It was a great event. So much energy, so many quick wits. I had no alcohol, so I could keep up. Cranky Cuss is right: Emily is sweet, attentive, and has a harried look, like someone who reads way too many OS posts every day. I can't imagine the intellectual challenge, and workload, of it.
Justin Elliot is a sharp and astute guy. He is no grenade thrower; rather, a careful artilleryman. We need more like him. (see his eye-opening post on how six Walton family members are worth as much as 30%(!) of all Americans).
David Talbot is one of the most down-to-earth and accessible fellows. That was a nice surprise.
My only regret of the night was not meeting Joe Conason. Hi Joe!
And I was pretty sure before, but certain of it now: Salon is 110% determined to grow and strengthen Salon and Open Salon. (Yes, OS, it will happen; it's not a snap-your-finger thing; there is inertia built-in to the technology on a site our size, and the "best tech choice" for the new OS is not just a moving target, it can be a blur on the far horizon).
Salon is the only real alternative to the woo-woo gullibility and ungahpatchka mess of HuffPo, the self-satisfied talking heads of the nightly news, the oddity of Politico, the austerity of The New Republic, the blindered insiders at the well-meaning Washington Post.
They have everything in place to leverage progressive energies – and an examine-everything philosophy that contrasts sharply with the hothouse circularity of the online right-wing communities. Salon looks at all of us, right and left, with focus and fearlessness.
They face daunting challenges.
They need Core Members. This is not some simple money thing. They want people to get involved. Salon is unique. It's professional investigative journalism, and it's critical thinking, with progressive values and smart, funny minds. But there is this new opportunity Salon has started to test: to grow and strengthen a sensible, pragmatic, and highly effective progressive movement by networking through writers and thinkers. Leveraging the many different kinds of professionals who read and write in the Salon sites.
The benefits of being a Core Member, in sheer $ value, far outstrip the annual cost. You get free subs to Rolling Stone, Food & Wine, and Mad Magazine, among other things! Look at those added benefits, add it up –and more is on the way. But the real opportunity, to get close to Salon, to roll up our sleeves and do things together, will grow. Salon is listening, and will make this happen. And yet only if we step up.
Petitions are fine. But if you are a level-headed progressive, who sees the need for both dramatic push-back against the lawyered-up bankers, AND for careful, incremental, long-lasting change, Salon is looking for you.
Here's an example: Last night I met Core Member John Long. A young neuroscientist, he has 10 hours a week, give or take, to offer to Salon. He was an organizer for Obama in Nevada. Brave fellow. Articulate and passionate, he is one of many. On Open Salon I know of dozens who, though they might choose to simply blog, like a blogger does, are in fact accomplished professionals, experienced organizers and managers, in many fields. Task-oriented, who have skills that can be combined and channeled with effect, on short term projects, through a media brand like Salon. If that's you, become a Core Member, please.
In designanators post, I have to say: in the Cranky, Emily, and Greg photo, the lovely young FIT sophomore on the right is my daughter Rocky (Roxanne).