The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Friday, January 02, 2004  

Says Someone
Someone Who Obviously Doesn’t Blog or Read Blogs

Philadelphia Weekly, assuming such an organ speaks with a single editorial voice, declared in its latest issue, “blogs are out.”

Actually, the PW didn’t say exactly that. The PW said, in a year-end “in” and “out” list and in a construction exceeded in its inanity only by its awkwardness: “Blogs = OUT!”

According to the little piece, which carries no byline other than “Hip-o-Meter,” which I hope and pray is not a real person’s real name:

The Big Blog Explosion of 2003 started out promising, but we’re officially sick of reading the same damn thing over and over again on 17 different blogs. There’s just not enough interesting [expletive deleted] out there to go around, okay? And we certainly don’t need bloggers’ sorry [sic] analyses of world events [Ed.: I think that’s a reference to Den Beste.] or a list of their CD collections. We predict diaries -- that is, personal, handwritten, for-my-eyes-only diaries -- will make a comeback in `04.

Well, PW, aside from the fact that the “Big Blog Explosion” occurred in 2002 and not 2003, I urge you to keep in mind that no less a great and glorious journalistic, uh, enterprise as USA Today seems to think blogs are hot, hot, hot. The atavists of Arlington took pains just three days ago to introduce readers to such dynamic and creative practitioners of the craft as Glenn Reynolds, Mickey Kaus, and Andrew Sullivan to prove it! (Hmm . . . where have I heard those names before? Oh, I know, in every friggin’ newspaper article about blogging I’ve read in the past two years, nearly every one of which has missed the whole point of the endeavor.)

Furthermore, I can think of a few people reading this particular post who will hold you to that prediction a year from now. Okay, maybe not a few, but at least one. Either way, great blogging occurs -- if I must say so myself -- just a few blocks, or maybe more, East and West and North and South of your very own cubicles every day.

“[P]ersonal, handwritten . . . diaries”? I’m betting whichever editorial assistant cranked out this list was an English major; an English major who really, really adores Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf, and Anaïs Nin. (Speaking of Anaïs, has the New York Review of Books finally finished publishing excerpts from her diaries? Because, I mean, everyone except that gang lost whatever interest they had in that lame genre years ago.)

Oh, and by the way, PW, year-end “in” and “out” lists? Don’t you think they’re just a little bit unoriginal, derivative, formulaic, trite, hackneyed, pedestrian, shopworn, clichéd, and useless? In other words, OUT?!

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