the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge. And now all of that is going to come tumbling down. ("Well, Sabine Lake is such a big lake. There isn't any 'Welcome to Louisiana' sign on it, y'know.")

Alan K. Henderson's Weblog - Fisking Mad Magazine - Soft on crime? The same Jesus who endorsed private sword ownership?

Interested-Participant - Pesky Arithmetic - Mention needs to be made that the homeless advocacy is not motivated to reduce the numbers of homeless. It's their job to provide for the homeless. The more homeless the better because that's more tax and charity funds given to the advocacy groups.

Digitus, Finger & Co. - Saints And Monsters - If I have a purpose in life, a story that I want to tell the world it’s this: people are not “basically good", they are “basically evil". It’s not because I hate people that I want to tell them this (because, I would have to hate myself), but because every wrong turn and dead end in the political, religious, theological, philosophical, and sociological spheres, from education, to gun control, to the justice system, to the justification for war, is directly attributable to the idea that people are “basically good".

Setting The World To Rights - No Right To Self-Determination - ...the issue of how territory should be divided up into states must never be decided on the basis of the ‘rights’ of nations (or states, or races, or religions…), whether to self-determination or anything else, nor in terms of an alleged right of individuals to be ruled by members of ‘their own’ group.

PC Watch - Do Obesity Warriors Encourage Homophobia? - Using the word epidemic conveys the impression that obesity is a disease and therefore an appropriate concern of the nation's premier public health official. It suggests that personal choice and responsibility are irrelevant.

Jollyblogger - Objectivity and the Olympics - When I hear folks arguing in favor of subjectivity it usually is coupled with a feeling that this will promote greater tolerance. If these sports are any indication, reliance on subjectivity produces more anger than tolerance.

Greenie Watch - Praise Seekers - The act of buying organic is far more important than the act of consuming organic because it makes a statement about your awareness of the world around you - and you expect to feel the warmth of other people's approval in return.

War, Huh!
Solomonia - A Thousand Coffins - Starr's anti-war message is a generic one that started before the conflict and has remained unencumbered by the images of mass-graves, children's prisons, cut off tongues and hands and gassed villages. It is unencumbered by the specific images of the young Americans who have given their lives in the cause of freedom and to crack open one of the worst destabilizing regimes in the Middle East so that we might be safer here at home.

Aaron's Rantblog - Where’s the Fatwa? - Not one vigilante militia of even a dozen willing to kill the radicals among them… the conclusion, the only conclusion, is that the radicals are quite mainstream in belief, and merely avant-garde in their action. The only condemnation is that the extremists are just premature… not that they are evil. No informers in the Wahhabi mosques anywhere in the world–not even in the United States–willing to be the equivalent of Ted Kaczynski’s brother to do the right thing against blood.

Feste...A FoolsBlog - Back Up The Truck, Johnny - Despite the nationwide outburst of student protest, over 750,000 students took the test in 1966, in hopes of retaining their student deferments. It was the norm on campus, not the exception.

Solonor's Ink Well - Just Sit Right Back And You'll Hear A Tale... - It was then that Pepperkat decided that everything in the area must be radioactive and that she'd really like to be bitten by a goat and gain "nuclear goat powers."

Issues, Tissues, Wissues, Bissues!*
Last One Speaks - The DEA Drags 9-11 Victims Through Their Mud - Using the innocent souls who lost their lives to an actual act of terrorism that our government failed to stop or even detect, to justify the expenditure of 40 billion dollars on the failed war on some drugs is beneath contemptible.

Ashish's Niti - Everybody loses in restricting trade - Instead of repeating ad nauseum the cliche of free trade, we should expand the argument that any attempt by sellers to restrict competition will be met by other sellers doing the same.

Parableman - Affirmative Action, Part IV - If race can be relevant for singling people out for a benefit, then it should also be relevant for singling someone out for closer scrutiny involving criminal enforcement. I suspect most affirmative action proponents would be reluctant to concede this.

Socialized Medicine - A Lesson From Clinton - Had America had followed his lead ten years ago, President Clinton might not have been able to get his diagnosis and surgery appointment so quickly. Instead of waiting overnight for an appointment with a cardiologist, he might have had to wait the 3.4 weeks Canadians do.

Dissin' Dems & Repelling Repubs
No Watermelons Allowed - A Scurrilous Fabrication - Kerry's Purple Heart wasn't really for a little bitty wound in his arm. In fact, John Kerry, a man known for his long face, must have accidentally blown off part of his genitalia.

Cognocentric - Worth Every Penny - Your party overwhelmingly nominated you because they thought that you could win. The downside to having obtained the nomination solely on "electability" is that a significant portion of the people who nominated you will vote for Nader if they believe going into the election that you will lose.

Attaboy - Assaulting Logic - what's important is that the Senator conveniently forgets that terrorists who kill Americans don't use automatic weapons.

PeakTalk - Al's Journey - So it is confession time: at some point during the late 1990s I actually liked Al Gore. And the reason for that was very simple: he had an acceptable voting record as a senator and had been a decent number two in a centrist Democrat administration.

Mad Kane - W Stands For What? - "W" stands for "wuss,"
Say those who find "wimp" mild.
Dub's easily nonplused,
For one who once ran wild.

Dissecting Leftism - Happiness - The fact that overall level of happiness is mainly a personality disposition or trait which remains fairly stable across a wide range of circumstances (e.g. some people are almost always happy and others are almost always mournful) does NOT mean that people are uninterested in improving those circumstances or getting the occasional "high".

Slowly Going Sane - Bush Rambling - For 3 days after 9/11 we didn't see our "commander in chief" while he was shitting his pants.

If you'd like to host the Carnival, drop us a line. Information on how to join the Carnival can be found here. If you would like to be added to the Carnival announcement list, send an email to

September 15th Silflay Hraka - The Two Year Anniversary
September 22nd - The Eleven Day Empire
September 29th - Last One Speaks
October 6th - Incite
October 13th - Conservative Dialysis
October 20th - The People's Republic of Seabrook
October 27th - The Twins Tell the Truth
November 3rd - Quibbles & Bits
November 10th - D-42
November 17th - Food Basics
November 24th - blogborigmi
December 1st - Ashish's Niti

All other dates are currently open for hosting. Also, be sure to check out the Carnival's offspring:

The Bharteeya Blog Mela
Bonfire of the Vanities
Carnival of the Capitalists
The Kissing Booth
Carnival of the Canucks
The BestOfMe Symphony
The Carnival of the Cats
Carnival of the Dogs
Carnival of The Consumers
The Tangled Bank
The Carnival of The Liberated
The Christian Carnival
The Philosopher's Carnival
The Early Modern Carnival
Carnival of The Recipes
Sneak's Wide World of Blogging
Carnival Of the Bush Bloggers
The Storyblogging Carnival - via the King of Fools Carnival of Carnivals
Grand Rounds

Is there a Carnival missing? Drop us a line and let us know.

*Free no-prize for those who can identify the source of the quote.

Posted by Bigwig at September 14, 2004 07:49 PM | TrackBack
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.

Oh poop. I missed the two year anniversary!

Happy Anniversary!!

Posted by: Da Goddess at September 15, 2004 04:55 PM


Posted by: Jim at September 16, 2004 07:30 AM

"Issues, Tissues, Wissues, Bissues!*"

I do believe it was Kim, the then infant refugee from Viet Nam, channeling Jimmy Carter, in Doonesbury. Later, Kim grew up and hooked up with Mike Doonesbury.

Happy Belated Anniversary!

Posted by: Michael at September 28, 2004 05:44 PM
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