Why Not A Blog

Because it is, if not bad in many ways, a letdown in many ways. I know this may be construed as inhospitable of me: after all, I do post on other sites, I am aware that on them I am a guest, and I should really prove my gratitude by reciprocating. I just hate the idea of "Post A Comment | 0 Comments". But even if the zero were something else, I wouldn't feel this indicated support of a great institution, or any institution. Blogging has a future but so does volcanic ash. Blogging's future is merely what comes after its present because
  • it depends totally on the mainstream media. I have called the relationship "fungal" but this is a slander against mushrooms. Not only is there no value added, there's no value generated. Oh, blogs are OK for detecting bogus 1970's-vintage military memos, or showcasing Congressmen asking admirals whether Guam is going to capsize. But those triumphs are merely corrections of other people's failings, and rare. Originality is rarer still.
  • it's humorless. Which is to say if it tries to have any at all, this is political humor, which to my mind is as blunt and artless as ethnic humor. Humor should be next door to the truth, not represented as truth itself, the way ethnic and political "wit" insists stereotypes aren't merely typical, they're RIGHT. If I'm either laughing or learning, I know I'm in the right neighborhood. On a blog, I don't feel I'm in a neighborhood at all, but I'm sure getting stupider by the minute.
  • on any given blog, you see the same people posting their comments day in, day out. This looks so pathetic. Heck, it's bad enough that the blog's own proprietor is doing it! If I had that much free time, I'd be ashamed to admit it. Why don't these folks volunteer for jury duty? That'd be the PERFECT outlet for their energies.
  • those who post, and have their own websites, have deadly ones. These sites are like people in wheelchairs sassing me for no reason.
  • those who post never make a conversation go. They either agree totally with the proprietor of the site, DISagree angrily, or go off on boring tangents. A proprietor may remark on microwave pizza (blogging requires that you have an opinion on everything), alluding to hula hoops to make his point (when I said everything, I meant it), and the crowd, missing that point, chips in with their own hula hoop experiences (all pedestrian under the best of circumstances, which these are not). Nobody ever turns this carbon dioxide into fuel. "I was in Zanzibar when the first microwave pizza came off the dhow. What a sight. The Sultan turned to me and said, 'The feranghi are infinitely cunning - is this not more of the sorcery they call 'lo-carb'?'" If somebody chipped in with that, I'd be enchanted, and start running in a whole new direction. But nobody does, and I'm neither.
  • those who post usually do so pseudonymously. Nope. Sorry. Please don't do that. Rendering an opinion is not the same as casting a vote. If you're handing me something to weigh, not just count, furtiveness influences judgment. Negatively.
  • its crumminess and its ubiquity could make a disastrously unpopular combination. At least volcanic ash, which has the same shortcomings, falls to Earth on its own. I think that blogs will positively enthuse a lot of people for censorship. If there is a drive for censorship at the same time people perceive how bad blogging is, they may think - as champions of censorship silently, implicitly, but eternally argue - "Nobody's gonna miss it anyway", and accede to its suppression.
Hate to say it but I'm really looking for journalism to make a comeback. And yes, even editing. Anyone who's ever dealt with the species professionally knows editors do just two things: (1) increase the number of grammatical errors, and (2) create non sequiturs by arbitrarily striking the sentences that preceded the sentences that are now non sequiturs. And yet, there is so much good to do. Perhaps mannered, informed, confident writing, aware of and yet unpropelled by Big Ideas, possibly moderated by someone qualified to say what you sound like because he's at last learned what HE sounds like, will return. Inside newspapers and magazines, or (and no editing is expected here) just inside envelopes.