"the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time..." -- Kerouac

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Notes for Tonight

these are mainly for me to flash up on the screen, when i get lost, which, as we know, is often.

1. The lecter principle: we cover (or obsess about) what we see, hence the intrest of bloggers (and all other content creators) in their immediate "Worlds". This is why blogs can and do become self-referential. and why hopics like St. Judy and the NY Times pay-to-read policy became objects of obsession.

2. La Wonkette: My issues: creation of a persona and corporate maintenance of a code
How many of you found this? -- play clip from fox.

But, as entertaining as it may be, what goes on here stretches the bounds of what blogging means to me, and it looks so much like a professional (if loud and crazy) job. First of all, there's a big-time performance persona being shown here, not a blogging voice. Also, there's so much volume of stuff here it has to be done by a staff. And there doesn't seem to be any real and obvious encouragement of interaction. What there is plenty of is ads, across the top and elsewhere

3. Who is Roger Ailes? .
Joe: His own short brackets of comment have improved from the frequently schoolboy stupid talk in the early days. But you gotta love that he picked his format and stuck with it. Wonder who he was (and is) really writing for?As a pop-culture Luddite, I really don't know who 'the other' Roger Ailes is (no lie); is his blog voice lots different than his other voice?

P.S. Brett was not fooled

I loved Ailes catching this one:

His Glorious Career
Little Mickey Kaus is fascinated by the fact that Hillary Clinton failed the District of Columbia bar examination. No doubt Senator Clinton's legal career isn't as long and hugely successful as some, but she can take consolation in the fact that she became a United States Senator and popular best-selling author rather than a talentless hack who recycles the reporting of others in a tedious weblog.

3. Wolcott. your thoughts?

First, you see his name in huge capital letters, "JAMES WOLCOTT" (next to a caricature). Next, below his name, your eyes immediately are drawn down and to the right where you see "About James Wolcott" and "Write to Wolcott" (these are in white letters against a red background...for added visibility). So far that's three. Next, your eyes find there way back to the left side of the blog where, yet again, you see "James Wolcott is a Vanity Fair Contributing Editor". Finally, as your eyes begin to scroll down towards the actual entry you see "JAMESWOLCOTT.COM" sandwiched in between "October 2004" and "December 2004". Finally, just in case you thought this post was by an anonymous author, it states the title of the blog and "POSTED BY JAMES WOLCOTT" to dismiss such a heinous thought.
Ok, so that's a grand total of six times you see his name before you even begin to read the actual entry! Wait. Shit...I forgot about the little white poodle. To the right of the page you see "BY JAMES WOLCOTT" in big red letters underneath the words "HIT PARADE". In this advertisement displaying the front cover of his book, yet again, his name is clearly visible: JAMES WOLCOTT. Ok, so that's a total of eight times! That's a lot...and when I say "a lot" what I really mean is a bit excessive.

And if that is what I am looking for, why am I searching the blogisphere? Honestly, I became extremely bored with Wolcott's blog, if you can even call it that, because instead of using it as an opportunity to branch out and speak out without the constraints a publication places on you, he is using it as endless column space.

In the case of Wolcott, he clearly does not admire brevity (helping to out forth a know-it-all image), but manages to attract readers in other ways. Specifically, he understands (like no other blogger that I’ve seen) how important a title can be to attracting a reader. Examples of his titles include:Once More into the Chicken CoopPigeon PoopMe Tarzan, You HagelThe Squawk at the Chicken HawkAbacus of Death

I was reassured to find that JW doesn’t suffer from the same lack of vision that his colleagues over at HuffPo tend to fall victim to… He’s not just some lame old Journalist blogging, while wishing he weren’t. How do I know? He also writes about less-than-consequential crap.

4. three of you seemed to be making a similar point, esp. as regards Ailes. Or maybe Eric (in the third of three) is saying something different. We'll ask him.
a. Fact, fiction, opinion, conjecture, whole truth and nothing but - or part truth, part fabrication... doesn't really seem to matter in the blogosphere. I find this particularly true with the megablog sites. Boingboing, DailyKos, Plastic, Metafilter - one thing they all do is make reference to something and set up links to its explanations. I refer to this as a sort of 'short-hand noveling.' How easy to make a point and then POINT (click the mouse) to an explanation in someone else's words, for which you claim nothing other than mere association, not individual creation thereof.

b. I find their blogs to require a great deal of background reading before being able to interpret their own remarks. In fact, in the case of Ailes and Sullivan (who take this to an extreme) the supplementary reading often outweighs anything these guys have to say. Ailes will write a 3-sentence blog that requires paragraphs of material to be read before one can understand exactly what he is saying.

c. Speaking of pop culture, what can you say about making an obscure pop culture reference, and then hyperlinking to its explanation? (I already did it in this post, and back in my first post, too). Isn’t this sort of like having the cliff-notes to a conversation? Or hyperlinked editions of James Joyce?

5. what you thought about the not-so-pros:

a. over at Last Hurrah (smart Dem blog), this person has a pretty good grasp of the issues and a clear, unambiguous voice. He also talks to his fellow bloggers, "did you know...did you know?" This straight-to-the-point style is married well with a concise approach to make a strong impression right out of the gate.

b. They seem more real, and somehow less staged than these pro blogs. Probably because these nameless, faceless bloggers have nothing to lose and everything to gain, while well-known columnists have reputations to uphold and standards to maintain, thus they can't truly let their hair down and blurt- too many people would take notice.

c. Whisky Bar is a little boring for me: too much of the "I" game. First-person writing poses a credibility problem. I start to wonder, "Who is this guy, and why do I care about what he thinks?" It's semantics, really, as the same info can easily be conveyed in the third-person -- it's just more work to write.I think the Who Is This? question is a biggy. Whether its the intentionally misleading two-step done by ailes or the fact that Billmon tells us nothing about him and Even tells us not much more, I think bloggers are kind of Pynchonesque, kind of anti-Wolcott.

6. An interesting meta-thought. Blogging is a chaotic medium where one never has to do any reporting. A blogger, in essence, does little or no research and therefore might be playing air guitar with the truth. love that phrase Of course, this makes for an interesting relationship with the truth - does this make blogs irresponsible next to journalism - notwithstanding how fantastically fast and funny some of them can be?

7. Nora Nora Nora
Nora Ephron makes a good point about the NYT's charging to read its op-ed pieces. It takes the paper out of the realm of blog-searching. It will surely change it's policies.

what a poster said:

Why didn't Ms. Ephron say what she really thinks about blogs?(1) They're way too loud.(2) It's just a bunch of hoodlums scrawling jungle writing.(3) It isn't even writing, just banging on the keys.(4) All the blogs sound the same.But don't worry, Arianna and Nora and Dick Clark and Fabian and Frankie Avalon will make it all all right.
Posted by: Glenn

This is clearly the story Calcanis was teasing in Nora's piece

8. i got kind of obsessed with Eve

9. . can we talk about how the various blogs use postings and emails?
Alterman kind of makes them a show.

10. random comments (2) from my friend bill heald

JW: Even in his blog I think he is a stylish, elegant writer. He is a really comfortable communicator, and very funny and knowledgeable about many things. Even though his postings are typically short, they are little chunks of art. You get his point, and a snapshot of his personality.
i really like how Kyrie's personality really shines through, too. I don't think this is necessarily specific to these guys, I think blogs really have the tone of a personal note which imparts a sense of intimacy.
Jesus, what is IN this coffee??


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