Thursday, November 25, 2010

Saradise Found - Chapter 19 - Happy Thanksgiving

I. Judy and I have a lot to be thankful for: our own health, our kids' wellbeing, our mom's continuing robustness, into her 92nd year, and many other things. We both have jobs that reward us spiritually even more than materially, jobs that allow us to share our experiences and skills with young people either about to embark on their careers, or - in Judy's case - who have just started a life of public service in teaching elementary level kids.

Maybe it is time to look back on what my interest in Sarah Palin has brought into our lives. Without Palin's inclusion in the 2008 presidential race, there are a lot of very good things that wouldn't have happened.

First of all, I wouldn't have been drawn into the fledgeling Alaska progressive blogging community in the way I was. When Palin was chosen, Linda Kellen Biegel's blog, Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis was the most longstanding of the credible lefty blogs. Dennis Zaki's Alaska Report was going through changes, but was the best web-based source in Alaska for timely news from all over the spectrum, particularly the left. Steve Aufrecht's multi-faceted approach to looking at Alaska and other issues was into its third year. The Immoral Minority was into its second year. The Mudflats had just gotten started that 2008 summer. Most of the Palin-centric blogs, in Alaska, down below and overseas hadn't yet been started. Nor had the other side of that story, the Palin shrines, gotten very far.

That changed remarkably fast. All of us made many, many friends as 2008's summer brightened into colorful fall, and the reporters, journalists and writers made their way up here from all over the world.

Without Palin, I probably would have never met people whose work I already admired, like Michelle Goldberg, David Neiwert, Max Blumenthal, Joe McGinniss, Stephen Braun, Steve Lopez and others - all in the short space of a few weeks.

As time went by, even after the 2008 campaign was over, Palin's remarkable durability has led to our being able to meet many more people from all over the world. It is hard to even know where to begin. I should probably be brief.

Probably the recent acquaintance that most blew my mind was with the Belgian-American photographer, Jerome de Perlinghi. I had seen some of his portraits of musicians before, but didn't associate them with Jerome until after he had photographed me and we were sitting around the table talking, along with his colleague, Fabrice Rousselet.

Jerome turned me on to his web site, which features photographs of many well-known people, mostly blues and jazz musicians. Here are a few of his images Jerome told me I could share here. He asks his subjects not to smile:

BB King
Taj Mahal

Bo DiddleyHappy Thanksgiving, Jerome.

II. Other things to be thankful for:

That I got to know Scott McAdams this year, and that so many others did. Jeanne Devon posted a remarkable interview with Scott yesterday at The Mudflats. Scott is also thankful to Alaskans for the opportunity our investing in his campaign gave him to get to know thousands of us:
Devon: What would you say would be the highlight, one of the moments that stuck out for you as a highlight of the campaign?

McAdams: You know, I think the highlights, and it was a reoccurring thing – we mentioned that “everywhere we go, we grow” in stump speeches throughout the campaign. I think the highlights were those moments at Town Hall Meetings, at Unity dinners where you saw people come into the room curious, sometimes skeptical, sometimes uncertain, and leave the room convinced that ours was the right cause, the right message for Alaska. I wish we’d had six months instead of six weeks to continue and hit every town and have a town hall or a meet & greet in every town in the state. I think we ran [out] of time.

I'm also thankful that once again Jeanne has decided to trudge through Sarah Palin's most recently published string of lies, cries, sighs, spite, fright and false plight, so that many of us won't have to.

Talk about courage to be thankful for.

Off to finish helping getting dinner ready.


Belle said...

Sometimes a thorn in our flesh is something to be thankful for.
Happy Thanksgiving.

igettit2 said...

I'm thankful for the Alaska bloggers, and most especially for your work.

And those photographs are simply wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is truly inspiring. Thank-you for ALL your efforts.

I love the Bo Diddley photo, saw him perform in Seattle in the mid-to-late ninties. The photogs name Jerome made me pull out my ipod and search for Bo's "Bring It To Jerome", one of my oldie favorites.


Anonymous said...

Far from Alaska, from Upstate NY, I discovered your site quite accidentally. Now I visit you every day. Thank you Phil for honest and inquisitive work and for all the information you share. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Huh ? Beigel was nothing more than a loud-mouthed blogger on the ADN site, her blog has never had great numbers.

Sometimes your version of reality is a bit distorted just like that other woman that you love to hate.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Phil, for your insights and especially for those wonderful photographs. As a photographer of sorts, I am in awe.

I remember Linda Kellen-Biegel from the ADN quite a while before I knew about any of the bloggers. I always appreciated her posts then and now.