Conversation By Fire

Two of your Rowdy correspondents are heading up to Princeton on Saturday to commune around a kiln with some conservative bloggers in what Chad Everson, who runs the Grizzly Groundswell blog, is calling the Blogosphere Divide Summit: A Conversation by Fire.

This is a pretty cool thing. When the I-35W bridge went down, I opined about rotting infrastructure being a sign that “No New Taxes” may not be the best way to run the state or country. I got hammered by several conservative bloggers, we went back and forth, and eventually one of the conservatives, Ryan Evans, who writes A (Sometimes) Logical View of the Illogical), and I met for lunch in Wisconsin to — gasp — actually listen to one another. Each found the other was (mostly) human, and we each wrote a little about that. Others chimed in, applauding the detente. Then Chad had the grace and generosity to take the next step by inviting some conservative and liberal bloggers to his “Clay Empire” to get our hands dirty together, make some tiles or pots or, most likely, messes, and see what we can learn about ourselves and one another.

Ain’t it just like a human,” as the poet Kris Kristofferson sings.

Chad’s website talks about the benefits of people working with clay: “If they will only remember to take a deep breath and get creative, relying on faith, trusting in hope, and determined in action, they will be able to live their dreams as well with no regrets and a mind that hungers for knowledge.” Now, I’m not sure Chad can get Austin’s mind to hunger for knowledge — Pad Thai, maybe — but this should be a great adventure. Charlie Quimby and Eric Black are joining us, and Ryan and others from the right. The Princeton Union Eagle has been invited, and I expect Geraldo to show up.

What if people of differing viewpoints stopped yelling at one another and did something real and creative together? What the hell kind of a world would that be?

If peace breaks out, we’ll send up a flare.

-Bruce Benidt

8 thoughts on “Conversation By Fire

  1. Bruce,

    I could not of said it any better myself. I am looking forward to meeting all of you and let’s pray for a little Global Warming and sunshine!

    I sent some propoganda images I worked up for the event, feel free to utilize!

    ~Teddy Bear

  2. Mr Logical says:

    The cause-and-effect logic of the under-taxed crowd is still impossible to swallow.

    How about a “bridges before bike-paths” spending strategy for MNDot?

  3. I wonder if alcohol was served.
    And if so would that of truly loosened things up ?
    For better or worse ?
    I’m not trying to be smart ass, its a serious question.
    Maybe the preconception that you all were there for that kumbaya moment kept the contempt (if any) to a minimum ?
    Dont get me wrong ! I am all for coming to undestandings and finding solutions. That would and should be the utmost objective in our purposes.
    I was just curious if not just one of you felt like chewing somebodys as out.

  4. The Analyst says:

    How did your anti-military, anti-family, anti-marriage, anti-religion, anti-free speech, pro-illegal immigration, pro-abortion, pro-taxation platform go over in Princeton?

  5. jmaustin says:

    There was adult refreshment of various types available, but this was a pretty teetotaling group. Given the predisposition of most of the participants, I suspect that if we’d done some serious drinking, we’d have ended up sitting on the hay bales singing.

    – Austin

  6. Cindy says:

    Just a note here to the Same Rowdy Crowd guys, thanks for the great conversation and insight to the progressive side on Saturday. I have been checking out your weblogs, and enjoying the pictures ya all have been posting as well. I heard on Phiesty’s blog that a couple of you are going to be getting civil conversations going on the blog every so often, good step towards bridging the divide of mankind.

    As far as teatotaling goes, that was my mantra for the day. Nothing worse than a sloppy drunk talking politics…except a bunch of sloppy drunks fighting over politics! Me?? I’d end up hugging a tree and then I would really be in trouble!!

    Thanks again for talking a walk over to the conservative side, it was great fun for me…and I hope a learning experience for us all!


  7. Jeremy Powers says:

    I was actually looking forward to hearing about this, right up until Mr. Logical brought up the tiresome myth of over taxation and the sprightly peddled (and pedaled) red herring of bicycle paths. About as creative as Rush Limbaugh name calling.

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