Thursday, January 17, 2008


Hello, and welcome to this new blog, whose focus will be news, politics, culture, social issues, etc. in Lousiana with a bias towards Baton Rouge--not because it's more important than other parts of the state (which it isn't), but because it's where I am. Part of my agenda, though, will be to learn more about other areas.

I'm writing this blog for several reasons. First, I want there to be more dialog about local issues and goings-on. I feel that in our consumption of mass media (and consequent adoption of U.S. cultural, political, and social homogeneity), we tend to focus on national events to the detriment of local ones. This seems especially true of politics. I want this blog to be a place to discuss and/or debate these things, to get more local discourse going. Hopefully I'll meet some great folks, too.

Second, this will be a place for me to collect my thoughts as I learn. I have only recently developed state pride (more on that later) and therefore a genuine, deep concern for what goes on here. I'm not writing as an expert but as someone who's learning as they go. My real hope for this blog is that commenters more knowledgeable than myself contribute, and expand my understanding.

Third, I hope the blog will motivate me to stay abreast of what's going on, and keep exploring the many interesting facets, present and past, of this state. In the past I've tried to follow the (national) news but ended up distracted by other things (school work in particular) or just feeling apathetic. Also, while news outlets usually don't provide context well (only particulars of specific events), I'm hoping that this way I'll be able to fit things into a larger picture.

Finally, I feel motivated by a streak of activism. I'll say up-front that I'm a liberal, but I'm not here to play partisan politics--call it regional politics, I guess. By having discussions and perhaps even alerting readers to things they didn't know, we (by which I mean me and whoever comments) might fuel some small amount of local awareness and even political will (a lofty goal, I know). Despite all of our differences, we have to stick up for our state, ourselves, and each other, because no one else will.

As for format, I plan to follow and comment on news stories, write reviews of relevant books/films/etc., feature ongoing issues (e.g. the wetlands), and perhaps post my own general thoughts, observations, and questions for discussion. At worst, this will be a collection of notes as I learn and follow events; at best it will be a forum for discussion that fuels thought for everyone involved. Finally, I want to express my desire to understand different perspectives rather than condemn them--so I certainly welcome everyone, in- or out-of-state, whatever their viewpoints are. Welcome!

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