We don’t have those kinds of people here… If there are there take them to Canada… Take them far from us so we don’t have them at home… To purify our blood, if there are any here, take them.” …
We have a strong government and are a nuclear state. Even if our government was completely destroyed, our nuclear missiles would be automatically deployed. We will put the whole world on its knees and screw it from behind.
There’s a lot of problems with Chechnya and its position in Russia; problems which may well come to a head sooner or later.
That said, as my ROGPR podcast colleague pigdog remarked, it’s impossible to hate Kadyrov’s “export version.”
A few days after the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage throughout the US, a fairly (in)famous Russian TV presenter expressed his support for gay civil unions on the nation’s second biggest TV channel in front of a big projector screen blaring out “Love Works Miracles.”
No, he was not beaten up by skinheads with iron bars for his temerity live on air, nor was he fired, nor did anything happen to him whatsoever (which is surely shocking enough by itself for many Westerners). What is all the more surprising is the identity of this TV presenter: Dmitry Kiselev. He is a personality who has a highly chequered reputation in the West, reliably generating headlines with soundbytes about Russia’s ability to turn the US into radioactive ash and the necessity of burning the hearts of dead homosexuals. He is arguably regarded as being second only to Putin in terms of his godly powers in Ukraine, and has been sanctioned by the EU for being a “central figure” in Russian state propaganda.
And to hear him “come out” this way – “Love Works Miracles,” indeed. Snide jokes about his imminent gay marriage to Milonov inevitably follow. Even if he is serious, how exactly is Russian society – where support for gay marriage is at a mere 7% according to opinion polls, down by half from 15% just a decade ago – supposed to accept gay civil unions?
But far from being the raving firebrand and Slavic Glenn Beck that he is typically regarded as, Kiselev is in fact a fairly intelligent and urbane person who speaks four foreign languages, successfully cultivated ties with important people who didn’t necessarily share his ideological outlook – here is a photo of him serving fried potatoes to Poroshenko and Buzina, in nicer, older days – and overall, an able servant of the state who is ultimately paid to propagate its thoughts, priorities, and feelers.
This episode must force us to consider an unusual proposition: The granting of concessions to the Russian LGBT community, up to and including civil unions. So far as the Russian state is concerned, this is arguably both realistic and adaptive and might happen far sooner than one might otherwise imagine.
The first major point to bear in mind is that Russian attitudes towards homosexuality – as well as social conservatism in general – have always been far more functional than ideological and/or theological in nature. This might be a surprising assertion to some, but it is backed up by history. The Soviet state was the fourth major European country (France, the Ottoman Empire and Italy were first) to effectively decriminalize homosexuality in 1917, along with abortion. The “reactionary” ancien regime had been overthrown, and so too were its cultural and legal accoutrements to be consigned to the dustbin of history. This policy was sharply reversed by Stalin in 1933, when (male) homosexuality was once again made illegal. Despite the rhetoric, its goals were purely pragmatic: The Stalinist leadership was concerned about falling birth rates (which they ascribed to the liberal policies instituted under the Old Bolsheviks, including legal homosex and abortion), made especially germane due to the looming threat of war with Nazi Germany; and the latent homoeroticism of much of Nazi art and culture (compare Kameradschaft to Worker and Peasant Girl) coupled with the regime’s search for scapegoats made homosexuals an easy target. These policies were maintained after Stalinism, when homosexuality was associated with effete capitalist societies that had no place in a worker’s state. The USSR might have been Marxist, but it was by no means culturally Marxist (a fine point that oft happens to be lost on US conservatives).
Turing? More like Orwell.
Then the winds of history shifted, and sodomy was (re)decriminalized in 1993 – that’s ten years earlier than some US states, for context. In the absence of the state declining to take a strong position one way or the other, attitudes towards homosexuality steadily crept up well into the Putinist 2000s – albeit from a very low base. But then in 2012, Russian politics took a starkly conservative turn as Putin, following the mini-shocks of the 2011-12 elections protests, forsook the urbane and cosmopolitan class of Muscovite latte-sippers in favor of the “real Russia” of the Uralvagonzavod workers in the hinterland. The law against propaganda of homosexuality to minors was adopted in 2013. Locked in an increasingly bitter culture war with the West, which has now began not only embracing but activelyweaponizing the international LGBT movement against its geopolitical foes – conventional wisdom must assess the prospects for LGBT rights in Russia as bleak for the foreseeable future.
