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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Art imitates blogosphere (there's an echo in here!)

If you follow the Doonesbury strip, you know that Rick Redfern has just been fired as political reporter at the Washington Post. Whereupon he falls back upon writing a blog. Same work educating the yokelry, right? Wrong. Now his status has sunk from the eminence of a byline to being just one electronic yap in a million. And wife Joanie pointedly asks him if his latest scoop about Obama's basketball skills is going to pay the mortgage! Ouch!

Any resemblance between Trudeau's satire and my first two posts is, well... judge for yourself.

Also, found the related item below while doing an unsuccessful Google-search for my own "Gerard Kennedy -how Utopian?" post:

February 20, 2006 (andrewcoyne.com)
What Would Orwell Blog? (II)
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Handcaper points me to this article from the Financial Times on why blogging is an obsolete medium. It's a bit long and makes some predictable points, but there is some great stuff at the end:

Which brings us to the spectre haunting the blogosphere - tedium. If the pornography of opinion doesn’t leave you longing for an eroticism of fact, the vast wasteland of verbiage produced by the relentless nature of blogging is the single greatest impediment to its seriousness as a medium. To illustrate the point, I asked a number of bloggers whether they thought Karl Marx or George Orwell, two enormously potent political writers who were also journalists, would have blogged if the medium had been available to them. And almost always, the answer was, why of course, it would have given them the widest possible audience and the greatest possible impact. …. And that, in the end, is the dismal fate of blogging: it renders the word even more evanescent than journalism; yoked, as bloggers are, to the unending cycle of news and the need to post four or five times a day, five days a week, 50 weeks of the year, blogging is the closest literary culture has come to instant obsolescence. No Modern Library edition of the great polemicists of the blogosphere to yellow on the shelf; nothing but a virtual tomb for a billion posts - a choric song of the word-weary bloggers, forlorn mariners forever posting on the slumberless seas of news.

"A choric song" my harmonic ass! More like a self-cancelling cacophony of endless yowling! Occasionally something semi-organized does roar out of the blogosphere, to sink its teeth into reality, but not often, and not without profile-raising help by other media (send me a contrary example, dear reader, if you can find one). Even here, the world-shaking event will be found to be more fitful craze than co-ordinated campaign, succeeding (if it does) more by luck than any shrewd strategy and tactics.

And (and!) do bloggers REALLY post, necessarily, four or five times a day????

I'm lucky to have posted three days in a row now (the housework is suffering severely, believe me). Obviously I'll never make the grade as a blogger.

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