So, there’s this lil’ ol’ blog called Little Green Footballs, and…What’s that? You’ve heard of it? Oh, hey! Small world.
Anyway, its creator – one Charles Johnson – used to delve through anti-war protests, rooting up extremists and decrying the “Loony Left”. Then, about a year ago, he flipped: nowadays he spends his time scouring Tea Parties for racists and bitching about the Right. Now, I’ve no beef with people changing their minds. Heck, how could I? I’ve changed mine so often it’s a standing example to knock Theseus’s ship from the water. I don’t have much sympathy for Johnson, though. Firstly, rather than discussing the nastier, venomous stuff he pumped out in the Bush years, he gave it a hoof beneath the carpet. Secondly, doesn’t the guy get bored? For nine years he’s rooted through the world of politics, spraying his spittle over the disfigured nuggets that he’s plucked out. Hey, I don’t want to moralise – whatever gets your soul through existence – but it seems like going to Venice and having a fit over a lone, floating condom.
It’s clear why Johnson does it, of course. It brought him readers. Recognition. Something to do with his time.
This may look like I’m blogging about blogging, by the way. I’m not. I’m blogging about thought, rhetoric and self-construction. On blogs. So, yeah – I guess it’s about blogging, too. Wat-eva. Thing is, lots of people – with none of Johnson’s incentives – spend their time condemning obscure racists; or passing on their party’s soundbites; or analysing statements for offensiveness. Heck, take me: you’re reading a guy who spent time – valuable, free time – fisking a Sarah Palin speech. Who chewed yards of a comment thread comparing, and denouncing, the “insensitive” words of Bozza and Ken. (Christ, I wish that time had a returns policy.) With the yawning expanse of existence – dark as it is – it’s depressing that I – and, less viscerally, others – coop their minds up with this junk. The road to enlightenment doesn’t stop at the edge of one’s tribal territory, it winds off into all sorts of interesting nooks and crannies. That’s the fun of it, in fact; unless you think there’s a destination.
That’s why I tut, and frown, and purse my lips when I come across stuff like this…
I’m sick of opinion blogging. Everyone has an opinion and frankly it all gets very repetitive eventually. Plus, lefties love writing long articles when a short, punchy one-liner will do.
There are two kinds of content I believe will be key to the success of political blogging: news and analysis.
Basically, more political strategy. We seem to be churning out a lot of thoughts on what we hate or like but having very little discussion of the mechanisms or process that’s required in order to get there.
Argh! No! This could only make the whole thing tiresome. Fresh, ripe young bloggers will become entrenched: their hand-me-down views never challenged or even explored. The vast sweep of human knowledge, and the murky, less travelled lands beyond, will become reduced to dark, cloistered suburbs, and they’ll dwell, stultified, bitching about the folks across the road. Oh, reader, I’ve been that future and it’s fucking tedious.
Still, in fairness to Sunny, he’s trying to put together a movement. Movements need to be unified, not divided; they call for certitude, and would become disfigured by ambiguity. That, I think, is a split in our delightfully nebulous ‘sphere: the progs (building up, or tearing down) and the clogs (as in “clever”, or thick, dull and wooden). I’ll stop there: you know you’re a poor advert for unbound curiosity when you begin to sound like Malcolm-bleeding-Gladwell.
P.S. As this is a post that’s kind of on blogging, I’ll take the opportunity to publically apologise to Peter Hitchens. That is all.