It can also be a statement of solidarity or consolation. (“All of my friends have deserted me.” “Not all of your friends.”) And it can be a way of showing that there are other possibilities — alternative ways of being that can and do exist.
“Sneetches hate star-bellied sneetches,” is the general rule. But #notALLsneetches. The exceptions matter. Pointing them out matters.
“Sneetches hate star-bellied sneetches,” says a young sneetch, troubled that they are fated and required to live bound by the strictures of this general rule. “Not all sneetches,” is an important thing for that young sneetch to learn. It reminds them that they have a choice — that something different is possible, that something better is possible. An exception may sometimes prove the rule, but an exception can also challenge its rule.
In the early-ish days of blogging, it was normal to have a blogroll: a list of links to other (often more popular) blogs that the author was interested in. The blogroll would sit calmly in the sidebar and let readers browse their way to other blogs and other authors, discovering fresh ideas and insights. Now, nobody maintains a blogroll. The best hope you have of finding someone else is to follow a link in the body of a post or in a comment or in a link dump. Around here, they also show up in link posts that I share fairly frequently.
But the fact is that I kind of miss the blogroll, and I think that it’s worthwhile to share some of the blogs I read and a note one why I read them. I’ll try to put up one example every couple of weeks.
I came to Slacktivist because of the amazing reading of the Left Behind series that Fred’s been doing since 2003. It’s a long slog – he’s currently on the third book in the series – but each post is illuminating, funny, and biblically and theologically informed. Fred knows his business, and that knowledge shines through in posts on a wide variety of subjects. From politics to economics to biblical interpretation, Fred offers a deeply Christian understanding of the world.
Orphans — the sad but undeniable fact of orphans — highlight the danger and cruel stupidity of ideologies that preach atomized, exclusive responsibility. Those who allow themselves to be trapped within such ideologies wind up confounded by the existence of orphans. Who is responsible for feeding a hungry child? The parents, they say — only and exclusively the parents. They don’t want to hear any of this “it takes a village” business. But all parents are mortal, and some die too soon, and an ideology which teaches that parents are exclusively and solely responsible for children is unable to know what to do when that happens.