I’d first like to thank the communities at FireDogLake and Oxdown Gazette for welcoming The Seminal in this, our new home. It’s a pleasure to become part of this broader family, and we are earnestly working to make it a better experience for everyone involved. With that in mind, I believe the most productive means of introduction is for me to lay out both my intention and my hope for this site.

When we started The Seminal, we placed an emphasis on diversity and acceptance. We brought in writers of disparate interests and viewpoints, guided by the intuition that all the myriad angles, in fact, formed one interconnected picture – that articles dealing with the happenings in east Africa were not incongruent alongside posts dealing with congressional minutiae, political cartoons on our national media, or even poetry void of explicit political commentary. Our relative success seems to justify that model and validate our intuition, but my ambition for this site is that these connections be made more explicit; that all the disparate threads of interest and concern will tie up nicely; that the existing community will at once expand and sharpen that web; that the many distinct parts will create a harmonious and easily discernible whole.

Let me offer a concrete example: as a recent graduate of NYU’s MA program in Latin America and Caribbean Studies, my writings have focused on events south of our border, ones that appear at the fringes of the US political radar, if at all. These incidents, however, do not happen in isolation. If one views the events in Andean nations like Colombia and Bolivia, and chooses to pull upon those threads, they are led north, to the turmoil in Central American nations like Guatemala or El Salvador, to the violence just south of our border, to our failed War on Drugs, to our swollen military budget, to our overcrowded jails, and then to more localized incidents like drug busts in Washington, gang-plagued communities in Long Island, and immigration raids in Iowa. And each of these threads leads, in turn, to myriad others, proving that political issues operate under the same six-degrees of separation that bind us together as humans.

With luck, all the disparate members of Oxdown’s existing community will feel at home within this larger narrative. Not only will an expanded scope make us all more informed, better citizens, it will create a broader sense of community, and build networks that will result in a more cohesive, and more effective, progressive community. It’s a big task, but I’ve faith that we’re all up to it. We didn’t come to FDL to advance small aims. We came to realize grandiose visions.

I can be reached at lgsteagall@gmail.com, and I welcome all feedback, negative or postive.

PS, The diary posting functionality is temporarily down. We’ll have it up and running shortly.

Lance Steagall

Lance Steagall