Or maybe not. Here are the reasons:
(1) As per above, the Russian state’s policies on social conservatism are functional, not ideological. If the cost-benefit calculatinos change in a certain direction, so too will state policy. This is especially the case today since unlike the Soviet Union, Russia is an avowedly non-ideological state. When asked if Russia has a “national idea,” Putin replied, “For our children, our grandchildren, for our Motherland, Russia, it always was, is, and will be worth living for and creating for. What else is there? However we might try to come up with a national idea, it has to be said directly: There is nothing closer to someone than his family, his close ones, and his own country.” In other words, strident conservatism might be adaptive today – but tomorrow is another day.
“He dared call me a hypocrite? KGB must have hacked him!” – some American faggot.
(2) From a McCarthyite conspiracy theory, the US and Co. have managed to make Homintern into reality, highly intertwined with SJWs (with Buzzfeed as their flagship) and wielded with aplomb against countries unfriendly to the West (I suspect that as much has been written in the American MSM about Russia’s “persecution” of gays just in relation to the Sochi Olympics than about the totality of LGBT experiences in Saudi Arabia). What is all the more remarkable is that all this came together just a mere decade or so after the end of institutionalized discrimination against homosexuals in the US. This is no mean achievement and can be said without the slightest trace of irony.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean that all or even most homosexuals are now fully on board with Western imperialism. To the contrary, Manning and Greenwald plainly disprove that. The Russian LGBT movement as a whole has been highly subservient to Homintern, but this is neither a universal position nor even an entirely non-understandable one in the context of the Russian state’s turn against LGBT in the early 2010′s. For instance, Nikolay Alexeyev – a prominent leader in Russia’s gay movement – doesn’t like the West anymore than he does Putin, after he fell out with America’s Homintern (specifically John Aravosis and the AMERICAblog) because of their attacks on him following his refusal to toe their line calling for a boycott of the Sochi Olympics.
(3) To avoid falling behind the global Zeitgeist. If you can’t beat it – and let’s not kid ourselves, Russia objectively can’t – then join it on your own terms. As Razib Khan points out, it is the high IQ people who set policy – even in the US, the religious conservative types have next to zero influence over policy – and the great bulk of high IQ people in the West now support the gay agenda. This percentage is not going to diminish anytime soon. Like it or not, but opponents of gay marriage are going to find themselves increasingly surrounded by blithering idiots (Khanian qualifier: on average). And fat, drunk, and stupid – well, just fat and stupid, I’m talking about the US not Russia here – is no way to exert influence.
The counterargument is that the Western power is sinking anyway with the rise of BRICS, so why adapt to their world now of all times? Even if one insists on viewing it that way, though, it’s hardly an exclusively Western phenomenon. For that matter, two BRICS members – South Africa and Brazil – already have gay marriage.
As religiosity decreases, and it is decreasing virtually everywhere, tolerance for homosexuality and consequently support for gay marriage tends to rise. China and Russia are the only two major exceptions to this trend, due to their socialist legacy, but will they remain exceptions indefinitely? With the homosexuality = effete capitalists ideology now defunct, I wouldn’t bet on it in the longterm.
One concern for Russian conservatives might be that civil unions would be a slippery slope. To the contrary, evidence so far indicates that they are more of a line in the sand. It’s striking that Germany – a country far more socially liberal than the US, and which has had gay civil unions since 2001 – still doesn’t have gay marriage, while the US is fining bakers hundreds of thousands of dollars just for following their religious beliefs on homosexual unions. Americans can thank their pathetic cuckservatives for that, who spent many years slavering about the evils of gay marriage only to do a volte-face as soon as support for gay marriage crossed the 50% bar.
(4) One of the main purposes of traditionalism in Russia right now is as a foreign policy to consolidate the Near Abroad (e.g. Novorossiya) and undermine the NWO (e.g. Nazi conferences, support for Front National and Scottish independence – Europe, “The South will Rise Again!” – the US). The No Homo position is a consistent, if unnecessary, complement.
Why unnecessary? First, because consistency in foreign policy is overrated. Nobody pays anything but lip service to it. At various points since the fall of the Soviet Union, the US supported Chechen jihadists, its pet Moscow liberals, and literal liberal Nazis like Navalny – and the US is, after all, the country that invented the very concept of “color revolution.” Smart countries would do well to learn from the master. And I think some are doing just that. Today’s Russia supports both Left and Right, Syriza and the National Front, Occupy and Texas secessionists.
