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September 18, 2003


For the past few weeks, I have been engaged in racial subjects more and more. It's interesting, tiring, frustrating and exciting all at once.

What brings me to write this little piece is the fact that 'Mystery of the Black Blogger' is clearly the most popular thing I've written about. I'm willing to accept that, grudgingly, but I'm rather glad it has eclipsed the other two which are almost too embarrassing to mention. (Dat Phan and Delores Umbridge). Nevertheless, I consider myself a fairly new blog, and with the exception of Instapundit, I have done no marketing. I am pleased to have the attention, which is what every writer wants, and I am satisfied that I am getting the kind of readers that I respect and several that I admire. They all have blogs of their own and so despite the fact that I am judging popularity on the number of comments and trackbacks, I think my good stuff is getting the attention it deserves.

On the subject of "Mystery", I think it's fascinating that there is actually no racial subject in it per se. It's not an argument about Affirmative Action (thank god) or Racism In America, but about how and why we listen and speak to each other in America when the subjects get dicey. I think that shows some maturity and progress.

On the other hand, it is a black and white thing and I remain rather frustrated and pissed that we have no asian or latino perspectives on the subject. As Dru Blood has brought some women and feminists into the fray through her linking, there is that additional spin. Good, but we could do better. As P6 bluntly stated "Atrios doesn't read my blog". Maybe he does but wouldn't get caught dead commenting. I don't know.

I am a bit annoyed that this particular tail is wagging the dog of Cobb, and I am very grateful that the Comic has its own loyal following. After all, I am not doing the Boohabian thing any longer. That project is complete. So I have mixed feelings about "Mystery" being the success that it is in bringing people to Cobb. My writing in the thread proves that I still retain the boohabian work ethic.

On the whole however, I'm not going to change what I write about in an attempt to attract readership. If that's what gets them in, fine. They'll stay for what I do, or not.

Posted by mbowen at September 18, 2003 10:33 AM

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You keep writing good stuff on ALL the topics you're interested in, and when someone approaches you for THE Black view, you verbally slap them, then give them YOUR view.

In the overall thread there have been two Latinos speaking, Colorado Luis in his blog and Latinopundit in my comments (who I must respond to shortly). It seems like there's just not that many Latino bloggers; Luis says he found two or three, including Kos. Latinopundit says that's the very reason he started blogging.

Posted by: Prometheus 6 at September 18, 2003 12:08 PM

15 trackbacks is pretty boss.

Take it from someone who knows...the race discussions get tiring pretty damn quickly.

You might have a stronger constitution than I.

Maybe you should consider another topic...like taking on advertisements that everyone likes.

But, perhaps, I'm projecting.

Posted by: Jason at September 18, 2003 03:16 PM

Well, I know that once you get something started in a blog, it sometimes takes a life of its own. People who don't read regularly don't necessarily understand the context of one post in a blog. So watch out, because I am the guardian of Dolores Umbridge Hateration.

Posted by: Cobb at September 18, 2003 05:38 PM

On the subject of lack of Latino participation, I think part of it may be that each of us U.S. Latinos has a lot of uncertainty about our own identity and place in the society. On one of these threads somebody (maybe P6?) said he has heard of a lot of definitions of what it means to be a Black person in America, and somehow all of the different definitions end up describing pretty much the same people. That isn't true of Latinos. We are told we are "Hispanic," and any old person with a Spanish grandmother is part of "our" minority group. We are told we can't identify as "Native American," even if we have the face of an Olmec statue in Mexico. We are told we are really "Cubans" and "Chicanos" and "Puerto Ricans" and so on, so what's the point of talking to each other. With all that going on, people are unsure of their own identity and have a hard time discussing how identity affects their writing. One thing I have not seen in this whole discussion (although I know there are huge threads I've missed) is much uncertainty from the participants about who they are.

Posted by: Luis at September 18, 2003 07:18 PM


I've been following the discussion in the comments over at Dean's blog, which is how I found your blog.

I'm not about to typecast you as the "race man" but, having said that, I am about to link you about the discussion on race. Sorry.

But hey, I like your blog and I think the strip's neat.

Posted by: George Junior at September 20, 2003 08:02 AM

I'm cool with it all. In fact, I'm very glad it happened. The Boohabian mark is on me and I don't mind. That I bear the discipline of that is fine. I'm in something of a different place today.. more on that later.

Posted by: Cobb at September 20, 2003 03:36 PM