Monday, August 24, 2009

Existential Blog Disgust

(Gail Wynand) With all due respect, I currently suffer from blogger disgust. Right now I'm not sure if I like my own. While it is clear that highly followed blogs like Drudge on the right and Huffington Post or Daily Kos on the left have some influence, I wonder how much blogs, like talk radio, principally preach to choirs.

Preaching, even if magnificently, to the congregation only produces a satisfied congregation. It makes tons of money for Rush Limbaugh and Fox News, but to what extent is it increasing the flock? I have no delusions that this blog has changed a single vote. It hasn't. Do the most popular and highly respected blogs change votes? Sure? Seriously, can you name someone who was going to vote for one candidate switch to another because of Espresso Pundit or Seeing Red? Can you?

Back in the spring of 2006, when Gabrielle Giffords faced Jeff Latas and Patty Weiss for the Democratic nomination for CD8, the blogs were new and the medium was fresh. Comment threads exploded to 200+ with dramatic vitriol and sophomoric cyber carnage. I remember a Daily Kos thread that went nuclear, ending with a few remarks by myself and Sirocco, who wrote, "Aren't we all just talking to walls?"

We have come a long way, but have we? I have come full circle and distinguished a new concept I will apply to myself as much as anyone, the difference between 1) creating information worth reading and 2) crafting yet another distortion to preserve a point of view. To the degree blogs degenerate into point of view preservation they become junk for junkies, talk radio trash for gullible filth. Let's cut a video to 20 frames (2/3 of a second) of Giffords saying one word and repeat it five times. Please, god, please, let us get an image of Grijalva picking his nose. It's twinkie politics and twinkie blogging. Until shown otherwise, twinkie blogging is talking to walls and preaching to choirs, forwarding nothing.

The distinction separates substance/argument from fabricated frames based on empty foundations. John Galt has received more attention recently. Ayn Rand's earlier work, The Fountainhead, features media mogul and multimillionaire Gail Wynand and his newspaper, The New York Banner. He makes a fortune telling morons what they want to hear (familiar?). He imagines himself on top of the world. When the time comes for him to say something not in line with what his customers want, it doesn't go well.

I am deeply questioning whether these blogs (mine, too) say a thing to a single person outside of their circle of agreement. Perhaps after processing, I will realize that an objective making sense is to offer additional perspective and supportive literature that empowers the circle. If at the same time, I can provide useful material for others, the enterprise is worthwhile.

I have become a pretty disgusted blogger. Some blogs have clearly become extra violins in a saturated orchestra, adding no value at all. I question my own and wonder if I am wasting my time. I've had this feeling before. It is the beforemath, the place one experiences before a transformation. It is not comfortable, and it involves the unknown. I don't know where this place is headed, but I know what it is leaving.


Anonymous Art Jacobson said...

I believe that blogs still fulfill an important function, even when they are being read by the choir.

It's impossible, with so much going on,to catch every new story, every new turn of the screw. I count on fellow bloggers to point out events that I might otherwise have missed.

8/24/2009 10:14 PM  
Blogger Casey DeLorme, APR said...

Can you equate The Federalist Papers with a blog?

8/25/2009 8:33 AM  
Anonymous Fred said...

Is this the Giffords video you were talking about?

8/25/2009 9:28 AM  
Anonymous Fred said...

8/25/2009 9:30 AM  
Blogger The Navigator said...

Thanks, Fred, for posting what has to be one of stupidest videos I've ever seen. I couldn't even finish it and felt slimed and insulted. How can anyone believe butchering video like that is effective? So she misspoke a word. So what? It's no different than pasting someone's head on a pornographic image.

What Art says is what a blog is capable of doing, but I don't know how many are any good. Blog for AZ can be pretty informative at times. For awhile there I was reading the right wing blogs, but they have gone bat shit, as suggested by the video above.

Some blogs do a good job of getting all sorts of inside scoop, but I get bored with inside scoop. I just don't care.

This is the most interesting blog I've found. Just about every post has something of value, and some posts are incredible. I could not agree more with x4mr about blogs and actual elections. No one is changing anyone's views, let alone an actual vote. It all reinforcement of existing views, like the video above which cements my vote FOR GIFFORDS.

8/25/2009 10:32 AM  
Blogger Liza said...

Ditto to what Art said. None of us know everything.

About the Giffords video, she will just have to grow some thick skin because this is what she is going to be dealing with in CD8.

No matter how many videos these people create, facts are stubborn and the internet is full of evidence of their lies and their fearmongering and their assinine signs and comments. And, yes, swastikas and guns have been displayed by the wingnut fringe.

They know it. That is why they made this stupid little video that amuses absolutely no one but them.

They ridicule Giffords for making a grammatical error as if a single grammatical error should negate all of someone's credibility. I am certain that none of them have ever made or ever will make a grammatical error.

Could they be more absurd? It would be quite difficult.

I've said this before, probably on this blog, that if you look at and listen to the people in the video you might give up. You might start to think that you should just let events take their course and allow these people to take America to what would be it's logical conclusion. Dare we even ponder what that would be? I think we all know.

I know one thing with absolute certainty that I learned as a very small child witnessing the civil rights movement. That is that if you focus anywhere, on any one event or any one person or any one thing at all, you can't succeed. There is a reason they are called movements.

So, X4mr, all I can tell you is that if you want to drive the train, you have to keep your eye on the rail. The wingnuts are in your peripheral vision, yes, but they are not at the end of the line.

If you ever doubt the influence of a blog, check out Ta-Nehisi Coates over at The Atlantic.

8/25/2009 10:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Liza is spot on. I think x4mr read a little too much of the quackery and had a weak moment of self-doubt.

We will no doubt be subjected to all sorts of inanity, screaming, and shrill efforts to invent any notion, no matter how false, and then try to stir up the crazies about the notion.

So far we have:

1. Obama not a citizen (false)
2. Death panels (false)
3. Invasion of bank accounts (false)
4. Granny trains to death camps (false)
5. Rationed care (true but we already ration care)
6. Obama is like Hitler (but no reason why)
7. Obama is a socialist (no reason why)
8. Obama is a Muslim (false)

The Republicans who think 2010 will be like 1994 are forgetting something. Hint: Sonia.

8/25/2009 12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was extremely interesting for me to read the blog. Thanx for it. I like such topics and everything that is connected to this matter. I would like to read more soon.

11/21/2009 6:00 PM  

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