I can’t resist telling this one again. Last May in priesthood meeting the photographers collecting photos for the ward directory suggested that the photos might end up on the “Blogosphere.” After they mentioned the word “Blogosphere” three times, I replied: “In the Church, we call it the “Bloggernacle.” To my surprise, this drew gaffaws from the entire room, as if I had invented the term there and then as a joke of some kind.
If you’ve been on a cross-country trek visiting in-laws or golf courses (or both) instead of reading new blogs posts, here are a few good posts you might have missed.
Tweny years ago today, June 15, 1988, I entered the Missionary Training Center and began my 24 months as a missionary assigned to the Korea Seoul West Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I’d like to take this moment to offer all my mission companions, every missionary I knew, both my mission presidents, all the people I ever taught, all the members I ever interacted with, the Korean people as a whole, and the church my deepest apologies, and ask for their forgiveness…because, as a missionary, I really sucked.
I try (or at least I think that I try) to avoid posting on the bloggernacle as bloggernancle.
It is with no small amount of pride that we remind our readers that Wilfried Decoo, one of our permabloggers, has been voted Best Blogger of 2005 and that one of his posts has been voted the Best Blog of 2005 (here). Wilfried brings to each of his posts his gentle personality and his erudition. But the most important thing he brings is his memory and his ability to write about those vignettes of memory in a way that reaches us all. They are thought-provoking without being critical in the negative sense. They are moving without being saccharine. Thanks, Wilfried, and congratulations.
Though this horse is not dead yet, it still needs a good flogging.
If you are tired of reading about bannergate, don’t click here:
I’ve been concerned, lately, that blogging encourages a kind of discourse that we wouldn’t otherwise see in the Saints. I was wrong.
Over at Millenial Star, Davis Bell has posted a few thoughts on the phenomenon of blog poaching. This follows up on the protests that some blogs receive at regular intervals about blog poaching. Davis’s post may be kind of weak itself, but he does point to the interesting, broader issue. What is blog poaching, exactly? And assuming that it can be defined, why is it an issue? That is, why do some readers object to following up on a post on Blog A, with a post on Blog B?
“For I dipt into the ‘nacle, far as human eye could see . . .” New additions to the bloggernacle are practically a daily occurrence now. Let me point out a few that have caught my eye recently:
Hi. We’ve been experiencing some major technical problems, as you’ve probably figured out by now. Our new host didn’t handle the site. We’re pointing the DNS back to the old host, which has the posts and comments through last Thursday. Once this is back up and running (DNS resolved everywhere) we’ll try to get a hold of the new material and drop it back in. It may be rocky for a day or two, but we should be up and running relatively shortly. Thanks for your patience!
Those wacky Mormons at Harvard Law School (and some that used to be) have started a new blog Harv. L. Saints (for those who missed the geeky law joke in the title, Harv. L. Rev. is the traditional abbreviation of the Harvard Law Review, the greatest law journal of all time, since followed by many knock-offs). The introductory posts include an attack on big firm practice by a defensive Mormon liberal (HLS abounds with defensive Mormon liberals. It is one of the things that I miss. They are so dang cute!) and an analysis of Intellectual Irreverence.
My second son, Matthew, has been working on a web site, actually a Wiki site, for a while now: http://feastupontheword.org.
Steve Evans has posted a string of e-mails in a fascinating roundtable discussion on that never-dull topic, “Women and the Church.” Discussants include Jim Faulconer, Melissa Proctor, Chris “Grasshopper” Bradford, Lisa (Feminist Mormon Housewives), Kris Wright, Heather Pitts, and Claudia Bushman. Definitely worth reading!
You arrive at Times and Seasons, and you think “I’m home.” You read posts by Russell and Rosalynde and occasionally even Nate, and you agree with them. You feel that this is your community, and that you belong. And then one day you decide to do more than just lurk — you decide to comment. And so you spend a half an hour carefully composing a comment designed to elucidate and amuse. You imagine the smile on Kristine’s face as she catches your allusion to her post from three weeks prior. You ignore the butterflies in your stomach, and you click “Post Comment.” And then you wait for the replies.
Reckless are [they]. Now… matters are worse.” “That [blog] was our last hope.” “No…. There is another.”
A few goings-on in the bloggernacle of late: I just found two new Mormon blogs (via Grasshopper, the creator of the bloggernacle). One is Outer Boroughs, written by a bishop in Brooklyn. (Side note: There are sure a lot of New York bloggernackers. There’s me (Bronx), Logan (Bronx), Nine Moons (Brooklyn), BCC (mostly Manhattan), Celibate (Manhattan), and a number of our guests (Greg Allen, the Bushmans). Plus a number of commenters.) The second is By Study and Also by Faith. We’ve also added a journal blog to the sidebar — it’s a journal run by a sister named Kacy F., who is said to have friends in high places. And they’re not new blogs, but new looks — Arwyn and Bob-and-Logan have both recently adopted snazzy new templates.
I am not proud of this, but I have to confess that a very substantial part of my entire self-worth is tied up with how many comments my posts get on Times and Seasons. Unfortunately, I just don’t get it. By what criteria do the commenting bloggernaclites choose one post over another. A silly, throw-away post that I dashed off in a about 15 seconds because I figured I ought to post something, just hit the top of the most comments list. On the otherhand, what I thought was a much better and more interesting post seems to have sunk into complete oblivion. This is not meant as a rebuke to anyone. I am, however, genuinely curious about what people find interesting and comment-worthy (are the two identical?) and why.
