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Mainstream Media’s Condescension

I don’t normally rip off a blogger’s post in toto, but I thought the hilarious post of Stephanie Aulenback justified blatent ripping off:

This week a couple of clueless articles having to do with a startling new phenomenon called blogging* appeared in the New Yorker and the New York Times. I have a suggestion for the doddering editors of these venerable old media institutions. Perhaps next week they could publish articles announcing that there are these things called PAPER and PENS and that some people use the PENS to write things down on the PAPER. And even though a few of the people who use the PENS to write things down on the PAPER may eventually write down things that will be published — however ill-advisedly — in NEWSPAPERS, MAGAZINES, or BOOKS, the people who use the PAPER and PENS are very dim, narcissistic people who mistakenly believe they have the right to write things down and to show them to others. It is unhealthy when many ordinary people start to write things down and then show them to others! Writing things down and showing them to others could give these dim, narcissistic people pleasure and a sense of community. There is even a dangerous — but admittedly slight — possibility that a large number of ordinary people writing things down and showing them to one another could eventually lead to the development of something actually resembling a democracy! It is important for the public to remember that writing things down and showing others what you have written is only for people who work for venerable old media institutions! Anyone else who does so is pretty much the same as a drug addict!

To be fair, I’ve noticed that the Atlantic Monthly and New Yorker have been publishing great issues lately and been putting an awful lot of stuff online. We bloggers steal from them with glee. Also, there are a lot of people over 40 (and even under 40) who still have no idea what weblogs are all about or what the word even means. While these condescending remarks about weblogs may strike us as insulting, these kinds of articles may in fact be acknowledging the loss of relevance of the publication publishing them.

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