Thursday, November 20, 2008

I'm A Blogger What Of It


I don't know about anyone else but I am getting fed up with the crap that bloggers are getting in the mainstream media.  Every time I turn around some one is making a disparaging comment about the hard work that we do.

Granted not all blogs are equal, PerezHilton, Bossip or Crunk&Disorderly are definitely cancerous for the brain.  They are however not representative of the many blogs that populate the internet.  The "bloggers are loser" commentary has shown up on mainstream sitcoms. Politicians have commented that we are losers in pyjamas, in our parents basements, and reporters have continually complained that we have no credibility.

You know what, I am sick of the childish taunts and the daily belittling of not only the work that I do, but of many other committed individuals.  For many blogging is a labour of love.  God knows, no one is getting rich off it except for an elite select few.  Arianna Huffington may have a yacht, but most of us are slaving away in obscurity.

If you write the kind of blog that I do, you are even less likely to earn any money.  Unlike the Bill O'Reillys and Hannitys of the world, who are masters of lies and deceptions, I write and edit each and every single post.  Each keystroke is a commitment to truth telling and consciousness raising, which is a lot more than I can say some of the garbage that regularly fills the air waves. 

Bloggers are under attack because the media and the ruling elite have not yet found a way to control it.  Anyone can start a blog; they are free.  Anyone can have a chance to have their say, and in so doing perhaps influence someone half way around the world. 

The animosity towards blogging is about a loss of control.  Conversation and free thought are an anathema because it leads to an engaged population.  A citizenry that is concerned with current events and ideas is not easily lead in deception. 

In the precursor to the Iraq war how many mainstream media outlets green stamped the invasion without thinking about the criminality of the act? The only person in the mainstream that stood up was Donahue, and MSNBC quickly handed him his walking papers.  This is not to say that all bloggers function with high levels of integrity, but they do offer one thing that no other form of media does; the opportunity to engage with others.

In a world where true and honest engagement is not encouraged, a space to converse is a valuable thing.  It is something that should not be overlooked, or taken for granted.  Blogging is a form of resistance and this why it is daily demonized.

Bloggers will ask the questions that mainstream media can't or won't ask.  A particularly articulate blogger will introduce you to new ideas and theories.  A good blog is a place where you can learn.  Outside of the library there are very few avenues where one can attain knowledge.  Isn't it interesting that both publicly funded libraries and blogs are being attacked at the same time?  Libraries are being closed to budget cutbacks despite the essential service that they provide, and blogs are attacked as meaningless fodder in spite of the conversations that they inspire.

The elite has a history of attacking anything that threatens its position of power. Anytime you see something utilized by the proletariat that is being attacked the way that blogging is, there is a good chance that it is actually doing some social good. 

I realize as a blogger that I have a very obvious bias and perhaps as a blog reader you share the same bias.  I am simply questioning the sudden impetus to attack a form of media that so many globally have found refuge in.  Nothing happens accidentally and you can be certain that there is an agenda behind this.


Sarah J said...

To be fair, Arianna Huffington had a yacht and was filthy rich way before she started a blog. Which I might argue isn't much of a blog anymore, and is more of, well, a newspaper. A gossipy, online newspaper, but...

But yes, the fact that bloggers are getting trashed does signal pushback. I think it's probably too little, too late, though.

nia said...

From what I understand, elements of the same mainstream media made it a habit to peruse black-owned blogs during the recent election campaign, so that they could get a better idea of what black people really thought about Obama, politics and so on.
There are definitely some intelligent blogs out there that you can learn a lot from and unlike the MSM, they encourage people to think for themselves.
For example, CNN recently did a documentary called 'Black in America' which was basically just a one-sided rehash of the same old stereotypes about black people. Most people would just watch have watched that program and come away thinking what a great job CNN did, how great of them to be covering "black issues." Some black blog writers challenged what CNN presented and even if you chose to disagree with them, you could not come away without thinking that there are at least two sides to every story.
If I depended on the MSM alone for information, I would believe that the only thing black people do is rap, get pregnant and commit crimes.

weemsrj said...

Definitely an attack by mainstream media against what it sees as bloggers' growing influence and encroachment into their territory. I agree with Sarah J that it's too little, too late.

cchiovitti said...

Every single point you make is correct. And brilliant. I've always felt it was about power and I think that's why the internet scares a lot of people, information can be shared so quickly now - before any PTB have a chance to filter it or engage in spin. said...

That is why I have to go back and forth. I blog as you do for a while...and it burns me out quickly (due to some serious aspects of my personal life), so then I have to move on to fluff for a while. Before long I resurface and get back to the good fight.

People like you, who do it everyday w/o fail, who don't burn out, impress me, and I don't know how you do it. I aspire to it, but I can't keep it up. Keep doing what you do for people like me who physically can't. You don't owe me or anyone, but it gives the rest of us hope.

Fannie said...

But, according to this cartoon, the default "Liberal Blogger" is a white guy. So technically, the cartoonist wasn't talking about you. Or me.


But seriously, many of the blogs I read are far more insightful and educational than anything, including op-ed pages, that I read in the mainstream media.

feministblogproject said...

Outside of the library there are very few avenues where one can attain knowledge. Isn't it interesting that both publicly funded libraries and blogs are being attacked at the same time? Libraries are being closed to budget cutbacks despite the essential service that they provide, and blogs are attacked as meaningless fodder in spite of the conversations that they inspire.

I think this point is especially interesting in light of the fact that public libraries are one of the few solutions to dealing with class barriers to internet access and blogging. I have a cousin who depends on the public library for the internet, because he can't afford it at home. He maintains a blog through the library. Without a public library, he wouldn't be online at all.

One of the things I failed to recognize at first is that blogging can be a class-based form of resistance. People who can't afford internet access or computers can't participate unless they can get it for free. Furthermore, many public libraries offer cheap or free computer training. No, the public library is not the only solution, but it is a good one, and it has helped a lot of people. So I think it's particularly interesting that you noticed both were under attack, when public libraries have not only been a source of book knowlege, but helped lower-income people participate in electronic resistance.

Anonymous said...

And their so-called liberal blogger looks like the war criminal Henry Kissinger.

julie said...

It is funny how things like this snowball so quickly.

The Internet is being attacked from many directions. One in particular is porn. On the one hand males and females are loving to watch it and on the other hand males and females are loving to make sites about themselves to sell porn.

But now, Universities and high schools are concerned about the blog information being used for assignments and discussions.

Not much is based on facts any more. Most is based on opinion and maybe some facts included.

A good writer can wake up in the morning and think, "Hmm, I will right about this and from this side today" and volla! It is done and very well presented and argued. But, it is the other side of the argument that is missing.

Also information is outdated almost instantly. When in the law, accounting or technology trade, you must keep up almost daily to changes on a global level. Most of these people don't have time to blog. So the information out there is many times behind.

And then you have adults who didn't grow up with the Internet as a community itself. To them, many people are being destroyed by the Internet and blogs. Soon we will have measures of lack of exercise and fat content. (smile)

Peridot said...

Of course the traditional media belittles us. We have them running scared. :-)

Anonymous said...

Better than the image of a yuppie suitbot with a fake smile, crocodile tears, a made-for-TV face and nothing between the ears, which is what I envision whenever I think of the average MSM "journalist".