John Hatch continues his coup over at the liberalmediablog, with an interesting post on whether the church values orthodoxy (right belief) over orthopraxy (right action). John notes: If I don’t show up to help someone in Elder’s Quorum move, no one says a word. If I miss my home teaching, no one calls to chastise me. If I don’t sign up to do a cannery assignment, not a word of disapproval is uttered in my direction. . . . When I mentioned that the Melchizedek Priesthood was probably restored in 1830 and not 1829, two people were so angry I thought after Church they’d be heading to the hardware store to pick up torches and pitchforks. Why might heterodoxy be considered a greater threat than heteropraxy? (If it is indeed so considered, that is). My intuition is that it might be because heterodoxy looks like an active rebellion, while heteropraxy looks more like a natural process of decay. But it…
New additions to the bloggernacle continue to proliferate. I imagine at some point we’ll have to find some new taskmasters and start forcing new bloggernackers to make bricks without straw. But for the moment, we’re happy to welcome them to the bloggernacle. On that note: Rusty Clifton, over at his new blog, Nine Moons, has written several quality posts of late. He has an interesting discussion of symbolism in Mormon art. He also wonders if God has a sense of humor. Rusty’s blog looks like a great addition to the bloggernacle!
I just noticed that a “BYU blogs” blog ring has been established by Nate Cardon. It’s currently a rather small blog ring, with three member blogs, but likely to grow (it’s only a few days old) and it sounds like a potentially interesting development in the bloggernacle.
Davis Bell has posted a political breakdown of frequent bloggernackers. (Along with a few remarks about how T & S used to gross him out, but we’ll let those pass). Davis’s assessment is in, and it may (or may not) surprise anyone: I’m a liberal; Matt is a conservative; Nate is a cipher. The list includes quite a few well-known bloggernackers. Check out Davis’s list and (of course) register a complaint (with him, not me!) if you were left off or mischaracterized (he promises, err, prompt responses). A useful comparison tool may be found in this old T & S post, where many people posted their scores from a political quiz.
Over in a galaxy far, far away, rumor has it that a strange woman* has posted a brief report of her activities at the Sunstone symposium, along with sundry thoughts about Sunday School and correlation. Just in case anyone was wondering. *Not necessarily in the scriptural sense, but more in the sense of (to use her own term) “exceedingly weird.”
I should note a few recent additions to the bloggernacle. -Frequent commenter John Fowles recently started a blog, which so far has mostly dealt with politics and religion. I disagree with John sometimes, but his blog is definitely not uninteresting. Check out A Birds Eye View. -Another new addition is Ebeneezer Orthodoxy, a blog about church “doctrine, organization, practices and its influence on and relationship to society.” So far, Ebeneezer has posted a series of interesting discussions on stewardship, priesthood, and obedience. Check out Ebneezer Orthodoxy. -In the “Journal Blogs” section (which I don’t always frequent), Jenna’s blog (self-description: “Don’t mistake me for one of those feminist nuts”) deals with life at BYU, and includes frequent discussion of other blogs in the bloggernacle. Check out “You Too!”
I know that we’re all in the middle of something here, but I thought that I should interrupt everything in mid-action to announce that T & S blogger Russell Arben Fox has moved his solo blogging from his old digs at Waldchem vom Philosophenweg to a spiffy new place called: In Medias Res. That’s Spanish, by the way, for “in stockings beef.” (Really, it is.) I’m told it has a Latin definition too, and if I weren’t in the middle of something right now, I might try looking it up. Anyway, welcome to your new home, Russell! (And good luck keeping that beef in stockings — doesn’t sound like the best storage system, if you ask me!).
I’ve gotten a complaint that our blogroll is full of blogs that haven’t been updated in months or are now defunct. That’s a definite possibility, alas. I haven’t been keeping up the blogroll particularly well. I’m going to do a little bit of pruning over the next week or so. I’ll be removing blogs that don’t appear to be updated regularly (at least monthly). In the mean time, you’ve got a blog you would like us to consider adding to the blogroll, please let me know. If I mistakenly remove your active blog, let me know. And ditto for any other comments or complaints.
I’ve noticed two different posts recently in the bloggernacle that touch on the same theme: Non-Mormon women think that Mormon women are repressed and considered inferior to men, while educated and articulate (and believing) Mormon women are horrified at these broad characterizations. Janelle at Let Your Mind Alone writes of a conversation with a co-worker who told her that “Mormon women are bred to consider themselves inferior to their husbands.” Janelle was appalled at a broad characterization that potentially includes her, but discusses in her post how many Mormon women do seem to give an impression of inferiority. Jennifer Jensen at BCC writes of a conversation she had with a woman she met while traveling. “When I told her I am Mormon she was quite shocked. She asked me how I could be so educated and part of such a sexist church, thus allowing myself to be repressed.” Jennifer, of course, replied with a strong rebuttal — an argument which…
We’ve probably been remiss not to note this new bloggernacle development: Blogger and uber-commenter Clark Goble has started a reading club. He’s working through chapters of McMurrin and Ostler at the moment. He’s given these works a nicely detailed discussion so far. Clark’s first installment, covering pages from McMurrin, is available here. His second installment, covering the beginning of Ostler, is here. And Dave, over at the Mormon Inquiry blog, has posted his own responses to Clark’s McMurrin post here. Readers who are interested in philosophy or theology of Mormonism are likely to be interested in Clark’s and Dave’s discussions.