Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Docs Self-Heal, Blog-Style

So, from a recent News-Press article, Ted Mills actually gets some shit really effing correct: Hal-a-(in-lieu)-ya!!! We would have posted sooner, but alas, all that typing. On blogging....
But all of sudden, because of a few high-profile resignations in the media world and the still-underreported news that an uncredentialed male prostitute (yep, please Google "Jeff Gannon") was being allowed into White House briefings to lob talking-point softballs at White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, bloggers are now "news."

The mainstream is acting like bloggers are a newly discovered lost tribe, or a new genus. But what's really freaking these commentators out, I think, is that bloggers are now doing the job that journalists should be doing -- you know, investigating, finding the facts and the truth -- instead of scribbling GOP press briefings, getting their noses brown and looking for book deals.

But what has this to do with books and reading? Well, in this culture of blogger hysteria, where the legitimacy of writers on the Web is sending all sorts of cultural critics into semantic huffing and puffery, comes this ridiculous article by Michael Gorman, president-elect of the American Library Association. The ALA is usually cool about things -- they've been on top of various censorship and First Amendment issues -- so who knows what justified Mr. Gorman's rant, a puerile slagging off of all things blogger.

In an editorial that purports to be about Google's "universal library" idea (the use, implications and design of which are all debatable), Mr. Gorman piles on the offense and crass generalizations. All writers of blogs are "unpublishable, untrammeled by editors or the rules of grammar" who can't enjoy "sustained reading of complex texts."

They are likened to illiterates, or sewage (because "blog" sounds like "drain clog"), or protohumans (he calls them "blog people"), while Mr. Gorman, trying desperately to elevate himself above the punnage, likens himself to a wise learned man, all Galileo-like, attacked by the masses as a "heretic."


Yet nowhere does Mr. Gorman name one blog he's read, not one blogger (yes, some write under pseudonyms, some don't) or quote or link to one URL. And all this in an article posted online! It's this intellectual laziness and hypocrisy that astounds me, especially from somebody representing learning and reading. Maybe next week's column can be a jeremiad against these new-fangled, so-called "magazines," based upon a sample read of Motor Boats Monthly, Action Figure Collector and Juggs.

Listen, Mr. Gorman, bloggers are writers, plain and simple. Some are brilliant, some are bad. Some are professional writers who write for
the fun of it on the side. Imagine that, writing that's not a commodity! Others are amateurs who write loose and free -- they know this and make no apology for it. Some are political, some are not. Blogs can be all these things, but most importantly, they are a sort of democratization of information, open for all to read if they want.

It's almost like . . . a library.
Hear the man, hear Ted the Great!

One quick note: Ted, how's about a meeting with WenMcTedArm letting them/they know that practically every other regional and California daily has a model making their current content available online for free!!! Your opinion, ahem, applies, at least in part, to your very own publisher. So, whatcha think about that?

By the way, we'd link to you, but we can't.... Perhaps we'll see ya' online at the News-Bereft in the "classifeds" Ted. But hey, cheers for the great article. We loved it so much, Sara and I practically made a baby. Woulda been named Ted. Or Sheila.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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10/30/2005 5:38 PM  

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