| This is personal. But it speaks to something larger.
As many of you may know, I have some background with and in Japan. Some 27 or so years of background.
Four years ago, through the back and forth of political blogging over at Daily Kos -- I'm looking at Markos right now, a couple dozen feet away. Like many here, he's wearing a big button that reads: "Ask Me How Many Houses I Own" -- I e-ran into a blogger named "Hubris Sonic". Turns out that HS, aka 'Chris', and his wife, Lauren, are American expats living in Tokyo. Over the years and over the web we've gotten to be friends.
And, around 2 or so years ago we all got together in Tokyo at Fujimama's, an incredibly great fusion restaurant in Tokyo's Harajuku District. Lauren's the Managing Director of Fujimama's, in fact.
A few minutes ago, I look up and there's Chris, saying, "Hi, BenGoshi." He and Lauren are here in the Big Tent. They're very involved with Tokyo, and Japan-wide Chapters of Democrats Abroad.
"Sekai ga semmai" is Japanese for "Small World". I now realize that Chris and Lauren, are in my "karass". It's a Vonnegut-made word -- google it.
Get a load of this
I'm not saying that everyone needs to have a background in Asia to make this new medium (blogging) a fun way to meet friends far flung in time or distance. Case in point:
Yesterday while walking to the Big Tent, Countrycat asks me if I know so-in-so, a guy whose name is uncannily similar to mine. I tell her that, in fact, I go by that name, too (think from "Robert" to "Bob"). She stops. Her jaw drops. She says, "Did you run for President of the State Beta Club when you were in high school in 1980?!" "Uh, yes. Who's asking?" Her jaw drops again. It turns out that Countrycat and I and a pile of her friends whiled away a bunch of time in Birmingham together when we were all in high school, at the state Beta Club Convention, in 1980. As Dylan says, "A lot of water under the bridge. A lot of other stuff, too."
Of course, had I not gotten involved, as an avocation, in Progressive Blogging, I'd have never heard of Left in Alabama, nor met Countrycat. A life-changing experience? No. Rather, it was an experience that, like many others, makes life a little more vivid and pleasantly strange. Good medicine. Good medicine.
Last night, I received an email from Countrycat. There was an attachment. It was a photo. A friend of hers had sent it to her (per her request) and she'd forwarded it on to me. The photo was of a poster her friend had kept for some years. About 28 years in fact. It was one of my Beta Club campaign posters with a big, goofy photo of me smack in the middle (and a Voltaire quote). I had, ahem, autographed it. My hair was not gray then.