i dig what protein wisdom has been posting about sarah. thanks, adam! here's a review of what i've written on palin over the last three years. stuff like this, hitting the 'american' thing again (or, before). or this
so as you may know, i despise blogs of the daily kos variety: in thrall to someone's agenda: nonindividuated voices that point to the future of the blog as a forum for advertising. that anyone gets excited by this libertarian democrat manifesto is a tribute merely to blankness that is american party politics. of course, the idea is horseshit, except fot this: it's a way of expressing the obvious fact that there is no longer any libertarian element in the *republican* party. and i guess it could be a way to start this negative vs positive freedom thing up again: though the hacks should leave that kind of stuff to the experts. here's the nut, though: "the Libertarian Dem doesn't believe government is the solution for everything. But it sure as heck is effective in checking the power of corporations." ok, so kos: what exactly are the agenda items of the libertarian democrats that do not involve the expansion of the state? and this idea that government is "sure as heck" effective in checking the power of corporations" is an unbelievably simplistic approach to an unbelievably difficult question: ask halliburton what they think, or clearchannel, or the corporate lobbyists, flies feedding on the shitpile of the state.
thought i'd put up my creators column from last week, since it's about blogging.
Ponder with me, if you feel like it, the sad fate of the blog.
There was a time when "blog" meant that almost anyone could publish
almost anything she wanted, when it seemed that the media of political
discourse were being radically decentralized with incredible rapidity,
when no one could control what people were writing and reading or its
remarkable and strange effects.
The mainstream media (msm)
would become obsolete, their tepid opinions and colorless language
swamped in a sea of free, beautiful, anarchic ranting. And by sheer
vastness and variety, all this talk would be self-correcting; everybody
could participate everywhere, and every mistake would draw a hundred
It seemed a remarkable realization of democratic ideals.
But the blogosphere is now under full-scale consolidation and
colonization. Most of the most-read "blogs" are simulations. Let's
consider a few examples.
The "Daily Kos" is perhaps the most
visited political blog on the net. The discussion is lively and,
apparently, freewheeling -- there's even the occasional cuss word. But,
truth to tell, it is the mouthpiece of the Howard Dean wing of the
Democratic Party, and taken all in all, it is painfully orthodox and
unanimous ("with a Democrat like [Joe Lieberman] on the Armed Services
Committee, why do we need Republicans?"). Of course, there are dozens
of official right-wing versions, as well.
That is one form of the contemporary pseudoblog: the tool of a political party or issue organization (pro.lifewithchrist.com).
Another genre is the "blog" put up by an msm outlet. These things are
multiplying like mad, and newspaper websites are quickly mutating into
blog collages, on specific subjects or driven by specific personalities.
Washingtonpost.com lists 25 "blogs." The New York Times has taken to
publishing guest columnists such as Sarah Vowell and Stanley Fish in
blog format. The Los Angeles Times keeps you abreast of the news and
gossip from Vegas, for example, with a blog. Time magazine has signed
up long-time blogger Andrew Sullivan, among others.
These are best thought of as slightly reformatted msm opinion columns and news stories.
A genuine blog, it seems to me, is unedited; it is someone specific.
It's probably riddled with typos, etc., but it represents the
unadulterated voice of an individual rather than the flattened prose
and predictable range of opinions of a bureaucracy.
But an msm
pseudoblog is ultimately subject to all the same constraints as the
rest of the publication. The publication is just as suable there as
anywhere else, and so everything questionable is going to have to get
through the legal department. Cautious and conscientious professionals
edit these things, and the "bloggers" know the constraints before they
These faux blogs can be good; I very much enjoy Joel
Achenbach's at washingtonpost.com, for example. But even their
liveliness is just a trifle disturbing. They are attempts to simulate a
freewheeling, idiosyncratic voice and point of view. They take the
little frisson that accompanied the first efflorescence of the blog and
try to clone or replicate it in a context that is anything but free.
And just let's not deal with commercial flogs, beautifully designed
sites with bold entries such as "Giorgio Armani Croc-Embossed Tote
& Embellished Satin Halter." Amazon.com has instituted "plogs";
there, Meg Wolitzer is telling us that she's almost finished Ayelet
Waldman's "Love and Other Impossible Pursuits," "which is really smart
and tender." Nike and Microsoft blog. At the same time, there is more
and more advertising on actual blogs (intapundit.com: "HELP RE-ELECT
SENATOR GEORGE ALLEN"), which can be expected to have the effect of
toning down content.
