Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dilettantism

dilettantism
noun

The act of behaving like a dilettante, of being an amateur or "dabbler", sometimes in the arts. Also the act of enjoying the arts, being a connoisseur. Can be perceived as superficial.

When I chose the name of this blog nearly 3 years ago, that was the first word that popped into my head, so I ran with it. I've never fancied myself an expert on anything, although I know a lot about certain things. But this blog is, and always will be, the work of a amateur and (I hope) a connoisseur. And while there's little doubt that treatments around here can be a bit superficial, it's always been my goal to avoid being superficial.

We're at a point now, with over 1,100 posts on the blog, to make a few changes. As I mentioned last week, I am going to be joining the team over at Truth vs. the Machine, one of the pre-eminent spots for conservative commentary in the Minnesota blogosphere. The team there includes some really smart, perceptive and talented people and I count myself both honored and fortunate to have the chance to play in their sandbox. But in order to participate there, it will mean that I will have to change the way I operate this blog.

Here is what I envision will happen once I am fully onboard at TvM:

  • Mr. Dilettante will be, generally, less political. I'm not going to be able to give my best effort at TvM if my political writing stays here. The one exception to this rule will be political discussions involving local issues, i.e., directly related to issues in the City of New Brighton and House District 50B. That will stay here, because it's not the ground I intend to cover at TvM.
  • Mr. Dilettante will have a larger focus on popular culture concerns. I already write a lot about sports and music here, but I'm equally interested in film and other media. Expect to see more of that in the coming days and weeks.
  • In my preliminary exchanges with Gary Miller, the proprietor and majordomo at TvM, we have talked about having an emphasis on both politics and Catholic issues. Their current lineup tends to be more evangelical, although they aren't entirely a bastion of sola scriptura and the topics that TvM has covered are certainly more catholic (and heterodox) than conservative politics and theology. Among other things, TvM is the current perch for Carnivore, one of the best 2nd Amendment bloggers going. Gary and I have more to discuss about my role there and it would be premature to speculate, but it's reasonable to anticipate that a fair amount of my work at TvM will concern the intersection of Catholicism, especially Catholicism in the American idiom, and the political and social scene. It's a topic of great interest and rich with potential. Having said that, I don't envision my role to be simply that of another conservative voice and/or armchair theologian. Part of what has made TvM such a good blog is that the team has a sense of humor and an understanding of the absurdities of the passing scene. There's plenty of opportunity for fun, too.
  • I will continue to cross-post articles at True North when and where it makes sense, both from TvM and from here. True North is an excellent resource and we owe it to our colleagues like AAA and Chief to keep it going.

I appreciate everyone who has supported this enterprise as it has developed over the past 3 years. Writers all hope to find an audience and the audience that has found this blog is one that I cherish greatly.

3 comments:

W.B. Picklesworth said...

It appears you're moving up in the farm system. Congrats!

Chuckwagon Boy said...

Congratulations, sir - that is very cool! Remember us little folk along the way! :o)

nukeitfromorbit said...

Holy cow. I take I take a little post election blogging/blog reading break and when I come back Mr. D is all face lifted and moving around. Sounds like you're pleased with the way things are going for the blog so I'm pleased for you. Yay for more pop culture. There is more to life than politics thank god.