Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Twenty Questions to a Fellow Blogger Part CIII: Kate McMillan

Kate McMillan is a popular Conservative Canadian blogger, who runs the Small Dead Animals Weblog. During the 2006 Canadian elections, her analysis was picked up on by the BBC and CBC. McMillan has also received press coverage of her blog from the Toronto Sun

What made you decide to start blogging?

Commentor's guilt. I was spending so much time yacking in other people's comments sections I decided it was time to start my own.

What is your best blogging experience?

There's no one experience, but I'd have to say the loyalty of the SDA readership is the most gratifying part of blogging. When I was sued last year over content on the blog, the financial support I received from my readers was immediate and overwhelming. The Weblog awards are another example - SDA was voted best conservative blog, the lone Canadian blog in a field in which some of our competitors had 5 times the traffic.

And your worst?

Nothing really stands out as a "worst". SDA has an open comments policy (meaning no moderation or registration), and on an average day there are hundreds posted. For the most part people are really good about keeping it clean, but it's still a time consuming chore to keep the spam, the trolls and the provocateurs at bay.

What do you regard as your best blog entry?

Again, not a single one, but I do have a list of "Best" highlighted on the side bar. The one I had the most fun writing was a confession from the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.


Favourite blogs?

I surf a lot of them, but I find myself at NRO's The Corner, Watts Up With That, and Instapundit a lot.

What caused you to start the SDA Radio Show?

For years I've been offering a daily "Reader Tips" thread. I get a lot of email tips I can't hope to follow up on for lack of time. One of our regulars "Vitruvius" began posting the Radio Show in the tips thread, and so I just asked him to take over the service. It's been a hit, to say the least.

How would you define the Canadian blogosphere?

I don't know about defining it, but if I were to describe it in this moment in time, I'd say the Canadian blogosphere is floundering.

A lot of Canadian political bloggers are nearly exclusively focused on Canadian politics. Canadian politics is already overserved by a bunch of aging dead tree pundits who need to pick at every bone just to generate columns. Most average Canadians tune out between significant political events, like elections, and they tune out of the niche blogs first.

Another phenomenon that I believe is limiting the Canadian blogosphere's growth is the tendency of so many to engage in cross-blogger warfare with their political opponents. There's far too much "inside baseball" stuff going on. jI like shooting an arrow over someone's bow as much as the next person, but it really gets carried away in Canada.

Given the elections across North America over the past year, hasn't Conservatism been facing a setback?

In the political arena, yes. Conservativism is as strong as it ever was, but it sorely lacks clear, principled leadership. Pragmatism is always a critical ingredient to successful governing, but it comes with grave consequences for conservative politicians, as the pragmatism generally moves the party to the left, leaving the base unhappy and the opposition empowered.

Is there anywhere abroad which you haven't been to, that you would like to visit?


Is there anywhere abroad you have visited, that you would love to revisit?

I do a lot of travelling and really despise flying, but my trip to Beijing last year left me wanting more.

Do you have a favourite political figure in history?

Margaret Thatcher.

Which figure has been your greatest inspiration?

My dad and grandad. Both Saskatchewan dry land grain farmers, who started with nothing and were successful, without ever compromising their integrity or the security of their families.

Favourite Bond movie?

I've never watched a Bond movie all the way through. I fall asleep within minutes.

Chocolate, vanilla, or mint?

If it's the good stuff, vanilla.

Which Band, past or present, would you most like to see in


In terms of visiting for the weekend, Vancouver, Ottawa, or Montreal?

Ugh. I've been showing purebred dogs across North America for over 20 years - I've visited them all for "the weekend". No thanks. If I had a choice for a weekend "visit", it'd be somewhere like South Dakota's Black Hills, or western Wisconsin, and my motorcycle will come along in the truck.

Favourite national newspaper?

National Post.

What would you say your hobbies were?

I don't have time for hobbies. I'm a freelance artist who blogs and breeds show dogs - just about everything I do as a hobby ends up being a business.

And what would you say were your three favourite songs and three favourite
books (Bar the Bible and The Complete Works of Shakespeare)?

I don't listen to much music at all, but off the top of my head: "Brothers In Arms", "Romeo And Juliet" (Dire Straits), and "Superman's Song" (Crash Test Dummies). Books are easier. "Soldier of the Great War", "Winter's Tale" (both by Mark Helprin) and Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead".

The first time I read Ayn Rand, I couldn't believe I'd found someone who thought just like me.


pokeefe said...

Kate's blog brightens every day.

Sean said...

It is a fantastic blog with a strange title. It's the best Canadian blog, by a long-shot.

Anonymous said...

I think the blog name is there partly for its shock value, and to remind lefties that not everything in nature is pretty and fluffy and worthy of its own wildlife preserve.

It might also have something to do with protesting against rifle registration.

Bob Devine said...

Small Dead Animals is the 1st name on my favorites bar across the top of my monitor I wish that I had the writing skill to describe the look on my 10 year old grand daughters face when she read it the first time.