As many of you know, I’m going to be blogging from the Democratic National Convention in Denver all next week. There will be plenty of people to talk about the politics of everything, most of them frankly better qualified than I am to talk about politics. (I tend to the notion that politics is useful because it mostly keeps the people involved in politics from doing something even more harmful to the general welfare.) So, while I am sure I’ll indulge in political commentary — read “snark” — any time I think I either have something to say or can get a cheap laugh, I’m going to concentrate in general on something else.
What I’ve noticed in most any political situation is that there are great parts of the proceedings that are mysterious. I’d like to look into some of those things, and pry into some of the proceedings from the point of view of someone on the floor.
In addition, honestly not many people are ever going to attend a national convention of either party. Whenever I look at something like that, I find myself wondering things like “what do they have to eat? and “Where are the bathrooms? Do they have enough bathrooms?”
I can’t possibly think of all the questions people may have, so I’ve set up a special email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone who has a question is invited to send it to me.
Now, with this I’ll have a few rules:
First, I’m the one who has to ask the questions. I won’t be asking questions that are likely to get me expelled from the convention or into a fist fight. In fact, I’ll probably lean away from political questions in general, on the assumption that most of the people I’ll be talking to won’t say anything too surprising about politics.
Second, I’ll be picking the questions I find interesting, and my word is law. If I don’t find it interesting, I won’t find it interesting after you send it 50 times. Or 500. What will happen is that you’ll find out I’m actually very good with spam filters, and none of your questions will get through.
Third, I won’t use anyone’s full name or show their email address, and will accept anonymous questions. Let me know if you don’t want your name used. If your email name is something odd, you might include the name you’d like me to use; I’d far rather have you tell me to use “Delia” than use “mythicwizardofgor22f”.
When you send me an email to email@example.com, you should receive an automatic response to let you know you’ve gotten through.
This is a first experiment. If it’s successful, I’m planning on starting a longer term “Ask Charlie Anything” website, where I’ll extend this to answer other questions. I’ve always admired John McPhee’s writing; this might be a way to do something similar.
Some of you have blogs; I would appreciate it very much if you would pass this around. I’d particularly like to get questions from people who aren’t in the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: I think they’re entitled to see the sausage being made too.