Scholars & Rogues marks its 10th anniversary

A brief history of S&R: It’s been a great decade. We hope you’ll stick around for another 10 years.

On April 16, 2007, a few of us (mostly immigrants from The 5th Estate on LiveJournal) opened shop at I suppose we hoped for a doorbusting response, as hordes of people, starving for our unique brand of irreverent wisdom, metaphorically trampled us with pageviews.

That initial team included myself, co-founder Mike Sheehan, Brian Angliss, Jim Booth, Denny Wilkins, Gavin Chait, Rori Black, Robert Silvey and Martin Bosworth. Robert retired, Martin left to start his own site (and then tragically died), Mike doesn’t write much anymore but he’s skulking around here somewhere and I’ve been trying to lure Rori back for years but she’s having none of it.

Along the way we picked up more stragglers, and hopefully you’ve had occasion to enjoy their insight into the contemporary condition as well. Continue reading “Scholars & Rogues marks its 10th anniversary”

S&R Honors: Edmund Blackadder

S&R Honors Edmund BlackadderScholars & Rogues has been around for seven and a half years or so, and during that time we have evolved. Early on we were a political blog with a culturalist bent. These days we’re a “journal of progressive culture” – in a nutshell, we’re a culture blog informed by a strong political foundation. Our writing wanders far and wide, as you may have noticed, but the pieces all seem to fit together.

We have had, through the years, a number of discussions about who we are and who we want to be. In corporate terminology, what is the Scholars & Rogues brand? And while these conversations have occasionally been nuanced and overrun with self-doubt – if you don’t have the occasional crisis of identity in seven years you’re not trying hard enough – I have always had an answer that served as a sort of starting point.

The S&R brand is Edmund Blackadder. Continue reading “S&R Honors: Edmund Blackadder”

A word about S&R’s comment policy

Periodically we find ourselves needing to remind everyone about our comment policy, which is quite a bit different from what you find on other sites. This isn’t a problem for a vast majority of those who visit us, but every once in awhile…

So, here’s the link to the policy, which not only lays out how we do it but also, in a good bit of detail, explains why. In general, I’d note the big difference in how we do it. Other places work off the assumption that all comments are accepted unless they cross a line and need to be removed. We don’t assume that any comment should be accepted automatically, and we don’t post anything without reading it and actively approving it. Continue reading “A word about S&R’s comment policy”

Scholars & Rogues

Better and betterer: the new and improved S&R

Hi folks. I wanted to take a moment to tell you about some changes here at S&R that we think you might like.

The first one you probably already noticed: we’ve tweaked our design a bit. We did so for a big reason. When we made our last design update we didn’t really understand how it was going to affect our ability to post and properly present photography. As a result, staff photographer Lisa Wright, one of our most talented staffers, got shoved to the side. For that, I want to apologize to her and to you. She’s a fantastic shooter and we’re a lot better when our audience gets to see her work regularly. Continue reading “Better and betterer: the new and improved S&R”

S&R to open new Pacific Northwest Bureau

New York City. London. Oxford. Washington, DC. Western New York. Western North Carolina. Cleveland. The Upper Peninsula. Chicagoland/Indiana. Montana. Denver/Boulder. Owing to the fact that a majority of the founders either live in Colorado now or did in the past there has been a certain 5280-centric identity here at Scholars & Rogues. Nonetheless, the S&R staff is and always has been fairly dispersed geographically. And we’re about to expand a little more. In just over a week I’ll be relocating to Seattle to begin a new job in the Pioneer Square district, and if you know the Emerald City I … Continue reading S&R to open new Pacific Northwest Bureau

Quick note on the Aurora shooting

As some of our readers are aware, several S&R staffers live in the Denver area, and Managing Editor Mike Sheehan in particular lives very close to the site of the theater shootings in Aurora. I’m guessing most of my colleagues here have been hearing from friends and family around the country wanting to make sure everyone is okay, and we’ve heard from some in our audience, as well. The good news is that, as best we can tell so far, the S&R family has been spared from this horror. The bad news is that once again, our community finds itself … Continue reading Quick note on the Aurora shooting

Instant analysis: Amendment One passage in North Carolina is the battle that lost the war for conservatives

