“Bloggers aren’t going to be kingmakers even though no bloggers actually said they were and most don’t want to be, but looking like I can explode myths with the awesome power of my eyebrows is way more fun than actually writing about politics OR blogging. RAWK!”
In other words, who pissed in Perry Bacon’s cornflakes? Jesus. It’s been like two years now, I’ve been reading one whiny pussy piece after another about how bloggers are unruly and need to be feared, but also they suck, because they can’t do anything, yet they’re all-powerful, so we need to beware of them, or something, and the whole thing’s starting to turn into this high-pitched whine like a car past its service date.
Here’s the thing about blogging. And about the Internet in general, and YouTube, and MeetUp, and the whole tasty shebang. All it does is give people opportunities they otherwise wouldn’t have to use skills they either have or don’t.
I was talking to a friend of a friend at a charity thing on Saturday, and I was bragging about Scout (as you must do, once you’ve met her) because ordinarily, in order to go report on a story, you need to go to journalism school and/or hook up with a paper or other outlet, work your way up a ladder, pitch the idea, get an expense account approved for a trip, in other words, spend years of your life fapping around before you get the opportunity to cover something you truly care about. Instead, she used the tools at her disposal and she raised money online and went and did the story. It’s actually really remarkable, but “blogging” by itself couldn’t do that. She did it.
And in what pre-blogging world would anybody give a shit about what I had to say about politics? I wrote stuff for years that got read by fewer people than stop by this site every day, no way was I ever going to get a book deal out of it, because I wasn’t part of the Kool Kids’ Klub, my middle initial isn’t a numeral and while I throw a good dinner party, god damn it, I do it in Chicago and not in DC so the Washington Post could give a damn what I say. My dad’s brilliant but he’s not the chairman of NBC, plus I have zero patience for sucking up to people I think are idiots just to get a job, which has always been my problem vis-a-vis career advancement.
Hit our limits? Bitches, we ain’t even started yet. It’s been what, two years? And now everybody’s got a book out, Firedoglake is starting an imprint (go give them some scratch for it, would you? We need more progressive publishers), and people are scrambling to catch up. It’s not the gold rush, nobody’s getting rich, and maybe I missed the Giant Blog Declaration last year where Generalissimo Kos said we’d all be the be-all and end-all in American politics, which is what Mr. Bacon Jr. seems to be responding to here in confronting some projection of reality that doesn’t at all exist.
If I did miss the Townhouse Manifesto, okay, I’m not on the list so who the hell knows, but otherwise it seems to me that bloggers are doing what they can, and expanding the definition of what that is, every day. And maybe it’s just me being wide-eyed and thrilled, but I don’t classify that as some kind of anti-authoritarian acting out. I classify that as people taking what they’ve got in front of them and using it to get the job done. Their definition of “the job” not to mention “done” may differ from Mr. Bacon’s, which is probably what’s really pissing him off.