What is this, a few journalists have discovered blogs for the first time and have decided they just don’t like ’em? This fellow Zengerle seems to see them as a threat to the Republic, and now some guy named Quin Hillyer at the American Spectator weighs in, with some devastating complaints.
- He is shocked at the funny names. “What the heck, for instance, is ‘Echidne of the Snakes‘ or ‘Nyarlathotep’s Miscellany‘?” Whoa. Burn. I’m sure glad I didn’t pick a weird name for my blog.
- He doesn’t get Fafblog. He seems to think it’s about stilted writing, rather than some of the sharpest mockery of the Right around. Satire and humor are things that Serious Journalists do not use, I guess.
- He doesn’t quite understand how links work. “Here’s a test: Visit any blog site that has a list of permalinks to other blogs, and pick the most seemingly off-topic link you can find. Within three blog links, you’re likely to find somebody advertising ‘Nude Live Babes!’ or ‘Celebrities In The Raw!’ or somesuch.” It’s true. I have discovered that you can get from my site to Michelle Malkin or Little Green Footballs in only two clicks. I am so ashamed.
- There’s the horrible narcissism. “The blogs particularly lend themselves to a bizarre combination of attention deficit and what I’ll call the ‘Shouting-From-The-Rooftops Syndrome,’ a malady in which every utterance is deemed worthy of broadcast because, well, it’s mine, dammit, and I now have a forum on which to broadcast it.” Unlike, say, a print journalist for the American Spectator, who would never write an article expressing his gosh-wow reaction to discovering there is pr0n on the intarweb, and that you can get there by clicking on links. He would only write important stuff.
- Worst of all, blogging tempts one into sin. “But what it doesn’t encourage is reflection, patience or, to stress again, discipline. And its wild informality, including the use and misuse of the written world, does not lend itself to careful persuasiveness.” That’s right, diversity and creativity are wicked…and are probably much too liberal for Mr Hillyer. People who write every day, day in and day out, for years can’t possibly have any discipline—writing because they love writing? Horrors! Where are the deadlines, the editors with whips, the challenge of a requirement to make Dick Cheney sound sensible and important? And how can you possibly find careful persuasive writers when the Nude Live Babes beckon?
Oh, well. Quin Hillyer (hey, wait a minute…what is he doing complaining about funny names?) really just cares about us. He even gives us parenting advice.
So, a memo to parents: Don’t let your children sit at their computers all day long. Even if they must be inside (outside exercise is often better), encourage them to read books and newspapers, to play board games, even to write notes to each other with pen and paper. That way they’ll learn to communicate rather than just to emote.
Good point. I should kick the kids outside and tell them to enjoy some fresh air and blue skies today. But my kids do read books. They don’t seem to care for the newspapers much, and the magazines they read are probably not the ones Hillyer would approve (my oldest does read The Economist, though…), but he’s wrong, otherwise. Our kids are adopting and modifying new media—is he aware of how much the youth are texting and IMing and MMORPGing and blogging and MySpacing and Facebooking together? I am, barely, but I’m not going to discourage kids from innovating because I’m a cranky old fart who thinks writing doesn’t count unless it’s done with the Palmer method on a Big Chief pad. And it’s gotta be serious, dammit. None of this high-falutin’ satire.