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June 02, 2005

Tossing out the blogger love. Targets: Ara, Joel, Sheila.

In the Bible we are commanded to love our neighbors.

Of course, in another place in the Bible we are also commanded to kill everyone in an enemy town, including the pregnant women and unborn children.

But in the more recently written bits, the bits that more closely address today's society, we are commanded to love our neighbors. Jesus goes so far as to command us to love our enemies.

Jesus is a pretty sharp guy in my book. He saw that love is, and always has been, whether you are religious or not, a decision more than anything else.

Love is certainly more of a decision than it is a random, flighty emotion, as our movies, TV shows and books would have us believe.

Love is an act you can take more than a feeling that overwhelms you, although it is certainly both.

With that in mind, I think it's time to toss out some happy happies to three people I have come to admire in my time blogging. These are not people I met at school or church or work, like the rest of my readership. These are three people who found their way here because they have blogs of their own. All three are accessible in perpetuity from the right sidebar. Saddle up.

Ara Rubyan

Ara runs E Pluribus Unum, a decidedly left-wing political blog. Because my own politics are a jumble, we disagree as much as we agree. His is the only political website I visit, having been turned off by how mean the "blogosphere" can be.

Once, a long time ago, Ara posted something I thought was particularly offensive, and in response I removed him from my list of blogs here on the site. That lasted less than a day, but I took a more active role in figuring out who this Ara guy was after that.

Now, I see a man who not only has strong beliefs, he can approach them from inciteful ways. He also takes time to post pictures of his cat and tell stories about the days when he was courting his wife. More than anyone I've ever met on the web, Ara gives me the sense that he would take a bullet for me. Although we most often communicate in one-liners, Ara is genuine, and I can tell that if cancer ever beat me, he would feel a real loss. He would be sad.

I love you, Ara Rubyan.

Joel Caris

Joel runs The Between. Joel Caris is one of the best examples going of what I would call a seeker. And he shares his searches publically, although we all wish he would update his web log more often.

If forced to describe Joel in a sentence, I would say that "Joel cares passionately about the things he knows and is almost clueless about the things he doesn't." Of course, this should not be taken negatively. Joel asks questions. He looks in new places instead of being content with the same old.

Those things he knows, like popular culture and outdoorsy living, he speaks to with great accuracy and authority.

He likes The Shins, the good superhero movies and, most importantly, shared my deep grief at the loss of Buffy, The Vampire Slayer and Angel. What more could someone ask in a friend?

I love you, Joel Caris.

Sheila O'Malley

The very best thing I could say about Sheila is that she is the most genuine person on the Internet.

On her web log, The Sheila Variations, she speaks about her life and her loves (acting, her nephew, her friends (whom by now we all think we know, too) old movies and actors and actresses) with a clear transparency.

When she writes about Cary Grant, for example, she exudes an attitude of "I know more about Cary Grant than you ever will, so just be quiet and you might learn something" and IT'S OKAY because it's true.

Then in her very next post she will reprint her pre-teen diary from camp or vacation and expose for us all her youthful foibles and insecurities and failings.

Then she'll write about a relationship she was in LAST WEEK, and expose the ways that she can still be that same young girl.

Sheila is a gift. And I've changed my mind: the very best thing I can say about her is that every time I visit her website, I learn something. I don't know what to say that can add to that.

I love you, Sheila O'Malley.

NOTE: You will get to hear from Sheila and Joel right here on Popping Culture while I'm away on vacation June 10-17. I thought about asking Ara to post here too, but he might say something he means.

Posted by Dan at June 2, 2005 07:17 AM

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Love you man.

Posted by: Ara at June 2, 2005 08:13 AM

Thank you! I'm laughing and crying at your description of me.

"So just be quiet. Maybe you'll learn something."


Thank you again, Dan. :)

Posted by: red at June 2, 2005 11:39 AM

Hey, if the Prada shoe fits...

Posted by: Dan at June 2, 2005 05:21 PM

Ara-Anybody who can make my husband pack up his toys and go home is OK with me.
Joel-The Shins rock!
Sheila-Cary Grant is totally hot.

Posted by: Mrs. Popping Culture at June 2, 2005 11:03 PM

Aw, thanks Dan. I love being called clueless and I would have to admit that's largely true.

I'll try not to make you regret giving me keys to Popping Culture.

And you know, I feel kind of bad about the lack of posting. I've been trying to focus more on the fiction writing and other such things. I have a love-hate relationship with my blogs, but sometimes they start to feel like a distraction as much as an outlet, if that makes any sense.

And yes, The Shins are fantastic.

Posted by: Joel Caris at June 3, 2005 02:58 AM

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