Monday, November 17, 2008

17People One Year Anniversary

A year ago I started this blog after watching a Democratic Debate with 9 Presidential Candidates on stage. The direction of 17people has changed based on my moods, interests, and tolerance for the politics.

There have been a dorkish number of references to the West Wing, a handful of movie reviews, a small number of personal stories, a brief arc on my fitness/weight loss regimen, and about five episodes of writers bloc or as I like to refer to it 'writers self loathing' (the most recent bout which ended last week).

17people is no question a left leaning blog and will continue to push progressive ideas and battle conservative stances and candidates I disagree with. As a result of this we have lost some Republican readers over the year. 17People has tried its best to also call out the left and show respect to the right and will make this a big goal of our second year.

This first year was a learning year and hopefully as time goes on some of those Republican readers will come back and argue their points here.

It's ironic that some Republicans have stopped reading my blog considering that in my personal life, most of my friends are,,, strong Republicans. 17People has learned the hard way that it is harder to show understanding and respect for other viewpoints when I write about politics than when I discuss politics.

A smile, a wink, voice inflection are not as easy to decipher in a blog post than in a conversation.

As happy as I am that Democrats control the government this blog will give them no free pass in the year to come. 17People will be a watchdog and if President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, or Leader Reid fail to deliver for the American people, this blog will call them out.

Most importantly,,, 17People wants to thank the loyal readers of this blog for pushing, reminding, and inspire me to keep writing even when I don't want to. Without their support and encouragement 17People could have ended long ago.

Finally, a give away to the sometimes readers of 17People. There are two little known facts about this blog that I get asked all the time which I will attempt to answer here.

Because of a lack of personal confidence,, I have done almost nothing to promote 17People. Think I emailed it out to about 10 people when I started and have not let many more people know since then. So when people ask how many readers I have,,, the answer is I don't know, but maybe as I believe in my writing a bit more I will push 17People to more outlets.

The second and more often asked question is '17People'? What the heck does that mean?

As stated earlier this blog derives a lot of content from my all time favorite television show The West Wing. Went through a lot of ideas and possibilities and came across a clip on YouTube I thought dealt with telling the truth, and more appropriately,,, telling truth to power.

The West Wing was an amazing show which did more than entertain, it educated. It made complex issues a little easier to understand. While 17People the blog will never be as smart as the writing of Aaron Sorkin, that is what I strive to give to my readers.

17People will alert readers to stories and opinions that you may not hear everywhere and to try and explain some issues in terms that are a little easier to understand.

17People, The West Wing episode, was to me about accountability and the pains of telling the truth and why I chose it as the episode to base the title of my blog.

The clip is below, the words are Aaron Sorkins, and they are brilliantly performed by President Bartlet (Martin Sheen), Communications Director Toby Ziegler (Richard Schiff), and Chief of Staff Leo McGarry (the great John Spencer).

President Bartlet has just told Toby that he concealed the fact that he has Multiple Sclerosis from the country and his staff.

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