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Introduction

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I’d like to start my first post at LGM by thanking everyone else here for asking me to join the blog. I’ve been blogging in obscurity at Alterdestiny since 2004 and expanding my audience by 20 times or more is going to be fun.

I also want to say how intimidating it is to be replacing someone as superb as Charli Carpenter. Those are some big shoes to fill. I know I’ll miss reading her posts.

I am an environmental and labor historian of the United States and will be writing about these issues quite a bit here. I am presently a Visiting Assistant Professor at the College of Wooster in Ohio and am starting a tenure-track position at the University of Rhode Island this fall. My own work is on the intersection between work and nature in the Pacific Northwest forests from the mid-19th century to the present. Growing up in a timber-supported working-class household during the spotted owl crisis of the 1990s has given me what I think is a somewhat different perspective on environmentalism than most scholars of the subject and you’ll see that represented pretty heavily in my posts.

I’ve also worked as a union organizer in my pre-academic days. It’s my contention that arguably the worst thing about the progressive blogosphere is the irrelevancy of labor to most writers and readers. I will try to provide coverage of the important labor issues of the day and an understanding of labor history.

I’ll also write about some of the things you are used to seeing here–music, film, baseball, other political issues that make me angry, occasional random denunciations, how the citrus industry conspired to force us to have slices of lemon in our water at restaurants, etc. And some issues that get a bit less coverage–the American West broadly and state politics of places that I’ve lived in and still follow (particularly OR, TN, TX, NM, OH, and presumably very soon RI).

I will probably be a bit here and gone for the first month or two of my tenure here–I am getting married and moving so I am crazy busy, even compared to normal.

Most importantly, I’ll be joining Rob in vigorously proclaiming the superiority of Oregon football to the Washington Huskies. As they say in Texas, Hook ’em Ducks!

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  • Linnaeus

    I look forward to reading what you have to say here. As for this:

    Most importantly, I’ll be joining Rob in vigorously proclaiming the superiority of Oregon football to the Washington Huskies.

    …well, you have to take the bad with the good. :)

  • Colin Snider

    I, for one, look forward to attacking you from the left in a larger forum.

    And seriously – congrats on the upgrade.

  • Welcome! Looking forward to a ton of labor posts.

  • Hey and welcome. I’ve read your comments here, and occasionally checked out Alterdestiny. I’m certainly looking forward to your environmental posts.

  • Scott P.

    Hey, I taught at the College of Wooster the last two years. Hope you’re enjoying yourself!

    • Incontinentia Buttocks

      I had a job offer from the College of Wooster (in History, no less) over a decade ago. Ended up going elsewhere because they couldn’t accommodate my spouse (and OU, where we’ve been ever since, could). I had nothing but positive impressions of the place, however!

      • What was the field for the job, if you don’t mind me asking? I’m just curious as to which job it was.

        • Incontinentia Buttocks

          20C US….though I can’t remember how it was described beyond that, either in terms of particular dates or subfields (I do intellectual and cultural history, but my work also involves political history). This would have been 1997. And to be honest, I withdrew from the search before receiving a formal offer. I really did have a very positive experience in my Wooster job visit, fwiw.

          • DrDick

            I see Bob Griswold is chair of your department. He was on my Ph.D. committee. I always liked the work he was doing at the time.

  • stuck working

    As a long-time reader of both LGM and Alterdestiny, I am very excited by this development.

  • dave3544

    Welcome to the blog.

    I, too, grew up in a timber-supported working-class household during the northwest timber-labor-environmental wars in the late ’80s and early ’90s and I currently work as a labor organizer at the UO.

    I very much look forward to reading your posts.

    And always, Go Ducks.

    • Assuming my book one day comes out, you’ll find it interesting too. Assuming.

  • You still spell your name wrong, but I commend LG&M on the addition!

    • Damn you “Eric” people!!!

      • I resemble that remark!

      • Eric the Half A Bee

        people

        I sting anthropocentric posters. Just sayin’.

      • Halloween Jack

        Erik Lehnsherr wouldn’t put up with that crap.

  • Walt

    As a regular commenter here, Erik, let me be the first to say that your opinions are wrong, you communist.

  • Aardvark Cheeselog

    how the citrus industry conspired to force us to have slices of lemon

    That sounds interesting.

    • Don’t even get me started on mechanical pencils.

      • N.C.

        Could I get you started? That sounds wonderful.

      • Malaclypse

        Speaking as an accountant, the mechanical pencil is proof God loves us and wants us to be nerds.

        • I can’t write with those fucking things for more than a sentence before breaking the lead. They make me very, very angry.

