I wish I could write like the this Editor (here) in the Wall Street Journal.  Joseph Rago gets to the point and his point is well taken and well written. I’m not sure his opinions are all that refreshing, however.  They seem a little petulant. But, his thought on the “right now,” is one that has troubled for sometime. Moreover, his opinion on the matter is something that should be seriously discussed.

Personally I have gotten so bored with blogs and blogging I only occasionally read or write them. They demand too much of the present, the elusive objective moment, the “right now,” to notice that it has passed by the time the reading or the writing is finished.

The blogs must be timely if they are to influence politics. This element–here’s my opinion–is necessarily modified and partly determined by the right now. [ed: emphasis mine] Instant response, with not even a day of delay, impairs rigor. It is also a coagulant for orthodoxies. We rarely encounter sustained or systematic blog thought–instead, panics and manias; endless rehearsings of arguments put forward elsewhere; and a tendency to substitute ideology for cognition. The participatory Internet, in combination with the hyperlink, which allows sites to interrelate, appears to encourage mobs and mob behavior.

I believe it was J. Gresham Machen who said, when commenting on the Tate Gallerie’s (London) choice to hang their collection by  themes instead of chronologically, “if chronology is ignored we are left with something like a boundless eternal present in which an anesthetic populist ideology would trump every other intellectual imperative.”

From the thoughts above I begin to see that, in my opinion, the present moment, the blog moment, the “right now,” is by any measurement an overriding acidic on the sweetness of tradition. Blogs tend to be a scattershot opinion simply because of like or dislike, and that reduces to taste; doesn’t it? The sourness that I perceive so often in blogs cannot even be spat out or digested before the subject has changed and the writer has moved on. It is the same sort of taste I get from reading “Op-Ed,” articles in the MSM.

For example: Mr. Rago objects that the MSM is being eviscerated by the blogs,

… the Internet, like all free markets, has a way of gratifying the mediocrity of the masses. And part of it, especially in politics, has to do with conservatives. In their frustration with the ancien régime, conservatives quite eagerly traded for an enlarged discourse. In the process they created a counterestablishment, one that has adopted the same reductive habits they used to complain about. The quarrel over one discrete set of standards did a lot to pull down the very idea of standards.

Standards? Whose? The elitists who complain that I am part of a “blog-mob”. If memory serves, in the past my only recourse to Mr Rago’s article would have been silence, complaining to close friends, or writing the editor. Silence caused frustration alleviated by severance of MSM subscriptions. Close friends silently began avoiding contact, and the editor, obviously used his round-file for most letters sent to him.

Those circumstances led to my own blogging adventure from which boredom recently dictated a rest. But, I must post now that Mr. Rago has studiously avoided the obvious: His and the MSM’s general disdain for neutrality of voice, when reporting events, was just a painful suicide pact.  The “Times,” will never loosen the noose its Walter Duranty-like ignorance inexorably tightens, and Rago doesn’t comment on the disparity of opinion between the “editorial” and “op-ed,” pages in which his own comments were noted. (By the way is there a link for comments from us “imbeciles,”on the WSJ page? Never mind, I found it. Here’s what I got: This article is over a week old and is no longer accepting responses.)

I trust that when the last shovelful of dirt is placed in the burial hole, the progenitors of MSM opinion will recall that “blogs,” did not kill them, we “imbeciles,” just wanted to be given facts so that our personal opinions could be formed – not force fed.


I give a very big hat-tip to Armavirumque for pointing me to this article.