Let’s go ahead and call it. It’s 9:47 on the east coast, and with 54% of precincts reporting, North Carolina’s anti-LGBT Amendment One is passing by better than a 60-40 margin. “Pro-marriage” social conservatives are undoubtedly hailing this as a major victory for the “family” and the “sanctity of marriage,” but from where I sit the state’s reactionary forces have done little more than win the battle that loses the war. If I’m Mitt Romney’s advisors (and, despite ample evidence to the contrary, I’m assuming he actually has some), this is one I’d much rather have lost. Continue reading “Instant analysis: Amendment One passage in North Carolina is the battle that lost the war for conservatives”

Scholars & Rogues turns five: thanks for joining us

On April 16, 2007, Scholars & Rogues went live, featuring a post by Gavin Chait (Unlearning helplessness: how donors reinforce poverty and dependency) and one by me on Joe Wilson’s speech at the Conference on World Affairs (where he said that Fred Thompson belonged to the “treason faction of the Republican Party”).

Some highlights:

S&R and the marketplace of ideas: yes, Dorothy, sometimes people disagree…in public, even!

Earlier this morning Chris offered up a post entitled “Why are environmentalists missing a mild-weather opportunity?” It raises a pragmatic point about how the climate “debate” plays out in the public sphere and is well worth a read. Go ahead – I’ll wait.

Predictably – and by “predictably,” I mean that last night I e-mailed our climate guru, Brian Angliss, and said “when Chris’s post lands, here’s what’s going to happen,” and it has played out as though I had scripted it; the denialists have jumped on the post in an attempt to cast Chris and the rest of the S&R staff as “hypocrites.” One prominent anti-science type wants you to believe that the message is “we know weather isn’t climate, but let’s lie to people anyway!”

Like I say, as predicted.

The truth is that Chris’s post is part of a larger context. Continue reading “S&R and the marketplace of ideas: yes, Dorothy, sometimes people disagree…in public, even!”

A quick shout-out: thinking and writing about our frustration with Obama

Here at S&R we try and generate as much original content as possible and, unlike a lot of blogs, we don’t dedicate much energy to linking other stories around the ‘sphere. Aside from Mike’s Nota Bene series, anyway. But earlier today three other outlets linked to my “Will you vote for Obama (again)?” piece, and since these places are trying to broaden what I think is a critical discussion for our nation, I thought I’d take a moment to say thanks and encourage S&R’s reader to backtrack with us.

Scholars & Rogues unveils new logo

Something we’ve wanted for awhile is a logo – not just the text logo, which we like, but something visual and iconic. Many ideas have been kicked around and set aside for one reason or another (my lack of design skill being at the top of that list). But not long ago, we hit on a rough idea and were able to call on the talents of one of Denver’s absolute finest graphic designers, Laura Manthey, to turn it into something that reflects the core principles of the S&R brand, which we have carefully nurtured for literally four years now.

So here, without further ado, is the new Scholars & Rogues coat of arms: Continue reading “Scholars & Rogues unveils new logo”

We’re looking for poems that we didn’t know we were looking for: Scholars & Rogues launches poetry journal

S&R readers have probably noticed that we like poetry around here. Something we have been talking about for quite a while, in fact, is why we didn’t take the next step and become a poetry publisher. Now, after months of planning, we’re doing precisely that.

On Monday, we will publish our first poem as a poetry journal. If you’re wondering, no, this won’t affect everything else we do. We’ll continue to be the same online magazine that we’ve always been, only now we’ll be offering up original literature.

Here’s how it will work. Continue reading “We’re looking for poems that we didn’t know we were looking for: Scholars & Rogues launches poetry journal”

S&R is looking for guest writers (and artists, and photographers…)

Scholars & Rogues is in the process of refreshing, updating and expanding our operation (you’ll see some changes in the coming days and weeks, with any luck), and one of the things we’re doing is increasing our emphasis on guest contributors. We’ve always published outside writers, and the truth is that there’s a lot of talent out there, talent that could use an opportunity to connect with a larger audience.

So, if you’d like to write something for us, or if you know someone whose work might be a good fit here, have a look at our new submissions page. In general:

Top 1K: It’s a big day at S&R

There are several ways of evaluating a blog’s place in the food chain. The one we’ve always paid the most attention to is Technorati, a search and ranking site that indexes well over 850,000 blogs. If you’re interested in learning more about how Technorati operates, you can review this overview at

Anyway, as of this morning, Scholars & Rogues has, for the first time in our history, crashed into the Top 1,000. We’ve been flirting with the 1K mark for a couple of weeks now, and at the moment we’re ranked #969. Needless to say, we’re pretty darned proud of ourselves. Continue reading “Top 1K: It’s a big day at S&R”