Image Hosted by

Off the top

A blog dedicated to the Source of everything good.

Friday, December 30, 2005

From the editorial page

(of the local newspaper): “Some second thoughts on merit of bloggers” (or Lord of the Blogs), by Kathleen Parker. Admittedly I don’t know much about Kathleen Parker, but after reading her piece I think I‘m OK with that.

Of all the stories leading America’s annual greatest-hits list, the one that subsumes the rest is the continuing evolution of information in the Age of Blogging.

Really? From whose perspective?

Not since the birth of the printing press

Please, stop stealing lines...
have our lives been so dramatically affected by the way we create and consume information

What about the millions of Americans who have no clue what a blog is?
-- both to our enormous benefit and, perhaps, to our growing peril.

I’m chewing my fingernails...
What is wonderful and miraculous about the Internet

needs little elaboration.

But frankly there’s something creepy about the explosion we now call the Blogosphere -- the big-bang “electroni-verse” where recently wired squatters set up new camps each day.

Creepy? Squatters?? Who’s camping? Are you camping? I’m not camping, I live here!

Although I’ve been a blog fan since the beginning,

and have written favorably about the value added to journalism and public knowledge thanks to the new “citizen journalist,”

*rolling eyes*
I’m also wary of power untempered by restraint and accountability.


I now jump up the editorial page to an essay by the inimitable and ubiquitous (don’t you just love those words?) Maureen Dowd: “Cheney’s a skulking menace.” (A restrained headline) Here's Dowd:

The vice-president, who believes in unwarranted, unlimited snooping, is so pathologically secretive…

Vice is literally a shadow president. He’s obsessive about privacy -- but, unfortunately, only his own.

What was that about restraint and accountability? Oh yeah. Now back to Parker’s, uh, camp:
Say what you will about the so-called mainstream media

There’s not really a mainstream media?
but no industry agonizes more about how to improve its product, police its own members and better serve its communities.

*cough, gag!* Oh, there’s a picture of Parker in my dictionary under “sanctimonious.”
Bloggers persist no matter their contributions or quality,

so do reporters and columnists
though most would have little to occupy their time were the mainstream media to disappear tomorrow.

Please. Oh, there's a picture of her under “sophomoric” too.
They hold the same megaphone as the adults

and enjoy perceived credibility owing to membership in the larger world of blog grownups.

These effete and often clever baby “bloggies” are rich in time and toys, but bereft of adult supervision.

Oh, puh-lease! But wait, it gets better...

by whom?
and undisciplined, they have grabbed the mike and seized the stage, a privilege granted not by years in the trenches,

The trenches?
but by virtue of a three-pronged plug and the miracle of WiFi.

That's all it takes??
What we’re witnessing as the Blogosphere’s offspring multiply -- is that people tend to abuse power when it is unearned and will bring down others to enhance themselves.

Yep, a three-pronged plug, WiFi, and there it is: unlimited POWER!!

Speaking of power, back to Maureen Dowd:

Rummy, a Ford chief of staff who became defense secretary, and his protégé, Cheney, who succeeded him as chief of staff, felt diminished by the post-Watergate laws and reforms that reduced the executive branch’s ability to be secretive and unilateral, tilting power back toward Congress.

The ‘70s were also a heady period for the press, which reached the zenith of its power when it swayed public opinion on Vietnam and exposed Watergate. Reporters got greater access to government secrets with a stronger Freedom of Information Act.

Chenrummy thought the press was running amok, that leaks should be plugged and that Congress was snatching power that rightfully belonged to the White House…

…Checks, balances, warrants, civil liberties -- they’re all so 20th century. Historians must now regard the light transitional tenure of Gerald Ford as the petri dish of this darkly transformational presidency.

Who's preoccupied with power?

Back to Parker:

Likewise, many bloggers seek the destruction of others for their own self-aggrandizement.

!!!! Unlike reporters or columnists, or anyone else.
I mean no disrespect to the many brilliant people out there who also happen to blog

Sppplllffftt! There goes my Starbucks latte all over the page!
Again, they know who they are.

Again? (Do they?)
But we should beware and resist the rest of the ego-gratifying rabble who contribute only snark, sass and destruction.

Good advice.
We can’t silence them,

And that's too bad…but just wait, Ms. Parker, it’s coming (is the ACLU reading?)
but for civilization’s sake

Sspffflllltttsssplllttt! There goes the rest of my latte!
--and the integrity of information by which we all live or die

live or die???
we can and should ignore them.

WOW! Am I glad I read that!

(I'm bad, aren't I? ;-) )

(Note, 1/1/06: I toned the original post down a bit. Really!)

Happy New Year, everyone!


  • Sounds like you didn't enjoy reading those editorials much (or maybe you really did!) Dowd wrote "Are men necessary" or some such title. She may be on to something with that . . .

    By Blogger Martin LaBar, at 8:38 AM  

  • I dunno, Martin; methinks Dowd could use a good man to, um, bring out her gentle feminine side... ;-)

    By Blogger Bonnie, at 10:12 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home