Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ode to Andrew Sullivan

My inspiration for writing the blog comes, in no small part, from reading the work of uberblogger Andrew Sullivan. I am not, and could not even attempt to do what he's doing. I would like to take a few words to sing his praise.

On his blog the Daily Dish, Sullivan posts constantly (20+ times a day), linking to the best arguments, and insights from around the web, and contributing his own keen commentary. His list of topics is extremely broad, bouncing from politics, to religion, to human rights, to cultural issues, to humor like a mad cultural/intellectual DJ mixing up the collective works of others into his own signal.

Despite the broadness of his topics, Sullivan brings great honestly, clarity, courage, tenacity, and probing intellect to each of them. The Dish is not quite a one man show. I believe he has a handful of researchers and aggregators working behind the scenes. But it is a tiny operation. Nonetheless, on a number of critical issues-- the Iranian election, Bush Administration torture policies, all things Sarah Palin, gay rights, any many others the Daily Dish has collected content that rivals, in both quantity and quality, what can be obtained from any source, in any medium.

Andrew Sullivan is gay, HIV positive, British and conservative. Despite all his applicable labels, Sullivan rigorously pursues intellectual honesty and savages pure identity politics. He's also clearly, fueled by a powerful journalistic drive. His blog is well worth reading every day, all day.

In addition to being a personal inspiration, I have also found Sullivan's work to be intellectually formative. His pull is sufficiently powerful that I find myself steering away from pure punditry to try and avoid writing that is pale shadow of the work of others. Still so much good writing does provoke a reaction, and sometimes invite a response, rebuttal, or extension. As much I try to draw upon my own thoughts, personal history, and experiences, I am certain that I will also do a fair bit of linking to and responding to items from The Daily Dish. Now you know why.

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