          • Linnaeus

            What size lead are you using, or does not matter? I tend to break 0.5 mm, but 0.7 mm works pretty well, and 0.9 mm is pretty close to a nonmechanical No. 2 pencil.

            • I don’t know. Like most things, I gave up a long time ago. Of course, the bitterness remains undiluted.

          • Malaclypse

            You are perhaps keeping too much lead extended. Be gentle with your pencil…

    • Kadin

      Indeed, I demand to know more immediately.

    • Xenocrates

      You will pry the lemon slices wedges from my cold, dead fingers…I really find no other beverage quite so refreshing as ice water with lemon. Occasionally I’ll sneak in a lime, if I’m feeling naughty. Yes, I’m a big-time drinker…

  • elm

    Welcome! Looking forward to the labor stuff and whatnot, though adding another Yankee hater to the site is a little troubling.

    Also, Wooster is my grandfather’s alma mater (and my father’s birthplace). Never been there myself, but the only thing my grandfather ever spoke of positively about the town was the local Kroger’s. Not a good sign, in my opinion.

    • Yeah, well, I guess there are a couple of acceptable drinking holes here now. And the Amish. And sometimes Amish men hitting on non-Amish women in bars. Which is interesting to watch.

      • Ted

        I also am a Wooster grad and would be delighted if they’d hire me although I am now a bit long in the tooth.

      • Tyto

        Letterman once had Top 10 Amish Pick-Up Lines as his list. My favorite: “Thy buggy has a bitchin lacquer job.”

  • Welcome aboard, Erik. And congrats on the upcoming nuptials!

    It’s my contention that arguably the worst thing about the progressive blogosphere is the irrelevancy of labor to most writers and readers.

    Freddie de Boer being a notable exception, but hear hear!

    • Right; there are definitely exceptions to this rule. But the fact that we are pointing to 1 or 2 people and saying, “hey, they talk about labor!” is a pretty bad sign.

      • Incontinentia Buttocks

        It also suggests how closely the “left” of the blogosphere tracks the “left” of the mainstream media and policy discourse.

        It will be interesting to see if Wisconsin changes anything (my money is on it not doing so), but for years now, labor politics have been on the Democratic backburner (we all so what a huge priority EFCA was after the 2008 elections). And papers like the NYT have been cutting back on their labor reporting for decades.

      • wengler

        It’s probably a consequence of labor being a forbidden topic on the TV.

  • JohnR

    “..to the Washington Huskies”

    huh – I wasn’t even aware that DC had a football team. Unless you mean soccer?

    • Walt

      Curling, my friend. You won’t last long on this site if you don’t know your sports teams.

  • rea

    Permit me to doubt that anyone in the history of Texas has ever said, “Hook ’em Ducks!”

    • At least 2 people in Texas have routinely said “Hook ’em Ducks.” 1. Me, when I lived in Georgetown. 2. My brother, who lives in Denton and invented the term as the ideal way to drive your UT fan friends to great irritation.

      Hook ’em Ducks!

      • Hook ’em! There will be a shirt for the LSU game.

    • lige

      One of my happiest memories from living in Texas was watching the Ducks beat Texas in the Holiday Bowl in a bar just blocks from the UT Stadium. While I don’t remember saying Hook’em Ducks it was the first time I ever saw the O hand sign – my brother used it to taunt the Texas crowd.

  • Peter VE

    Welcome to Rhode Island. Good things: South County beaches, WaterFire, great restuarants. Bad things: one party rule, with associated rent seeking.

    • snarkout

      Can you get Mayor’s Own Marinara again now that Buddy C. is out of the clink? (And you left Del’s off the good things list.) Seriously, Erik, Rhode Island is a lovely and weird little state.

  • Everett

    Whoo-hoo! I can’t wait for your posts!

  • Cackalacka

    Had an uncle who retired from proff’ing polysci at URI couple years back.

    Enjoy the clam cakes. Outside of Louisiana, RI has the most unique, diverse, and awesome culinary traditions in the country.

    • Can someone explain the RI food to me? While my friends in New Mexico would strongly object to the assertion that RI has the 2nd most unique culinary traditions in the country, I am very curious about this. What are these culinary traditions? Given my only time in Rhode Island was my 24 hour campus visit, I am clueless.

  • Great, I’d love to see move coverage of labor issues. Most of the left blogosphere only writes about unions when there is a major legislative fight, and occasionally when the head of the AFL-CIO makes a media appearance.

    • hirst

      I second this.

  • SEK

    Those are some big shoes to fill.

    I’ll let you borrow mine, first, if you’d like a smaller pair but still want to get the feel of the place.

  • emrventures

    I like a lemon slice in my water. Sorry to hear it’s the result of a conspiracy.

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