This week a couple of clueless articles having to do with a startling new phenomenon called blogging* appeared in the New Yorker and the New York Times. I have a suggestion for the editors of these venerable old media institutions. Perhaps next week they could publish articles announcing that there are these things called PAPER and PENS and that some people use the PENS to write things down on the PAPER. And even though a few of the people who use the PENS to write things down on the PAPER may eventually write down things that will be published — however ill-advisedly — in NEWSPAPERS, MAGAZINES, or BOOKS, the people who use the PAPER and PENS are very dim, narcissistic people who mistakenly believe they have the right to write things down and to show them to others. It is unhealthy when many ordinary people start to write things down and then show them to others! Writing things down and showing them to others could give these dim, narcissistic people pleasure and a sense of community. There is even a dangerous — but admittedly slight — possibility that a large number of ordinary people writing things down and showing them to one another could eventually lead to the development of something actually resembling a democracy! It is important for the public to remember that writing things down and showing others what you have written is only for people who work for venerable old media institutions! Anyone else who does so is pretty much the same as a drug addict!
*The terms blogger, blogging, and blog are so overused they have become pretty much meaningless. They seem to indicate any individual (as opposed to a corporation) who posts anything ? anything at all — on any sort of webpage, with any regularity. There are no distinctions made between sites that offer only original content, those that act as a filter for content found elsewhere, and those that are combinations of the two. However, according to a CBC radio piece I heard on the subject a few weeks ago, the term “blogger” refers mostly to an individual who likes to post online about her breakfast. And so, for the record: I had a a piece of peanut butter toast and a very strong cup of coffee.