December 16 marks my 5 year anniversary on the bloggernacle.
It all started on a December morning in 2005 at Utah Valley State College. I walked into the adjunct instructor workroom and was greeted by my colleague John Crawford. John and I talked a good bit in that room at different times over the years. We had also team taught a class together. That morning John asked me if I wanted to join a blog he had started. It was call Faith-Promoting Rumor.
My very first post was on…John Rawls.
At first, blogging was ackward for me. Then I got very comfortable. Maybe, too comfortable. I have commented at many blogs over the years, and I still do at a good many. I am not sure what value comes from being a frequents commentator on blog threads. Probably not much. Either way, I have driven up the comment counts on many a thread. Just doing my part.
I have taken shots at Mitt Romney, Glenn Beck, and Kenny Rogers.
My favorite post would like be my first post of the redistribution of wealth. Though, I further articulated the idea in posts both here and at BCC. However, it was that first post that staked out my philosophical position. It also started a bit of a firestorm. I like firestorms.
I have quit the bloggernacle twice. Once this year even. However, I cannot stay away.
This last year, I have actually met a number of people from the bloggernacle. Some of those meetings were…uncomfortable. Yet, others were like being reunited with long lost friends.
While FPR is my blogging home, By Common Consent is my blogging church. It is where I go to make sense of the world. I once called them the cool kids, I regret this now because of the tension it caused. I said it because I was jealous. When it comes down to it, I do not like a lot of Mormons and I disagree with very few…but I often remind myself that it cannot be that bad. Kristine, John C, Kevin Barney, Mark and Aaron B also belong to this Church. I want to belong to the same Church as them…even if they are not like the people I see at Church.
In some ways, the ‘nacle is big family. Ardis of Keepapitchin is my big sister on the bloggernacle. Do not mess with my family. The guys at Juvenille Instructor are my blogging cousins, not the distant cousins that you hope to avoid (that would be M*), but the favorite cousins you cannot wait to see again.
One of the reasons that I love Faith-Promoting Rumor is because they have loved me. I am not easy to love. Well, the blogging me is not easy to love.
What has blogging done for me? It has given me a circle of associates even when I have felt abandoned in Provo or when I have felt cultural isolated in Casper. Once, while serving as Elder’s Quorum president outside of Rexburg, the assignment came down from the stake to get volunteers for a phone bank that would call voters in California and ask them to support Prop. 8. This is the closest I have ever come to vomiting as an adult. My wife sympathized with my awkward situation, but I had no body else to turn to. I emailed the back channel FPR group. I wondered if I should resign my calling. Responses from Smallaxe, TT, Mogget, and John C helped me though it. In the end, I turned the assignment over to my secretary in the quorum. I told my bishop that I would not have anything to do with it. He told me that neither would he. I clashed with the RS President a bit in ward council about the information that was circulating about Prop 8. But because of the wise advice of Smallaxe, TT, Mogget, and John C…I stayed in my calling (which I loved), I kept my job and I stayed in the Church.
The phone bank never actually came about. Somebody on the political side of things must have realized that Mormon stakes organizing in other states would be a bad idea.
When asking my Facebook friends how they would describe my blogging, one said that I had a certain bellicose charm. I think that works. Nitsav once described me as an “eye poker” and he was right. That said, my blogging aggression has a purpose. I like to think of it as a breeching experiment. I am actively defying the norms of blogging behavior at times, other times defying the political and theological norms of Mormonism. This is not to say that I do not believe what I write, but a primary purpose in writing what I do and acting like I do…is to see how others react. Many of you have made it all worth it.
Here are some of the highlights: