Thursday, December 29, 2005

Christmas and bloody heads on sticks

Goodness, has it really been so long since I wrote anything here?

Christmas was good. Ben ceased impugning Santa Claus's methods and just enjoyed his new toys (though it appears that he wishes Santa had stolen a Lego police station on his behalf). He spent a couple days running amok with his cousins—as a bossy only child, Ben can't get enough of his three-year-old cousin's worship. It was nice not to have to prepare any food for a couple days, although we could have done without the bout of mild food poisoning. (Wanna guess how long it took for Tuesday's lunch to exit?)

The holiday season continues unabated, as I have yet to exchange gifts with my friends or my family of origin (and I have yet to wrap those gifts—what am I waiting for, you may ask? Apparently I am waiting for them to magically wrap themselves. What? It could happen.). There are some holiday get-togethers with friends on the schedule, my family's coming over on New Year's Day, and the annual Christmas Day brunch with my mom's relatives is on January 8. Twelve days of Christmas is for wimps: we're doing a solid fortnight of Christmas.

I read Kathleen Parker's column in the Trib today. I find I disagree with the majority of what she says, no matter what the subject may be. And today, she takes on bloggers. I don't read any of the types of blogs Parker harps on—the ones that exist solely pounce on mainstream journalists' failings, apparently—but her rhetoric was so entertaining I wanted to share a few excerpts with you.

Bloggers persist no matter their contributions or quality, though most would have little to occupy their time were the mainstream media to disappear tomorrow. Some bloggers do their own reporting, but most rely on mainstream reporters to do the heavy lifting. She's so right! The mommyblogging world, for example, would collapse without the framework of the news media. Not to mention knitting blogs. And diaristic blogs. And humor blogs. And blogs written as a creative outlet.

...[M]ost babble, buzz and blurt like caffeinated adolescents competing for the Ritalin generation's inevitable senior superlative: Most Obsessive-Compulsive. Even so, they hold the same megaphone as the adults and enjoy perceived credibility owing to membership in the larger world of blog grown-ups. ...Each time I wander into blogdom, I'm reminded of the savage children stranded on an island in William Golding's "Lord of the Flies." Without adult supervision, they organize themselves into rival tribes, learn to hunt and kill, and eventually become murderous barbarians in the absence of a civilizing structure. ...When a mainstream journalist stumbles, they pile on like so many savages, hoisting his or her head on a bloody stick as Golding's children did the fly-covered head of a butchered sow. ...When someone trips, whether Dan Rather or Eason Jordan or Judith Miller, bloggers are the bloodthirsty masses slavering for a public flogging.

All right, fess up, bloggers: Which one of y'all stole Piggy's glasses? And who should we vote off the island first?

11 comments:

Cricket said...

The island parallel is too damn funny. Good one, there.

Another difference between her and most bloggers is that we're not paid to report anything. She is and the reporting should be accurate. Did she not see the feeding frenzy of the media on Dan Rather? Is she saying that was blog-driven, b/c I would say it was media-driven.

Besides, she obviously left out huge portions of the blogsphere if she thinks we're political and anti-media all the time.

Orange said...

I'm anti-media in that I don't much care for self-absorbed columnists with such limited peripheral vision...

Maine said...

I don't get it. Do they think the millions of bloggers out there are all political bloggers? I hate when people who don't blog think they know what blogging is about.

Now, excuse me as I, as a man, go tell a woman whether or not she should be allowed to have an abortion.

TB said...

Who wants to go boar hunting with me? No takers? How 'bout we hunt for Andy Rooney instead.

I'm much too busy talking about myself on my blog to be worried about the media.

Orange said...

tb, shhh! If the bloggers go after a Serious Journalist like Andy Rooney, the mainstream media is going to ship us all off to Blogger Island. (Although if the folks there look as good as the ones on Lost, I could deal with a few bloody heads on sticks.)

JT said...

I'm with Maine and TB. Andy Rooney can bite me with his peeling dentures, and I'm entirely too self-absorbed to blog about politics. And I don't give a rat's ass what Kathleen Parker says, unless, of course, it provides fodder for us nonreporting bloggers.

Mignon said...

Hey, what's wrong with Andy Rooney's curmudgeonly, cute senility? It's like the Weekend at Bernie's segment of 60 Minutes. All good clean geriatric fun. The rest of us get Anderson Cooper, my granny needs someone!

Columnists that lack creativity and real insight seem to always use the Lord of the Flies analogy for everything from presidential elections to high school football. It reminds me of when people start an essay with "[the topic of the paper], as defined by Webster is ..."
Catchy!

DoctorMama said...

If you think about it, the blogosphere is almost the opposite of the Lord of the Flies. We're not stuck together on an island; we're all floating (relatively) anonymously in space, all over the globe. We don't have to touch or smell each other or compete for food. And we're each the boss of our own little spot. That's a big reason why I blog; to get off the island for a little while. (Not that you all don't smell quite nice, I'm sure.) (Except Orange and her Dutch-ovening.)

The Un-Apologetic Atheist said...

Mignon - Anderson Cooper is MINE. You leave my pretty, pretty boy ALONE!

Andy Rooney, you can have though. It's okay. Really, go ahead.

Lisa said...

Damn, she sounds threatened.

Nice that she didn't bother discerning between bloggers who give a shit about the mainstream media and those of us who DON'T.

the nut said...

Hah. Though I may blog about politics and yes, rely on the media to feed the info to me, I'm not exclusively about politics 'cause every once in a while I blog about movies, Peanut, stupid people I had the pleasure of overhearing on the bus or some line somewhere...

And I was wondering when Lord of the Flies would be worked into your post. Too bad she did it badly. (She being the author of the article but I'm too lazy to click over and find it more myself.)