s skippy the bush kangaroo: nsbp: the dreadful new strain of ted barlow disease

skippy the bush kangaroo

Thursday, February 15, 2007

nsbp: the dreadful new strain of ted barlow disease

readers of this space know that skippy is the first blogger to have isolated and identified the scourge of blogtopia (and yes, we coined that phrase): ted barlow disease.

ted barlow disease in a malady that manifests itself in bloggers, usually after two years of continuous blogging, which causes them to lose interest in posting their thoughts on a daily basis. named after ted barlow, who has irregularly blogged now and then since first being diagnosed with tbd in 2002, this disease has gone on to strike without warning at the biggest and smallest, best and worst bloggers. witness the recent retirement of billmon, one of the most erudite and prolific writers with one of the keenest minds in this medium.

until recently, this terrible affliction was, aside from carpal tunnel and flannel rash, the only disease known to specifically affect bloggers. however, with the sudden purges of top-flight blogrolls, and recent posts at mydd, it has become evident that tbd has mutated into a terrible new scourge: napoleon syndrome by proxy.

whereas sufferers of tbd become infused with an overall feeling of the uselessness of their work, those afflicted with napoleon syndrome by proxy undergo the opposite hallucination: they begin to believe that the work they do is more important than it actually is.

the first manifestation of this new strain was seen with the announcement over at eschaton of "blogroll amnesty day." without exhibiting any previous symptoms, atrios succumbed to an incomprehensible psychotic break that allowed him to see his blogroll as a tool for his own use, as opposed to the industry-wide accepted vision of blogroll as community support. since the appearance of symptoms was first officially observed at eschaton, this lead to the informal designation of the malady as the "duncan black plague."

the same outbreak went on to affect markos moulitsas and general jc christian, who also, operating under the delusion that their blogs were not beholding to the larger progressive identity, purged their rolls of the medium and smaller sites that make up the infrastructure of blogtopia, and yes, we coined that phrase.

bloggers infected with napoleon syndrome by proxy have lost the ability to empathize with their peers, and indeed believe that they no longer have peers. a general numbness of feelings with respect to democratic, egalitarian and liberal ideals towards individual people sets in. a sense of gradiose superiority overwhelms the bloggers, cutting them off from the reality of their situation: they are just guys with a web site.

a similar yet slightly different manifestation can be seen demonstrated by chris bowers at mydd. bowers recently began to exhibit bizarre behavior, claiming with a straight face that he wanted to be "an active member of the small clique, coterie or circle that identified the possibility for massive change and precipitated its manifestation." even worse than the strain of nsbp that has befallen moulitsas or black, this eruption is creating the delusion that chris is forefront of some sort of revolution, leading the rabble to throw off the "shackels of the elite" (we're not making this stuff up, folks). he no longer accepts the reality that he is, as stated above, just a guy with a web site.

napoleon syndrome by proxy is actually far more worrisome than the original ted barlow disease. whereas a sufferer of tbd would only refrain from blogging, for good or bad, it would only affect that one person.

but napoleon syndrome by proxy has untold consequences for others in blogtopia and yes, we coined that phrase. the purging of blogrolls, as has been stated elsewhere, cuts off cyber pathways to other blogs, as well as the overall dilution of google algorhythm heirarchies for the representation of the progressive blogs in general. linkage to and from major blogs can also affect ad revenue of the cut-off sites.

but even scarier is the fear that an outside observer might think that one of these poor minds full of disease is representative of the other, healthy bloggers. a casual reader might think that everybody who blogs thinks they are secretly leon trotsky with a keyboard, or, even worse, a virtual karl rove. this not only demeans the medium as a whole, it could very well help to negate any actual results bloggers may have had a small part in producing.

take, for instance, the democratic wins last november. napoleon syndrome by proxy could very possibly make the larger bloggers feel too important to work with the hoi-polloi of the rank and file netizens, and instead just assume that people will once again support (especially monetarily) the candidates the big blogs deem worthy. when markos stops reaching out to individual bloggers and blog-readers, he becomes the very thing he used to hold up for derision to fuel the engine that propelled him to the top: an insular, out-of-touch pontificating insider with little relation to reality.