The naive view is that No Homo will be more of a draw in the Near Abroad, where society is just as or even more homophobic than in Russia. For instance, a mere 5% of Ukrainians support gay marriage. The problem? It’s about the 20th item on the typical Ukrainian nationalist’s list of priorities (Putin is #1-#3, Europe is #4). More so, in a country where street “lustrations” and Far Right thuggery are a daily occurence, with the police powerless to intervene, any Ukrainian knows that his country is in precisely zero danger of being overtaken by a gay mafia anytime soon. That is why Russian online trolling of Ukrainians about “Gayropean values” and how at this rate they would soon be marrying dogs to toasters is like water off a duck’s back.
In dealing with this… cult (see video above), that happens to worships Europe, what would be a guaranteed way to mindfuck svidomy skulls? To inflict unimaginable levels of butthurt amongst Maidanists? Adopting same-sex civil unions just like in (the very European countries like) Germany, Czechia, Croatia, and Estonia that they love and look up to so much.
(5) Conservatism has certainly been useful in restoring Russia’s 1990s-depleted patriotism levels and fertility rates, but were it to be taken much further, its overall utility will become questionable. One distant if not altogether impossible outcome is falling into genuine retarded obscurantism. This is currently faked in Russia, not least by characters like Kiselev himself, but as in the Borgesian fable, the map can become the territory.
This would cripple transhumanism in Russia along with associated technological vectors like indefinite life extension and superintelligence. Too “real” and self-sacrificing – or “passionate,” in the Gumilevian sense – a commitment to traditionalism would increase the risks of this scenario coming to pass. Starkes Herz, starker Stahl! Dudes with AKs or even Armatas would always end up getting wrecked by Googletopia’s drones, Belltower augs and NWO terminators.
A loosening of No Homo policies can be a useful and timely reminder to people not to take the Spiritual Braces (dukhovnye skrepy) too seriously.
Now for sure this must all remain speculation. But I do not think Kiselev’s announcement of his support for gay civil unions was entirely out of the blue, and as covered here, there are solid and logical reasons for why it might presage a deeper turn in Kremlin policy in the not too distant future. And though I wouldn’t take even odds on it, I do think it’s likelier that Russia will into homosex by 2020 than that the President’s first name is going to be to be something other than Vladimir or Sergey (Shoygu).
PS. To preempt any claims of opportunism: I have supported same sex civil unions with some of the rights and privileges of marriage since the early 2000s when I became politically aware and my position on that hasn’t changed substantially since even though I zigzagged ideologically quite a bit during this period. Searching my blog would confirm that at least for 2008. Ironically, this means in American terms that I went from being a raving liberal under early Bush to a hateful bigot redneck today.
I knew that gays had a maybe five or even ten times higher chance of getting AIDS and other STD’s than heterosexuals. I didn’t know the differential was actually more like 50.
Something like 20% of the US gay population (which makes up 3.5% of its total population) is HIV positive. It is 5% in the UK. But as of 2009, according to the CDC “male to male sexual contact” (see pp.58) accounted for about 57% of all HIV transmissions in the US (and of 75% of all HIV transmissions among men). “Heterosexual contact” among men accounted for a mere 8% of all HIV transmissions. Basically, if you’re gay, you should take far, far more precautions during sex than your straight counterparts – though in practice, it seems the precise opposite is taking place (“Carlos estimates that he has already had several hundred sex partners; he eagerly awaits the day when he tests HIV-positive – at which time his erotic interest, Carlos says, will then turn toward infecting another person – which is known as “gift-giving””).
The result is that back at the height of the epidemic in the 1990′s, life expectancy for gays was something like 20 years lower than for straights (those are risks far greater than for smoking). Assuming the gay population to be 3% of the male total, Canadian homosexuals had only a 32% chance of living from the age of 20 to the age of 65, far less than the 78% for the average Canadian man (or equivalent to a Canadian man in 1871). The study in question, however, was carried out at the very height of mortality from AIDS; since then, medical improvements have sharply reduced it, e.g. from more than 50,000 deaths in 1995 to a constant 20,000 or so from 1998 on. So I suppose the life expectancy penalty is now somewhat better than being a heavy smoker or an alcoholic (both about 10 years).
