Sat night was the Teamsters threw a bbq for us out on a lovely patio overlooking the lake. Free food – I was all over that! The hotel food was ridiculously expensive so we were always looking for other angles. The BBQ was followed by the final evening keynote address given by the blog proprietor, Markos Moulitsas. Kos to most of us. He started us out with tears right away. I posted some months ago asking for prayers for a Dkos member named Station Wagon. Unfortunately she did lose her battle with cancer. What impressed and touched me was that in Kos’ opening remarks about voices we had lost in the past year – he mentioned Station Wagon. I had expected him to mention a few more famous ones from the blogosphere, but to have him pay respects to one of ‘general population’ really was touching. It got better from there. As I listened to him, all I could think of was about many other bloggers on the right and on the left who have tried to tear him down. Typical once you do become so popular. But I have the feeling that if any of those critics who generally post some ridiculously outrageous stuff could just meet him in person, hear him talk, well, they would at least come away with respect. He started a website. And it became a movement. Pretty damn impressive.
Sunday morning I attended my annual church service The Interfaith Service given by Pastordan who runs the Kos sponsored site on religion and politics called Street Prophets. He puts on a wonderful blend of all religious faiths including the non-religious by inviting an atheist to present a reading. He also gathers some wonderful musicians to play. As with last year, the end of the service saw more than a few in tears. It’s a beautiful thing.
The service was followed by the Bloggers Brunch, and at this point we are all sadly saying our goodbyes. When people asked me leading up to this trip why I was going to Chicago I would answer ‘to visit with friends’ – it was easier than trying to explain DailyKos and the convention and….Sure, I’ve written about panels and politicians, but really, REALLY, this weekend WAS about friends. As dear friend Brillig put it at the brunch – here’s hoping that we pause before we type some nasty retort to someone who says something we disagree with. Because now, we know them. They are NOT just 1’s and 0’s. They never were of course, but it is so easy to bang away at the keyboard and yell from behind a monitor. We must remember though, that there is flesh and blood behind all of those crazy usernames.
Oh yes, and I somehow dragged my tired butt into town and met Rambling Mom for a few hours at the Art Institute and a lovely Italian dinner . I have a book with me now to read on the Impressionist Collections there and ideas on how to display replicas on my stairway wall.
The unpacking and catching up of things at home and work? Yeah, I’ll get back to you on that!!