Letters to the editor

I rarely let political differences get in the way of a good read. And there are few essay writers I enjoy reading more than William F. Buckley (and Joseph Epstein—but that’s another story).

Buckley’s come out with a new book, Cancel Your Own Goddam Subscription, a collection of letters to the editor of National Review, which ran in the magazine’s “Notes and Asides” section along with the response from the editor — Buckley. The book includes a back-and-forth between Hugh Kenner and Buckley that Wall Street Journal reviewer Andrew Ferguson (who sides with Kenner) calls “a miniature tutorial in rhetoric and style from one of the century’s most rigorous critics directed at one of its most accomplished journalists.”

Ferguson’s review, in today’s WSJ, is a good read as well. I liked his comment that contemporary editors have a Platonic ideal of the contributing writer: “the writer who hands in his article and is then run over by a bus before he can complain about the editing.” He’s close, but I think to meet the Platonic ideal the writer would have to have handed in the article on time before being flattened.

Webloggers toast Anita Rowland

The December Seattle Weblogger Meetup opened with a toast to the memory of Anita Rowland, who started the group five years ago. Anita, a pioneer of online journaling and blogging, was also a talented facilitator of social networking. Friendships, business relationships, and even a marriage (Ryan Anderson & Tara Anderson) have their roots in the meetup.

The gathering at Ralph’s Wednesday night was a mix of regulars, newcomers, and out-of-town visitors, including John Chow, the Vancouver, BC, blogger who runs a blog on how to make money blogging — and walks his talk by using the blog as an ongoing experiment in doing just that. How successful is he? You’ll find John consistently ranked in the top 50 on Technorati. John’s wife, Sally Chow, does a more traditional personal blog.

Also at the meetup were three Seattle news bloggers, Clark Humphrey of MISCmedia, Monica Guzman of The Big Blog, and Dylan who often blogs for Seattle Metblogs. Look for these folks to be back at the meetup in early 2008 for a panel on the relationship between blogging and traditional news reporting.

Which reminds me — Jack William Bell has agreed to kick off the Jan. 16 meeting with a short presentation on adding RSS feeds to blogs.

More familiar faces: Andrew Ferguson (who blogs at Andrew Ferguson dot NET and contributes to the blog StudentTabletPC) and The Zorg. Promising to blog more in the new year: Jeannie of jeanniecool.blogspot.com; Jerry Kindall of jerrykindall.com; and Bill.

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