In other words, it’s a valid public health policy to make homosexuality culturally unattractive, as opposed to glamorizing it. And while it is certainly true that it does not apply to the vast majority of homosexuals, the statistics also destroy yet another liberal canard: That there is no connection between homosexuality and pedophilia. In reality, studiesindicate that 2-4 girls are abused for one boy, even though there are about 30 straights to every gay (the vast majority of sex abusers are of course male). Even allowing for necessary caveats – e.g., groups of male children are far more likely to be entrusted to males for supervision than groups of girls – that still strongly indicates that homosexuals are, on average, considerably more likely to be pedophiles than heterosexuals.
A corollary is that I am quite okay with Russia’s new law banning propaganda of the homosexual lifestyle to minors, the mewlings of human rights organizations and other putative do-gooders regardless. Funny how an hour or so of Internet research can destroy so much mainstream liberal “wisdom.”
(Republished from AKarlin.com by permission of author or representative)
Since I submitted the article, commentator peter made one of the most convincing arguments against the validity of the sentence against Pussy Riot. I suppose this will be raised in PR’s appeal.
Just to clarify, as I said in the piece above, I do not think consider 2 years to be a fair sentence. I’d have given them 50-100 hours of community service. I agree with Kononenko here.
But the law’s the law in Russia as elsewhere. On that note, see this story (h/t Jon Hellevig) in which it is said that three German PR supporters who disturbed a service in Cologne cathedral may be liable for imprisonment of up to 3 years.
Addendum 8/24: There have been a number of reactions to this article at AJ, Reddit, Twitter, and other platforms, and it is good to see that a majority of them have been positive even if they picked over some details. I don’t disagree with that. This is a culture war and as such there are going to be vehement disagreements; besides, it’s not exactly like I’m in the “hardline” camp that wants to lock em up and throw away the key either.
That said, a few reactions have been strongly negative, and I want to draw attention to them. Not because I think they’re correct (duh) nor because of my narcissism (at least not primarily so) but because in my opinion they very considerably illuminate the mind frames of Russian liberals and Western journalists in Russia.
Exhibit one: Miriam Elder, Western democratic journalist.
So if you don’t have a higher degree, you’re not allowed to comment. In my experience, people who place a lot of emphasis on someone’s educational credentials tend to be incredibly vapid. Most of this commentary seems to be about praising NATO and smearing Assange.
Eggert, BTW, in his very person also puts the lie to any notion that the Russian media is substantially controlled by the Kremlin, seeing as he regularly writes for state news agency RIA Novosti and newspaper Kommersant.
One of the things that most annoys me about Western coverage of St.-Petersburg’s law against homosexual propaganda to minors, the case against Pussy Riot, etc., is how it is almost always presented as a show-down between “liberated” and “creative” Russians and the macho dictator Putin.
In reality, of course, it’s a culture war – and as a result the majority is on the conservative side of the spectrum and the government merely accedes to this fact. This is the case with Pussy Riot. It is also the case with the anti-homosexual laws. According to the polls, which no Western journalist cares about for all his feigned concern for the opinions of “ordinary Russians”, 14% of Russians support homosexual marriages, 84% oppose; 8% want to allow gay parades, 82% are against. Three quarters consider homosexuality to be a deviancy, a disease, or a mental illness.
Yet whatever their own ideological leanings Western journalists pay no mind whatsoever to these elementary realities. Liberal Guardianistas believe that most Russians think just like them when they are oddballs even in Britain. One might think Conservatives might have a more nuanced view, but that is not the case. As noted by Kononenko, they pass off the prosecution of Pussy Riot as a political punishment for their song “Holy Mother of God, chase Putin out!”; whereas as meticulously documented by Alex Mercouris there is nothing tying Putin to the case (indeed one wonders why Putin would wish to involve himself at all with those freaks with colored bags over their heads) and the prosecution is for a hooligan act that is in contravention of Russian laws that are not dissimilar from laws in numerous European countries*.
I don’t agree with all its arguments, but another very good article I came across recently was Robert Kaplan’s STRATFOR piece Putin’s Geopolitical Logic.
Regrettably, it’s behind a paywall, but its well worth quoting in extenso:
Tyrants who kill millions or at least hundreds of thousands are well known to history and are consequently seen as impersonal forces of nature, like hurricanes or tornadoes. But the dislike of Putin is quite personal**. He is not a mass murderer, but he gets under the skin of Western elites in ways that mass murderers do not.