Perhaps this is the fate of all media --
indeed, all signs of life or communication -- bludgeoned by
bureaucracy, corporate, organizational, and governmental. I think it's
fair to say the blogosphere is liable to come under FEC and FCC
regulation, the traditional death rattle of any form of human
This particular communication revolution is over.
But if you felt like pondering with me, I don't want merely to leave
you melancholy. After all, every repression is the occasion of the next
resistance, and human communication is essentially uncontrollable. So
bring on the next idea.
to jonathan, aka commandante agi, for the re-design! looking much better. i'd like to know how it's displaying for people in internet explorer, which has been a problem. anyway, what the hell are you doing using internet explorer? christ.
so, i'd be interested to see what you think of going to a multi-author format. i started with crusader mike because, for one thing, he doesn't have a blog. plus i think there's an interesting overlap/contrast in our approaches. but i would think about adding more as time goes on. the drawback as i see it is that it's cool to have a single voice etc. but then again, it's cool not to. as a practical matter it turns out that while i like blogging, i am not one of these insane machines who can blog all day every day. there are big temporal holes, then a flurry. so of course multiple authors make things more consistent. anyway, thoughts.
one thing blogs are not good for, with rare exceptions: covering breaking news like yesterday's london attacks. everybody feels like they have to say something, but obviously the msm are the ones with the resources and sources to have the basic info at a given moment. so the blogs start doing what blogs do best: bickering. truly it was horrendous yesterday to read, for example, michelle malkin, who started squawking about what the "moonbats" were saying after the achingly redundant condemnation. why is that worth reading? or for that matter why read the people she's arguing against? better to just do something else.
remarkably, overall it looks like both left and right blogs hate the supreme court decision on eminent domain in new london. btw, unpartisan is a really useful blog aggregator, although of course the idea that all blogs are either liberal or conservative, and that mine is liberal, is a trifle...narrow-minded.
don't know quite how oliver willis got on my blogroll, but he's gone now, cause as this makes clear as anything does, only real idiots are like "democratic" or "republican" bloggers with "message discipline" and shit. please, assmonkeys, replace message discipline with actual independent ratiocination. what's the point of a blog? that we all mumble the same crap in unison?
but before i split i was thinking: we have a little ring of like-minded or at least spiritually connected blogs: el ser, malignant, harnessing catastrophe, gotham, maybe american cop. somehow we should parlay this into a revolution, or at least extreme popularity. any thoughts?
the vicious little green footballs calls amnesty international "the voice of the international appeasement left" because it condemns human rights abuses at guantanamo and in israel. the position can only be exactly this: torture an abuse are justified when we do it to you, but not when anyone else does it at all (and that is in fact precisely lgf's position, as frankly inconsistent and brutally stupid as any position can be). now trawl around ai's site a bit and note that they report on human rights abuses in 149 countries, that they are very strong on condemning china, saudi arabia, russia, syria, and so on. they aren't appeasing anyone; they are merely taking a self-evidently consistent position against abusing human beings and they are trying to do something about it. that lgf and others condemn them for this shows you who these people are and what they want to do. is the claim that there have ben no human rights abuses in american detention facilities? or in israeli prisons? obviously, not. so the contention can only be this: such abuses should not be criticized. now i ask you what happens when a state can torture and kill with impunity, answering to no legal standard and undergoing no scrutiny by any outside group. every day in lgf there's the whiff of genocide, justification for dehumanization and torture, and finally for execution.
do y'all read the quasi famous little green footballs ? tell me that shit ain't put out by israeli intelligence or something. it's incessant. got an arabic name? you're a fucking terrorist, dude. little green footballs is gonna be rounding up our arab brethren and making the brown people pay, my man. seriously, as i've been reading, day after day, it's all about: abdul done somethin wrong. where am de camps??? we will have revenge for auschwitz when we've killed precisely 6 million arabs. and their children.
ok ok. i'm convinced. michelle malkin is a pathetic feeb. mild jokes about abraham lincoln are insane threats to republican presidents. never mind that lincoln was the er, liberal candidate in 1860 and 1864. the bolton situation is a crisis (yeah this may be the end. the end.) we're all focusing on the powerless tom delay and his appearance of the appearance of being an unbelievable insufferable tool, when we should be squarely facing the ethical crisis of stephanie tubbs jones. i floated entirely free of reality last week, because i started to believe the idiocy i was fed by those who write my mind.