Thursday, April 05, 2007

Black Blogger Activism + Snow + Poem: Wallace Stevens

Other blogs may already have covered this, but I thought this Brown University Media Relations article, "E-Activism: Analysis of Black Bloggers in the Blogosphere," was insightful. It discusses a study, the first of its kind, by Brown researcher Antoinette Pole on how Black bloggers are using their blogs for political purposes. According to Pole's report, which she developed from in-depth interviews with 20 Black bloggers conducted in November 2005, and which appears in the International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society,

85 percent of respondents use their blogs to engage in political advocacy and to raise money for charitable causes. A majority of the bloggers said they encouraged their readers to vote or to register to vote; 40 percent of the bloggers asked their readers to contact elected officials; 35 percent suggested that their readers sign a petition or attend a rally, protest, or march. Several of the bloggers mentioned using their blogs to endorse candidates for office. Compared to other research examining blogging and political participation, black bloggers appear to be engaged in these online advocacy efforts and philanthropic endeavors to a greater degree than their white counterparts, according to the paper.

According to the article, the paper is part of a book Pole is working on, entitled titled Blogging the Political: Politics and Participation in a Networked Society, which will explore the impact of political blogging on politics and participation.


(Please click on the photo below to get the full effect.)

Yes, it's April 5, and yes, that's snow (the sun, which was also shining, isn't visible in the photo)....

I'm not complaining, because I'm quite aware that soon enough, it'll be infernal outside and while I love very hot weather, I'm also aware that we may have temperatures and conditions in store that will make nearly all of us dream of soon-to-be quaint things as snow caps and glaciers and permafrost and ice-covered arctic circles.

Which brings me, associatively enough, to that infamously gnomic and brilliant poem by none other than the infamous (as in infamous in his racist discourse, sexism, etc.) sage of Hartford, Wallace Stevens:


One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

Copyright © Wallace Stevens

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