s skippy the bush kangaroo

skippy the bush kangaroo

Friday, January 31, 2003

blog me with a spoon - a skippy rant

courtesy of pandagon, we find the usually estute tamara baker wondering aloud if blogging is all that worthwhile over on american politics journal.

tamara quotes fergy foont, who writes on a discussion board somewhere:

to my way of thinking, blogs are a form of self-flattery, and when their nature is largely political they are a waste of time that could be spent doing something with greater impact.

blogs were designed largely to be the on-line equivalent of a personal diary, for jotting down personal observations likely to be read only by one's future self and maybe somebody else who inadvertently stumbles onto it and opens it out of a sort of voyeurism.

when one commits one's political opinions and observations to a blog, the blogger's time could be far better spent putting it into a discussion forum or into a letter to an editor or public official.

well, we think we are great, and we are the best and most brilliant. oh, you're right! blogs are a form of self-flattery! ok, we'll spot you that one.

we're not sure that you can say blogs were designed to be on-line diaries; maybe they were, but they have evolved beyond that. to be sure, there are countless on-line diaries, but those are pretty self-evident, and not easily confused with political blogs.

political blogs have become a new form of dialogue. let's even leave aside the fact that a lot of blogs have comment sections for actual give-and-take, call-and-response, i-talk-then-you-talk conversation. heck, mydd and daily kos often have open threads, simply for discussing whatever their readers decide to talk about.

but the blogs themselves become parts of an open dialogue in blogtopia (y!wctp!*). witness atrios and instapundit opining about glenn's dad. witness our own often passionate but always polite arguments with gweilo diaries and mr. helpful. and what would mr. foont call fisking, if not a dialogue. a stupid, amateurish, intellectually-dishonest dialogue, to be sure, but technically a dialogue.

we wonder why mr. foont (and ms. baker, by extension) thinks bloggers don't write "letters to the editor," or anyone else, for that matter. has either of them bothered to to acquaint themselves with take back the media's boycott limbaugh's sponsor campaign, a letter-writing agenda that has so far succeeded with 3 different sponsors (now ex-sponsors) of the limbaugh show? how about democratic veteran's extolling everyone to help track down awol's discharge papers? hey, isn't that actually "doing something with greater impact"?

sorry to point this out, but skippy not only writes regularly to editors and congressjerks, he has participated in, and even organized recent marches and rallies.

so, we hate to pull out the landmark supreme court decision of rubber v. glue (1966), wherein the court stated "all of defendant glue's balements for consideration are out of necessity lawfully rescinded by plaintiff rubber and are hereby retracted to defendant permanently."

but one could apply mr. foont's logic to mr. foont (and even ms. baker). why are they wasting their time writing on line articles and dealing with on line discussion boards, when they could be tending to the sick, visiting congresspeople's offices in person, or running for office themselves? why is one form of on line writing more valuable than another?

and, to be perfectly honest, we were a bit non-plussed that this article appeared american politics journal, which links so often to blogs (today's first big link: scoobie davis -- a blogger!); yes, apj links to many blogs, including our own, and their editors have praised skippy's work in emails. besides, what is apj, besides a big blog written by a lot of different people? in fact, what are time, national review, wall street journal and the washington post, besides old-fashioned dead trees blogs?

ms. baker wonders if the plethora of blogs will become a time suck...again, the same could be said of online political 'zines (ibid, rubber v. glue), or in fact anything that anybody does to avoid dealing with the real world (not a reference to barbara and jenna). communications tools don't kill valuable time usage, people kill valuable time usage.

to be frank, we at skippy have encounterd mr. foont's opinions on discussion forums before, mostly the salon forum, before talbot asked us for money to express our opinions (that's when we got our own damn blog, thank you very much). correct us if we are wrong, (and if we are, we apologize in advance) but it seems we remember mr. foont being banned for a while from that forum. now, that has nothing to do with his premise, other than to cast doubt on the legitimacy of telling the rest of blogtopia (y!wctp*) exactly what and what isn't a useful vehicle for disseminating opinions (if you can't behave in a salon forum, goodness, who are you to tell us that we are wasting our time?)

mr. foont, (whose pseudonymn seems to be a bastardization of the handle for mr. natural's sidekick) we'd respectfully suggest that your time could be better spent not putting down the vessels through which other people express their views, and get a job.

ok, that was harsh. just re-focus yourself against the corporate invasion of our government, and don't be throwing those stones through your plate glass house, dude.

(*y!wctp! = yes! we coined that phrase!)
posted by skippy at 10:39 AM |


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