Friday, December 22, 2006

Man, George Will is cranky!! And oh so wrong.

George Will is oh so very cranky about Time Magazine's decision to name You, well, Us as Person of the Year. In Will's opinion 100 million bloggers will never produce one Ben Frankly or Thomas Paine.

Cranky excerpt #1:
The most capacious modern entitlement is not to Social Security but to self-esteem. So Time's cover features a mirror-like panel. The reader -- but why bother to read the magazine when merely gazing at its cover gives immediate and intense gratification? -- can gaze at the reflection of his or her favorite person. Narcissism is news? Evidently.


Cranky excerpt #2:
Most bloggers have the private purpose of expressing themselves for their own satisfaction. There is nothing wrong with that, but there is nothing demanding or especially admirable about it, either. They do it successfully because there is nothing singular about it, and each is the judge of his or her own success.

and Cranky excerpt #3:
But authenticity is easy, and of no inherent value, if it is simply and necessarily the attribute of any bit of reality ("event'') captured on video.

OK, dude, that's really intellectually rigorous of you to talk about what most bloggers do or are and decide that's the entire story. I mean Thomas Paine was, in your own words, a "pamphleteer." how many of those are geniuses? Judging by the crap shoved in my hand walking through Times Square...not so many.

George, did you ever consider that this explosion of self-expression and the ease of distribution might make it that much easier for the next genius to be inspired, to be heard and to change the world? Shall we dismiss everything that emerges from this wild, wooly web because most of it is unlikely to have lasting impact on the world?

George states that "Stengel's Time has what 99.9 percent of the Web's content lacks: seriousness." Maybe.

But .1% of 100 million bloggers is 100,000 bloggers.

That's a lot of seriousness. And it sure is a lot easier to get access to such skill and depth and world-changing passion with today's tools than it was 200 year ago.

Signal to noise, yeah yeah, I know.

But it's Will's column, with its lazy association of "most" with "all", that seems like just noise to me.

George Will is so...20th century. That's his problem. Apparently he refuses to join us in the 21st century. He needs to read David Wolfe's new book, Firms of Endearment (due out in January), and listen to the likes of Rupert Murdoch espouse the power of "conversation" - a quality TIME apparently considers worthy of rewarding.

The George Will's of the world will slowly fade away, melting into the pavement of yesterday, like last year's favorite ice cream flavor - while the world of today sidesteps the mess that's made.
Yvonne! That comment is downright poetic! Personally, I think he completely embarrasses himself with this column. He seems like a character on a late-night comedy sketch show.

Picture Dana Carvey: Back when I was young we used the Pony Express to get news to other parts of the country. It was slow and dangerous and people died and the news was 6 months old by the time it was delivered, and we liked it!
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