Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Bitch & Moan

Yeah, so I haven't been blogging. What's kept me from it will soon be taken care of, so don't give up on me just yet.

(And yes, those who know me through other sites know that I haven't been completely silent. But it's so much easier to post to a message board than it is to blog. At least, it is for me.)

Anyway, I dont much care for what this site's become. It lacks direction. My old posts are too personal and some of them are just wrong. For instance, I stated that fascism is internationalist when it is not. What I meant was that it's expansionist, and so universally so that expansionism for its own sake, which is to say for power's own sake (what Henry and Brooks Adams meant by saying a country could "swing the club"), is a useful indicator for evidence of proto- or crypto- fascism. Also, I was wrong, apparently, about a resurgence of Kissingerism being evidenced by the attempted coup in central Africa, the failure of which disgraced Mark Thatcher (but then I'd be very surprised if Thatcher didnt, at the very least, have clearance from one of our fine "freedom-loving" intelligence agencies). I'm also not so sure about Ward Churchill, though I never fleshed out on this site where I thought he was right or wrong, and still view with contempt those critics of his who refuse to acknowledge that the United States government has commited genocide in its history, for which it has not paid a price, and over which there is a specter of collective guilt, and shall ever be until that price is paid.

Blah. I'm also disenchanted with some fellow-travellers and their blogging ethics and general style. Let me get out of the way the fact that I know my readers are few and my influence is tiny: this is not about self-delusion, but about principle. For one, I'm tempted to embargo, with a parting fuck-you, those liberals who are so pecksniff about "civil discourse", the euphemism for writing, often tepid, and moral and political judgments, often banal. For them, it seems, one either writes like Green Chucky & the Little Football Nazis or one must write like Josh Marshall and, heaven forbid, Kevin Drum: anything in between is right out. No passion. Worse, no outrage. Only the most knuckle-dragging of reactionaries are allowed that response, because, don't you know, real analysis comes when the objectively centrist technocrat dons the labcoat, everyone's eyes glaze, and the only heartbeat is found in the comments and trackbacks. Of course fire and brimstone can be overdone, but so too can tepidity, and few demonstrate this better than the soft- or pseudo-liberals who, generally, dispense Recieved Opinion and are loathe to utter an occasional cleansing "fuck this shit" when conditions and Repug proposals insist upon it.

Blogrolls. It seems that the rule among big bloggers is that one must blog daily or nearly daily to even be considered for their roll. This is too much to ask. Blogging is by nature the vocation of the amateur or the dilettante; the bigger bloggers, some of whom can live on their ad revenue, I think tend to forget this fact, and thus their origin. It's frankly amazing how so many adopt Republican rhetoric when this subject comes up: something along the lines of, "I pulled myself up by my bootstraps, so can you." The irony here is that the big rightwing bloggers are for more likely to share the wealth, as it were, with their own -- which is why their side of the sphere has more vitality, and ours tends to concentration with a touch of plutocracy.

But there is something else in this, and that's the liberal penchant for cliques. While it's probably true that our standards are higher, it's also probably true that we are more likely to bubble off into groupuscles, with one not trafficking much with the other and vice-versa. It's not about ideology or groupthink or anything like that; it's more about taste. The New York Review wannabes have their own bubble, the pop-culture-vulture irreverents have theirs, the "hard analysis" academics theirs, and so on.

Now, if anyone new reads the above, they will probably think I'm envious, have been spurned, etc etc, and I though I know that's a likely conclusion to draw, I honestly dont think it's true (save for one instance, when Roy Edroso of alicublog told me to remind him to add me to the blogroll, and when I did just that left me hanging and looking like a dick in his comments). Look, if I want attention, that's what trackbacks are for. Also, if someone like Kevin Drum did link to me, I wouldn't feel right about it unless it was to attack me.

Blah blah blah. Anyway, I'm thinking seriously of purging the first 6 months of the archive, and of looking into the movable type platform.

(This post was composed in a state of considerable inebriation. Sorry.)

*Edited now that I'm sobered up. Also, I'm not quitting, just bitching. One more thing, digamma should (while bearing in mind my complaint about tepidity apropos style) read this and this about the dread Kevin Drum.

** In comments, Aunt Jenna, presumably sober, summed up very nicely a point I tried to make above:

but it is funny to watch bloggers duplicate the exact kind of exclusive communities online that drove them to blogging in the first place. People excluded from mainstream journalism and academia are now excluding others from blogtopia, or something.

Yes. Now go read Jenna's blog and be reminded how wit, sarcasm, and a fine bullshit detector is preferable to the mealy-mouthed crapola that "serious" Rockefeller Republican "liberal" bloggers peddle.