Wednesday, January 3, 2007



The blogs are not as significant as their self-endeared curators would like to think. Journalism requires journalists, who are at least fitfully confronting the digital age. The bloggers, for their part, produce minimal reportage. Instead, they ride along with the MSM like remora fish on the bellies of sharks, picking at the scraps.

More success is met in purveying opinion and comment. Some critics reproach the blogs for the coarsening and increasing volatility of political life. Blogs, they say, tend to disinhibit. Maybe so. But politics weren't much rarefied when Andrew Jackson was president, either. The larger problem with blogs, it seems to me, is quality. Most of them are pretty awful. Many, even some with large followings, are downright appalling.

Every conceivable belief is on the scene, but the collective prose, by and large, is homogeneous: A tone of careless informality prevails; posts oscillate between the uselessly brief and the uselessly logorrheic; complexity and complication are eschewed; the humor is cringe-making, with irony present only in its conspicuous absence; arguments are solipsistic; writers traffic more in pronouncement than persuasion . . .

- Joseph Rago, in The Blog Mob: Written By Fools To Be Read By Imbeciles, in WSJ's OpinionJournal.

Definitions of remora on the Web:

a animal that sucks on a shark and rides along with the shark

marine fishes with a flattened elongated body and a sucking disk on the head for attaching to large fish or moving objects

- from the Google search: define: remora


RC666 said...

Maybe your blogs are like a remora, you did just post a spot from another blog, but mine is completely original following my pathetic life through the times. But also with me commenting on how shows rocked or sucked with pics from my event which none of my readers care about and doesn't help me gain new ones.

Blogs are dying out.

brad.reader said...

Perhaps blogs are living things and the rules of Darwin apply. The weak will die out but the strong will survive. Did the offspring named Lexicon inherit enough of the strong genes of father Smudge to survive?

John said...

rc666 - Well, this blog is like a remora. I think I meant to say that without saying it, just posting the commentary. So you learned a new word - I'm accomplishing my mission of arming the vocab-challenged! Haha. No, really, this is just a place for me to mark interesting things that I've read, in the guise of a word-of-the-day blog. Sort of like Arts & Letters Daily, which posts nothing that hasn't already been written, but RULES anyway, because it points people who actually read to interesting things.

brad.reader - Unfortunately, this one might not last as long as the mighty Smudge. I suspect the article readers will die out before the music downloaders do, at least in the short term.

I guess this is my little corner of the world for now...I'm like the last ivory-billed woodpecker.