Which is always exhilarating.
From Jeet Heer at The New Republic:
What Were Blogs?The demise of Gawker.com also marks the end of the utopian promise of blogging. Here's what killed them.
By my reckoning, this is the 25th or 26th "Blogging is dead" article I have read in the last 10 years. Let's see where this one goes.
At the height of the blogging craze, there were even utopian claims made on its behalf: Blogging would give us (finally) the Republic of Letters that the Enlightenment promised, a world where everyone could be a writer and find an audience—an interconnected network where, in true McLuhanesque fashion, a divided world would become a unified global village.
For the record, I was never for believing "utopian claims", nor did I really doubt the media establishment's ability to smother and/or co-opt anything that threatens it. What I did underestimate was the Beltway media's capacity to simply deny the reality on a mass scale. To haul up the draw bridges, hunker down and play the "Both Sides" game indefinitely from behind an impenetrable wall of money and clout regardless of how massively the facts debunked their bullshit narrative.
In this case the obit was made funnier by this Tweet from the author, crowd-sources the existence of "bloggers" before he put the pennies on our eyes. Sadly, I did not make the cut (Spoiler: I never make the cut.)
Crowd sourcing question: what blogs do you read?— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) August 24, 2016
Mr. Heer continues:
To judge by Read’s account, both Gawker and blogging were victims of their own success, albeit in very different ways. Gawker got big enough to earn a frighteningly powerful enemy, a relentless and unforgiving man who deployed his vast resources and the legal system to crush the publication. Blogging got so popular that it caught the attention of the mainstream media, which bought up the best talent, and of Silicon Valley, which recast the writer’s medium from an intimate platform that was all about voice to a social network all about clicks and shares. Banks are lucky enough to be too big to fail; Gawker and blogging were too big to succeed.
Look, blogging is just writing and I write well. Better than 90% of the hacks and clowns who get paid to push a pen around at any rate.. And my record demonstrated that I have been on the right side of (and way the fuck ahead of the curve on) more important issues in American politics and media than the aforementioned, 90% of the pundits who get paid to push a pen around.
I have worked media before. Been on radio many, many times. Been on teevee many times. Written for mass audiences. I have a pleasant voice. I think fast on my feet. I know the issues and how rto frame a cogent argument. I know how to wear a tie and how not to say "fuck" when the little red light is on. And yet after 11 years at this keyboard and six years podcasting, I cannot snag a gig putting words in a row anywhere.
I have also heard on good authority that Serious People actually do read what I write and like it, but that I am too "strident: for the medium of, say, television.
Which I mull over as I watch Lawrence O'Donnell handing a platform over to Glenn Fucking Beck.
Followed the next day by Chris Matthews putting Ann Coulter on television to promote her shitpile of a book.
Followed the next day by Chris Hayes putting the Southern Fucking Avenger on television who repented of his sins a few minutes ago which qualifies him to explain that the best way to deal with racism is to ignore it and also too, Both Sides!
I care about moving beyond groupthink where right and left stop dehumanizing people more than I care about a flag.
Followed by Lawrence O'Donnell, this time handing a platform over to Ben "Turd Tornado" Shapiro.
Followed by... followed by... followed by... (h/t Aaron Sorkin.)
So stridency is not the issue. Neither is competence, or facility with language. I would also point out that MSNBC (just to pick on them) also employs a whole contingent serial liars, barely-sentient has-beens, Obvious Merit Hires like Lil' Luke Russert (h/t Charlie Pierce) and various human-shaped algorithms whose sole purpose is to sit in chair and say "Both Sides" on cue.
Anyway, these people and their conspiracies are so thoroughly protected from scrutiny and accountability as to make what I do here laughable -- so far above my pay-grade that I can't see their aglets from here. And maybe putting these little words in a row was ultimately a waste of time and effort that could have been better spent write ad copy for boner pills and high-end vacation getaways.
But here's the irony: while blogging itself may have been too big to succeed, as a blogger -- as a writer -- I remain too small to care :-)