graphic by magpie girl
Some of you may have noticed a new feature we’re calling Beyondoweiss. It's my bag: it's for personal and idiosyncratic posts that I do like this or this, often touching on marriage, though some of them, like this one, touch on the central concerns of the site.
We decided to do this for a couple of reasons. This website began as a personal blog at the New York Observer nearly six years ago. Overawed by the freedom of the internet, pleased that I did not have a news burden of writing for the front page, I did a lot of flakey-stupid posts like this one about a half avocado in my refrigerator. But I also did a lot of personal writing about Jewish identity and the Jewish presence in the Establishment and my intermarriage and my response to the Middle East, and those posts helped to animate this site. As Adam Horowitz said to me, when he signed on in 2008--with the commitment that he would not be writing such posts; go figure!--my personal narrative gave Americans a way to get into the issue. It felt important to both of us to keep a place for that stuff on the site. My dear boss at the Observer had come up with the name Mondo, and now Adam, a great editor in his own right, came up with Beyondo.
That name sets that material off a little. We have promised again and again to professionalize the site, and to us that means: more reliable news gathering, more influence in the discourse, more access to Palestinian voices, and a concerted effort to nurture brave new talent (many, many people helped me to become a writer and journalist). It means trying to give this site a lasting footing.
This site began like so many other internet sites as an outlet for a misfit who was hugely frustrated. The surest sign of its success is that it was taken over by the creative forces of social media—all the commenters and contributors who know more about the issue than I do. But I still crave the personal freedom of this medium, and the freedom from the news burden, and that’s why I liked the idea. I’m not sure where Beyondo will go. I might take it into water issues and literary and environmental concerns, maybe I’ll throw in a diary or two.