It doesn't exactly shock me that many in the mainstream media consider bloggers to be "exhibitionists" , uninformed, "self-absorbed" etcetera, but it's hard to take their criticism seriously after watching CNN's breathless coverage of Paris Hilton's missing dog or Fox News' lurid and downright embarrassing speculation about a Kerry/Edwards homosexual relationship.
These people call bloggers ignorant blowhards and then proceed to get 'talking points' from the Drudge Report and Wonkette. Hmm...maybe they do have a point.
I will respond to some of these charges.
Exhibitionists: I spent over a decade playing music for audiences- any audiences I could scrounge up, anywhere, anytime. Of course I'm an exhibitionist! So fucking what? (At least I'm not posting nude photos on the web or flashing old ladies at the nursing home). I'm also painfully shy in real life (unless I'm drunk) , so music and blogging let me express myself with considerably less restraint than water-cooler chats and awkward dinners with near-strangers (read:relatives) allow. I can only speak to my own motives, but I wager I'm not alone in this.
Uninformed: After a week of watching cable news I learned a lot. I learned that if an attractive ,middle-class white woman gets murdered by her husband, or raped by a celebrity, it's 'Breaking News' over-and-over again , but if the same thing happens to a poor black woman it's fine print in the crime log on page 13 of section B in the local newspaper. I learned that a drunken bear warranted ninety seconds of precious airtime, which is fifty-five seconds more than Afghanistan, Haiti, Sudan and Venezuela combined received. Flood the airwaves with trivial bullshit and then call your viewers ignorant? Gotta admit, it's crafty strategy .
Self-Absorbed: I spend 40+ hours a week alone in a damncube where I'm not even allowed to read a book, despite having no work to do. Amazingly, it tends to make me a little introspective. But so what? I enjoy reading other people's "self-absorbed" postings. Maybe someone got a giggle out of watching rich kids frolic in her boyfriend's vomit-I can sit here,in utter isolation, and have a giggle too. Perhaps another person just had a normal day, but is feeling happy. It reminds me that such a thing is possible for me as well. Even when someone shares a truly sad tragedy, it makes me think about things that I normally try to avoid, things that I should think about. Sometimes I even get someone to laugh, which is one of the main reasons I blog. It's not such a selfish endeavor when you look at blogging this way.
Tip o' the glass to bloggers!