Sunday, April 23, 2006

WSJ on How Blogs Will Destroy Us All

I’m really much to busy to spend time on this, but I can’t help it. One of my favorite hobbies is collecting examples of conservatives worrying about the latest cultural phenomenon that threatens everything. These always tend to be Rube-Goldberg contraptions that required snapping rubber bands, flying ping-pong balls and leaps of logic before the End of All We Hold Dear payoff. My favorites are Alan Bloom’s chapter on rock music and a mid-90s column demonstrating how Fleet Street’s obsession with Royal scandal would bring down British democracy.

So it is with The WSJ's Daniel Henniger's Friday column on blogs. He starts with a sensationalist case, reassures us that he’s not blaming that on blogs – oh no, not at all – then walks through the wackier provinces of blognation before his big leap:

A libertarian would say, quite correctly, that most of this is their problem, so who cares? But there is one more personality trait common to the blogosphere that, like crabgrass, may be spreading to touch and cover everything. It's called disinhibition. Briefly, disinhibition is what the world would look like if everyone behaved like Jerry Lewis or Paris Hilton or we all lived in South Park.
OK, let’s stop there. “Disinhibition” has been conservative bugbear at least since Elvis Presley. Does he honestly think blogs up the risk over, say, the Springer show?

But here’s my favorite:

Then there's politics. On the Huffington Post yesterday, there were more than
600 "comments" on Karl Rove and the White House staff shake-up. "Demoted my --- the snake is still in the grass." "He should be demoted to Leavenworth." "Rove is Bush's Brain, and without him, our Decider-in-Chief wouldn't know how to wipe his own ----."

From a primary post on the same subject on the Daily Kos, widely regarded as one of the most influential blogging sites in Democratic politics now: "I don't give a ----. Karl Rove belongs in shackles." "A group of village whores have taken a day off to do laundry."

Intense language like this used to be confined to construction sites and corner bars. Now it is normal discourse on Web sites, the most popular forums for political discussion. Much of this is new. Politics is a social endeavor. The Web is nothing if not "social." But the blogosphere is also the product not of people meeting, but
venting alone at a keyboard with all the uninhibited, bat-out-of-hell hyperbole
of thinking, suggestion and expression that this new technology seems to release.
Is he kidding me? This has been going on in venues all over society forever. Blogs cause this? Lefty blogs in particular cause this? Has he read nothing in the comments of Free Republic or Little Green Footballs? Can anyone possibly take an argument like this seriously? I mean it’s a total fucking . . . I mean it's a goddam . . . Wait . . .What’s happening to me?


Noooooo! That's not my style! I can't help myself!!


Oh NO! He’s right! It’s affecting me . . .


Must . . . stop . . . reading . . . blogs . . .


keng said...

Hehehe! Your funniest blog yet! I'm sure you'll be "cured" soon enough...I haven't been reading Huffington lately due to a lack of personal time...maybe I should be, GODDAMMIT!

Jill said...

Aw, Keng stole my thunder, I was about to say, Scott! You are so funny!

I'm trying to limit my click-throughs these days, I just get too far afield. But does this column actually say that blogs have a causal relation to this type of banter? That, obviously, is absurd.


On the other hand, I guess he's using his column exactly the same way? To vent thoughts that, in the past, would have either stayed in his head or been tossed off in some other conversational setting.

Lisa Renee said...

awwwww Pho has potty fingers...


grandpaboy said...

"Daniel Henniger is my baby's daddy!"

If I can slip on my William F. Buckley smoking jacket and George Will bow tie for a moment, what can we expect of a newspaper that proudly employs men who beat women?

Steven J. Kelso Sr. said...

Potty fingers ... LOL!