Sunday Reader: Down A Georgia Road

I’m encouraging our contributors to do things differently here on Sundays.  We are a site dedicated to Georgia Politics.  We are also a community.  What brings a community together are things that unite us.  It is in the things where we can find common ground.

I’ll go one step further.  One of my frustrations in reviewing my quarter-century + involvement in politics is that we’ve lost sight in each other as humans.  Electeds, candidates, operatives, media, activists, and voters are not pieces on a chess board, waiting to be moved upon strategic opportunity.  We’re people (well, most of us).  And we need to be reminded that to remain human, we need outside interests, activities, and hobbies to keep us normal.

As such, I’m hoping our contributors will use the space here on Sundays to promote decidedly non-political topics.  One feature I hope will be recurring will be “political people doing non-political things.”  I’ve got a few in mind, and maybe you’ll suggest some others.

And in keeping of the spirit of a needed day of rest, there should be at least one day where we can stand down from the daily battles, take a deep breath, and regain perspective that politics isn’t the end goal, but just a process.

I start today with a bit on James Williams and a simmering project of his.

 I talked to James – probably better known to many of you as “Griftdrift” – on the radio on transition day.  I give him full credit for seeing the potential in the platform of political blogging.  He demanded that traditional media give credit when and where it was due.  He chided the rest of us to accept the responsibility which we were assuming, even when we weren’t asking for it or didn’t want it.  He saw a potential a decade ago that most of us didn’t.  And his haranguing made me a better writer and advocate along the way.

So it was with a little less skepticism last year when James started telling me that podcasts were coming back.  I thought those days had come and gone, but I’ve never claimed to be an early-adopter and clearly I was wrong.

Grift decided to try a few without a script or clear concept.  He got a few of his friends that he knew had a story or three in them and started asking them questions. On tape.  This is sometimes what happens when you accept an invite from Grift for dinner.  The common thread is stories from those of us who are from a place and/or time that shaped who we are, though that place isn’t exactly there any more.  If you need a more clinical term, consider them oral histories – but I sense that he’s going for a more specific theme or product that remains to be defined.

So far he’s done four episodes.  I would guess you could look at them as pilots.  He’s open to feedback and any suggestions for direction.

So when you have a minute, listen to stories from Down A Georgia Road.  You’ll get to learn about Bonnie from Moultrie and Gabriel from Millegeville.  Those of you that have been around Georgia media for a while will probably know Doug from Atlanta.  And yes, for those of you that need to know about some of my earlier days, there’s an entry about Charlie from Fife.  Don’t expect anything political about any of them.  Just stories.  And Georgia.

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Pete Gibbons
Pete Gibbons

Well said, Charlie. I think the political discourse in this country has taken such a negative turn in recent years because in part, we don’t see each other as neighbors any more but as an antagonist on a message board. The internet has removed the human element out of the conversation which has in turn removed the human element from the discussion. The more we stop and bring the human part back into the conversation, the more we will be able to have an intelligent conversation. Well that, and some of us are just pr***s, or something….