what can be done to counteract napoleon syndrome by proxy? we suggest intervention.

go to the blogs which are manifesting signs of nsbp, and try to engage the blogger in a dialogue about the reality of his actions. (please do so respectfully... and slowly: sudden movement can frighten those afflicted with the disease, and cause unexpected and violent consequences, like banning, or troll rating).

failing that, we recommend not patronizing the offending blog. hopefully attrition will cause the disease to go into remission.

whatever happens, whether this new virulent strain can be contained, or whether we are facing a new pandemic of delusional thinking, we caution you to stay safe; visit several blogs daily, and try to read a diverse range of voices. do not, we repeat, do not entertain the idea that your blog is more interesting or better written than another.

if you have such thoughts, turn off the computer and walk away. go to a movie. read a book. in extreme cases, it is recommended that you actually hold a conversation with a live human being, face to face, in person. it's odd, we know, but it can be done.

remember, self-imposed ted barlow disease is far more desirable than even the beginnings of napoleon syndrome by proxy.

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posted by skippy at 3:18 PM |


This syndrome has been part of the progressive movement since the human race has first started making progress.

A social, familial, class or economic elite has power, disenfranchising the mass of people. The disenfranchised coalesce to throw down this elite and then... install a new elite. Marx had some pompous name for this process (the "historical dialectic"?); I call it depressing human stupidity.

The only interesting thing that the internet has added to this age-old process is such dramatic acceleration that time is actually flowing in reverse, with the both the new elite and its grassroots opposition coalescing before the new elite has actually accumulated any political power.

We're not going to get better leaders until we have better people.
commented by Blogger The Barefoot Bum, 4:20 PM PST  
Read a book or catch a movie, okay. But converse with a live human being? Isn't that a bit...extreme?
commented by Blogger Rez Dog, 6:39 PM PST  
Can someone tell me what this movement I'm supposedly a part actually stands for? Sanity isn't a political philosophy.
"do not entertain the idea that your blog is more interesting or better written than another"

But,skippy, this blog post certainly IS better and more interesting than what I've been reading elsewhere lately.
commented by Anonymous sjct, 9:27 AM PST  
I started reading this blog as a direct result of the blog roll purge, and I have to absolutely say that this is one of the funniest posts I have read in a long, long time.

Keep up the good work, and I am looking forward to a long weekend without even reading orange things -- but this kangaroo computer skippy thingy might put a smile on my face again as I saw another piece of wood or as my mind drifts while I feign interest in my granddaughter's intense appreciation of this week's rock collection.
Sometimes I want to put a non-blocking space in my text. Is &nsbp; the correct code?
commented by Blogger whig, 3:08 PM PST  
just one question... why was I not already reading the skippy blog, and can I possibly blame you for that rather than taking responsibility for my own reckless non-reading-skippy-enough-at-skippy's-own-site-ing.

I threw a Kosotopia, and I was wrong... blogtopia is better.

commented by Blogger theory, 4:07 PM PST  
by "theory" it means me, pyrrho.
commented by Blogger theory, 4:07 PM PST  
sometimes I want to put a non-blocking space in my text. Is &nsbp; the correct code?

i know; i almost made an html joke, quite inadvertantly, i assure you!
commented by Blogger skippy, 4:59 PM PST  
The phrase "we have become that which we hate the most" comes to mind. The same could be said about Bush except he has always been a psycopathic dry drunk from day one.
commented by Anonymous demeur, 10:24 PM PST  
pyrrho, i heard you been banned by the wizard of kos.

welcome to blogtopia!
commented by Blogger skippy, 12:35 AM PST  
Skippy, this is entirely un-called-for. Chris Bowers clearly stated he wanted to be part of a 'small clique', not an elite! An 'elite' is Totally Different! Cliques and elites have different energies, different vibrations, different astrological signs, and different coloured lights on their USB christmass trees!
These things may sound trivial to you, but they make a huge difference in the way we unworthies are sneered at ...
commented by Blogger llewelly, 6:53 PM PST  
Funny that someone who uses the royal "we" would attack others for being "Napoleonic".
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 11:56 PM PST  
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