Sunday, April 06, 2008

Blogging kills: I read it in the New York Times

Jeneane is to be credited with bringing to our attention a new low of New York Timesian stupidity - so deep and dense a nadir as to make us wonder whether the author ever managed to escape the black hole he wrote himself into.

The illogic is patent: Two males who blogged have died -- one 60, one 50 years of age -- ergo blogging is dangerous to your health.

Passing over that in silence, I will say that Jeneane manages to make her own intelligent point despite having such material to work with. Blogging, she notes, has decayed -- and has done so, in fact, much as other initially exuberant new forms have been known to do. She's right, although that does not mean there are no longer interesting blogs, including Jeneane's. That's fodder for another post.

I'll settle for two quick observations:

1. The Times article stands at # 1 in the Times' own "Most Popular - Technology" list. Major surprise: blogging's bogus lethality caught the attention of, huzzzah, bloggers. Were the Times not sure its asinine pretext would get such attention, the article's tortured premise would have remained unexplored. For the moment blogging is, as Times readers know, the Paris Hilton of technology tags.

Which leads directly to:

2. Given the venality of the subject and its treatment, we might as well ask: is there any tastelessness to which the Times will not stoop? Marc Orchant is cited merely as a man who blogged and died. That he left a young family, devoted friends, and a community of devoted readers is beside the point. Let's work him into some tripe about blogging and watch the clicks tote up.

Which is why you'll find no link to the tripe herein.

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Blogger Jeneane Sessum said...

just when we thought it might couldn't get any more absurd. I hope you appreciate my use of the southern vernacular.

Keep blogging, but PLEASE be safe, and make sure you get your doctor's okay before you post anything---you know----newsy.

much love,

4/06/2008 10:42 PM  
Blogger Tom Matrullo said...

yeah, thanks for the heads-up - come to think of it, I'm pretty sure reading the NYT is the leading cause of, if not death, something very much like it - astygmatic mentational occlusion, I think is the technical term.



4/07/2008 12:12 AM  
Blogger Juke said...

It's Freudian, right? They want bloggers to die. Bloggers have ruined everything, all that pipeline to glory exclusivity, the glamor and drama of news bureaus and foreign contacts and expense accounts; the gravy train they thought they had a berth on for keeps.
Bloggers keep busting their shit so publicly and so aptly it must be maddening to be inside those walls, peering out at all those equally capable keyboardists, peering in.
At this point, and it's still shifting, but right now I'd guess the Times and its drones are fallen just a little shy of parity with the major player news blogs. And still slipping with the shift. FOX and CNN can count on the Wal-Martians for advertiser stats, because the Wal-Martians can't read, but the Times was for smart people. Now it's just one more set of aggregate news pages, no longer anything like the paper of record it once was. Blogging did that, so of course they want bloggers to die.

4/08/2008 2:51 AM  
Blogger Jon said...

IMO pretty much spot on, Juke.

Used to be that official knowledge was power (all our institutions are "architected" based on core assumptions that knowledge (both proffered and in use) is arranged vertically ... she who has the most knowledge at the top, etc.

Now, for better and worse, attention is becoming power .. and the official institution of yesteryear are losing that attention, inexorably. Of course they want, and need, any gatecrashers to die (or at least be kicked downstairs to be locked in the basement).

4/08/2008 12:58 PM  
Anonymous Sheila Lennon said...

Leave it to Doc to get felled by a lung clot just as we'd sneeered that back under the bed.

My whole family asked if I'd seen that story, one by one.

4/10/2008 12:53 AM  

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