Even Syria’s notorious dictator, Bashar al Assad, is always nattily dressed in a suit and tie. Not so Putin, who sometimes wears a leather jacket and occasionally rides bare-chested on a horse. Putin flaunts the mores and conventions of the global elite. A black belt in judo, he affects the appearance of a manly bully in a world where high culture is increasingly cosmopolitan and feminine. …
In fact, it is Putin’s very rational foreign policy that truly insults Western elites. These elites, whether liberal internationalists or neoconservatives, are intent on Progress — in the magisterial uppercase sense of the word. … Putin is no warmonger. For when all sides are looking out for their own interests, they comprehend the interests of their adversaries, and therein lies compromise. It’s often when the national interest is equated with a moral absolute that conflict tends to become violent, because in that case your adversary is judged to be immoral, and thus compromise becomes harder to achieve.
To be sure, it is the West that has played the warmonger in Iraq, Libya and Syria — in terms of rhetoric, if not always in terms of action. And while the West’s goals may have certainly been laudatory in some cases, they have also been at times self-righteous and destabilizing. …
The West considers Putin’s hostility to regime change in Libya and Syria immoral. But what I think secretly enrages Western elites is that they themselves know that Putin’s hostility is not immoral at all: It is amoral, or morally indifferent. An immoral foreign policy can be easily attacked as such. But an amoral policy — a policy rationally based on geopolitics, on geographically-based self-interest, that is — is a greater threat to Western elites because it is an assertion that the world has actually changed less than they thought following the toppling of the Berlin Wall. It is an assertion that fundamental opposition to what the West wants is not necessarily evil or even necessarily wrong.
Exactly. This is Putin Derangement Syndrome in a nutshell.
* Of course, before all the trolls pile in, that is not to argue that such laws are correct in principle – be they on the books in Russia or in Western Europe. In the US, for instance, the First Amendment pretty much guarantees that a case like Pussy Riot would never reach the courts. Nonetheless, for all that I am pretty sure that quite a lot of the people foaming at the mouth at Pussy Riot’s treatment were quite happy to see Emma West imprisoned for 21 weeks for holding a racist rant in a tram.
** Indeed, the only other major personage who arouses quite the same level of visceral hatred in your standard Western journalist be (s)he liberal or conservative is Julian Assange. I have long come to the conclusion that deeply psychosexual (feminist / beta male orbiter) reasons underlie both the hatred of Putin and Assange.
(Republished from Da Russophile by permission of author or representative)
Game theory as developed by Heartiste and Co (1, 2, 3, 4). Before we start, there are two concepts we must avail ourselves of:
Female hypergamy: Woman’s tendency to mate up the social hierarchy.
Soft polygamy: See picture right, as helpfully illustrated by yours truly.
Back in the “good old days”, i.e. say the 1950′s, life was much simpler. Female labor participation was low, their salaries were low, the Pill had yet to be invented, marriage was a respected institution, divorce and single motherhood were very much frowned upon, and female obesity was very low. There was one guy for every eligible girl and dating was a a sweet and simple affair.
Fast forward to today. Female salaries and labor participation have practically equalized with those of men, thus diluting men’s relative economic power. The Pill and the end of belief in the sanctity of marriage (divorce and single motherhood have soared since the 1960′s) have unleashed the floodgates of female hypergamy; across femdom, chicks are looking to mate up, leaving their now powerless beta providers by the wayside. On the other end of the scale, female obesity – fueled by aesthetic WMD’s in the form of McDonald’s, KFC, and corn subsidies – has ballooned, to the extent that it now afflicts almost half the female population. Nothing destroys a woman’s looks and attractiveness to men quite like obesity. This alone halves the eligible pool of fuckable women.
But then on the other end of the scale (no pun intended) you have the appearance of soft polygamy. This is a natural consequence of the disappearance of those social mores and taboos that in prior decades held female hypergamy in check. With that loosened, alpha males – both natural alphas (e.g. Tom Cruise, Silvio Berlusconi), and betas who learn game (e.g. Neil Strauss, Roosh) – develop harems, ushering in soft polygamy. Women are biologically wired such that they would rather share an alpha with many other women and compete for his attentions rather than tolerate monogamy with a beta. Case in point.
