Saturday, October 14, 2006

Turning Two: Three Picks for Three Ms

The ms simultaneously post (through the miracle of technology and the unbenownst hosting graciousness of Downtown Flying Star wireless):

A little thinner this year in post number and frequency, maybe, but still very much here and kicking, the m-pyre girls are celebrating their second anniversary!

Last year's celebrating m-pyre series was such a hit, we've resurrected the format to bring you our favorite of each other's posts during the last year.

Marjorie says:
It's really hard to choose my three favorite posts written by Maggie and Mikaela. How could I do that when they've written so many compelling and wonderful blogs this year? So rather than view these posts in that light, just think of them as the tip of the iceberg, skimming over the surface to show the variety and depth of my blogging friends.

In Global Terror and Global Communication, we have classic Mikaela, breaking down the meaning of language for us. It encapsulates her ability to make broad ranging connections, that are sharp as a tack, funny and a tad bit quirky… just like her.

Then there's Mikaela's sarcasm...some times it's really overt. You have to really know her to pick up her more subtle moments, but they are always really good. In What Bush Will Be Remembered For: Unbelievable Hypocrisy she gives us one of her many great Bush rants. She's really good at those, especially the ones that point out just what an idiot he is.

Since I can only pick was a no-brainer to just go right to Mikaela's most recent post. Ok, I cop to it, this is my favorite Mikaela post of the year. In Reclaiming the Power to Speak through Action Mikaela is in top form. It brings together her rants, her ability to connect lots of different commentaries and events, her odes to friends...all into a little nugget that she takes and dives head first with into pure philosophy and questioning. So Mikaela...beautiful!

Don't let me leave out Maggie in my admiration of pure sarcasm. It doesn't get much better than this post prostrating herself (not) at the feet of self-righteous Republicans: God help the sports fan.

I always like it when people point out structure, how nothing exists in a bubble. In Watching Paris, we watch ourselves, Maggie does a great job pointing out the post-industrial stress and reactionary tendencies we share with our first world counterparts…even those pesky French.

Despite what I said above, this post by Maggie is one of my favorite of the year: in Natalee Holloway and the whore/saint dichotomy, Maggie gets right to the point. We are neither whores nor saints. Rather, we're human beings who are sexual and in many cases great parents to children. What woman doesn't struggle with this issue?

Mikaela says:
Each time these venerable ladies post something, I'm glad yet again that every brain is different. I love these ladies, yes, but I also love learning from them! I feel so blessed to be counted among their friends, and absolutely honored to share a blog with them. So, in no particular order, here are my favorites from the 2 ms in the last year.

Watch out when Maggie gets angry. She's smart, articulate, and DAMN – when she's on, she's on, as demonstrated in this loving tribute to Michael Brown: My Name is Michael Brown and I Am a Piece of Shit.

Maggie is also the best at setting a context by which to understand current events, as evidenced in this post linking today's political relationship with the media: "We will not walk in fear, one of another."

Ironically, I look to Maggie for two contradictory things, which in my mind testifies to Maggie's true strength of understanding her surroundings wherever she is: 1) local politics and events and 2) national politics.

As for Marjorie, her nuance and deep thinking is always helpful to me. Whether she's taking on implications of immigration policy, as in Children Born Here Belong Here, or the real issue in the debate about Supporting Our Troops.

I can always trust Marjorie to open my eyes to labor issues, as with NYC transit workers are right on.

Maggie says:
Picking out only three favorite posts for these girls is tough… but I’m up for the challenge, if only because it gives me a good excuse to sit here at Flying Star drinking tea and reading a year’s worth of goodness. It’s never a struggle to pick out good things from these two; the struggle is in narrowing them down.

For me, Marjorie’s writing is pure substance. Her analysis of issues manages to be sweeping and intimate all at once, coming from the left but never accepting any easy answers or talking-points in her directives. In 12 Dead Miners: Who’s Responsible?, Marjorie reminds us of the deadly, human price of capitalism and questions the quick-fix hearings pols were offering as the answer. With May Day is all about solidarity… let’s show some in Albuquerque, she gets to the heart of global labor struggles and shows the real passion that guides her thinking and her work. And finally, with BLOG-IN: the FREE MARKET is in The House!!, we get to see Marjorie at her wry, sarcastic best (Marjorie’s humor doesn’t come out online very much, but when it does, I’m her biggest fan).

What’s so interesting about Mikaela as a blogger is that her posts are mirrors into the questions she’s constantly asking of herself: how do we balance commitments, demonstrate our values, and celebrate each other’s differences? We're lucky we get to sit in on her thinking process. In America & Iran: Why moderates fail and fanatics rise to power, Mikaela is her endlessly thoughtful self, struggling with questions of identity and examining how they play out in the political system she feels so disconnected from. As much as Mikaela resists wonkiness, she reveals in War on Women why writing about politics and gender is something no m-pyre girl should shy away from. My favorite Mikaela post of our second year, though, is Cultural Up-beat, where she continues to explore the interplay of culture, space, and expression, three issues near and dear to Mikaela's heart.