Sunday, August 26, 2007

Happy Belated Birthday at the Village Green!

This blog began on August 19th, 2006. I had been spending that summer reading other people's blogs and finding myself chiming in here and there with comments on subjects that matter to me. I had also spent the summer getting political by volunteering on the Sherrod Brown campaign. So a year ago, I decided to build my own soapbox here on Blogger.

The original name for this blog was going to be simply "Village Green" -- however, much to my dismay, I found that somebody had already taken that name. What is really irksome is that they took the name and have done absolutely nothing with it!

Well, we've made up for it here with "Long Live the Village Green" which is a direct tribute to the greatest band to ever come out of the UK -- the Kinks, with their uniquely insightful views on society and culture exemplified by songs such as Village Green and The Village Green Preservation Society. Those songs contain longings for an ideal life that quite possibly never really existed with an acknowledgment that the pursuit of the idea of neighborhood and local sustainability is real and possible. They are also imbued with the ideal of preserving the things that make life worth living, while weeding out those things that prevent us from making social and economic progress.

A village green is a British tradition that provided common ground for all villagers to raise their animals. Nowadays, the village green provides common ground for healthy walks and meetings among neighbors. "Green" has taken on a new meaning in today's society, one that expresses the need for a healthy, sustainable and non-toxic life.

This blog began with the idea of commenting about local life in juxtaposition with the larger influences of state, national and global issues. The local blogs that continue to inspire and inform my life and my blog must be acknowledged here -- Pho's Akron Pages, Psychobilly Democrat and last but certainly not least Terra not Terror. I thank each of them for their support. Beyond Akron, the blogs I cannot do without are The Brain Police in France, Pharyngula (the best damn science blog in the land) in Minnesota, and No Impact Man in NYC.

This blog is not intended to attract thousands per day and I'll work hard to make sure that never happens! (6233 visits over the first year with 9007 page views) I used to do a self-published 'zine called The Dumpster Times, painstakingly prepared at first on a manual typewriter, columns cut with scissors and pasted with glue and photocopied for a print run of 100 per issue, then mailed out to subscribers around the world. It was a lot of fun and a hell of a lot more work than a blog!

At that time, I valued the intimacy of 'zine communication and still feel that way about my blog. The Village Green has managed to build up an Akron area following. My stats tell me that a number of local readers come here regularly and for this I am very grateful. I also am happy to have regular readers from unexpected places, such as France. It is fun to look at the referrals and the searched topics to see who comes here and why. It is also entertaining to look at the hits from exotic lands and wonder what a reader from the United Arab Emirates Dubail, Dubayy or Crafers, South Australia thinks about when they land here.

On a more somber note, I would like to point out that when I added the Cost of the Iraq War feature to this blog, it was under 350 billion dollars spent on that tragic mistake of a war. Look leftward and note that it is has grown to over 450 billions wasted in Iraq. Anybody have any predictions on when that ticker will finally grind to a halt?

Finally, in celebration of one year at Long Live the Village Green - from a July 2007 concert in Rochester UK, ladies and gentlemen -- Ray Davies sings Village Green:


Pho said...

Congratulations on your first year and many happy returns. You've been a wonderful addition to the community.

microdot said...

My heartiest congratulations on the completion of a year of blogging!
I really enjoy coming here to your blog by the lake and reading about life and politics in Akron.
It's interesting that our blogs started on almost the same day. My earliest post is the 18th of August.
I wrote something about my dog just to see if it really worked.
Sometimes I feel like blogging has helped me to see glimmers of truth and given me the ability to write it down, but most of the time I feel like an idiot playing with a complicated machine and live electrical wires, I poke them with a stick and there are some neat sparks.
But there in lies the fascination, my readers keep comiing back to see if the idiot has electrocuted himself yet!

terra said...

Happy Birthday, Village Green. I love your blog! You're inspirational.

Village Green said...

Thank you my blogging friends! I really appreciate your comments and your dedication to this form of communication and truth seeking. Onward!

redhorse said...

Funny, I thought you'd been around longer than that VG, feels like I've been reading longer than just one year.

I suspect that has to do with the quality and feeling like reading a book that you keep coming back to.

Congrats, keep it up.

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