Alphas now have it better than they ever; the world is their oyster as never before with the sole exceptions, perhaps, in the twilight periods of decadent civilizations, or the aftermaths of great wars that rewarded men’s spilled blood with beautiful postwar ratios. Pinned down between the Scylla of female obesity and the Charybdis of soft polygamy, betas face a hellscape of shuffling shoggoths, indentured orbitude to the few remaining classy women, and nightly love-making to the lonely hand.
This no doubt goes someway to explaining the increasing physical manifestations of involuntary male celibacy: Aggressive, in-your-face homosexuality; asexuality; men marrying their cats; men marrying their sex dolls; genital cutting all the way down to penile bisection (if you Google this, I’m not liable for your psychotherapy costs); men cutting off and cooking their own penises; etc. The latter phenomena are indeed the most potent (inverse pun) symbols of male emasculation at the dawn of the new millennium.
Unlike many in the “manosphere”, I don’t bother attaching moral labels to these developments. It’s a waste of time. Besides morality is beta anyway. There are two immediately relevant things to take away from this “game” interpretation of recent American social history:
(1) The importance of learning game for any aspiring lifestyle artist if he is not already a natural; or at the very least, migrating someplace where feminism and female obesity has yet to make major inroads, like Russia, Poland, or Argentina.
(2) For all the possible holes in “game theory” (and I think I can identify a few), it’s still far superior an explanation of the trajectory of American society than anything, absolutely ANYTHING, you will find in your sociology textbooks. The only contender, and it’s more complement than competition, is Murray’s and Herrnstein’s work on cognitive stratification and the IQ bell curve – for which they’ve been made academic pariahs. That is because modern academe embraces cultural Marxism and loathes reality.
(Republished from AKarlin.com by permission of author or representative)
Russia is in something of a homophobic fever. Four regions (including Saint-Petersburg) have banned the dissemination of “gay propaganda” to minors, it may yet go federal, and disassociated itself from a G8 statement on gay rights. It’s obviously not like in many Middle Eastern countries where homosexuality is illegal (as in the USSR) but attitudes do resemble those of the US or the UK in the 1980′s.
This got me thinking on another tangent, however. Why would a straight person be homophobic anyway?
From the POV of straight dudes, more gays means less competition for chicks. (Lesbians are mostly bisexual so it doesn’t apply in reverse, and besides, homophobia tends to focus on gays anyway). That is one reason why I don’t mind gays apart from my general live-let live attitudes. The incentives for chicks aren’t as clear-cut as for dudes, as they’d have to try harder to find permanent partners, but upside is they are much less likely to wind up with a closet homosexual.
There are two possible evolutionary causes for homophobia that I see. First, the idea that one’s children will be propagandized into adopting the lifestyle. This may cut off the parents’ genetic tree. This would seem unlikely since most research indicates sexual preferences are set in childhood but the subconscious fear of some parents that this may not be the case is understandable.
Second, it is presumably in the interests of the group to have more males competing for females. The selection process for mating would then be harsher so the average quality of sexually successful dudes is higher. Particularly relevant because gays seem to be more educated and richer than average, and certainly more metrosexual, all of which attracts women. So even though the gays’ absence from the hetero-market would be a boon for all straight dudes, especially the lower-quality ones who are likelier to be displaced by them, the latter nonetheless tends to hate on gays, because at the subconscious level they know that less sexual competition is bad for the group.
(Republished from AKarlin.com by permission of author or representative)
I am a blogger, thinker, and businessman in the SF Bay Area. I’m originally from Russia, spent many years in Britain, and studied at U.C. Berkeley.
One of my tenets is that ideologies tend to suck. As such, I hesitate about attaching labels to myself. That said, if it’s really necessary, I suppose “liberal-conservative neoreactionary” would be close enough.
Though I consider myself part of the Orthodox Church, my philosophy and spiritual views are more influenced by digital physics, Gnosticism, and Russian cosmism than anything specifically Judeo-Christian.
This is not so much meant to be comprehensive as to illustrate the themes and individual thinkers whom I follow and am inspired by.
I do not bother including any MSM outlets, since I’m sure they can do just fine without my publicity.
Blogs which I consider to be particularly good and/or prominent are highlighted in bold, and blogs that appear to have gone dormant appear at the end in italics. While I try to keep these things objective, if you include me in your blogroll that does vastly increase the chances that I’ll reciprocate.