I suppose it was inevitable. What I hope is just a plateau may be the start of an uncontrolled descent into “Crossfire” land. What am I talking about? The blaw-goe-sphere. Yesterday over at Music City Bloggers was a thread featuring the original commentary stylings of Mark Rose, and had something to do with the “Top 40 reasons he is a conservative.” Now, I recently wrote what I consider to be a heartfelt post about why “Liberalism” is sometimes difficult to live by. For that, I was blasted for feeling superior to everyone else because I was supposedly saying “I live like this, therefor I am better than you.” or something like that. I don’t want to rehash it all in this thread, but I bring it up for a reason.
The post by Mr. Rose was a compilation of Townhall campfire songs and petty attacks and there wasn’t a single original thought in the entire vomitation. (did you know there are over 1100 slang words and phrases for that act?). It wasn’t remotely accurate, it wasn’t remotely funny, it wasn’t even well written. So, I kinda wondered why it merited being placed in the MCB que in the first place.
I think its numbers. I think there has been a slight shift in the modus operandi ever since some nonsense written by Glenn Dean approached 200 comments. I mean, he did actually say something to the effect of “yeah, I know what I write can be controversial, but look at how many comments!” (Paraphrased, heavily.)
Last week, it was Roger Abramson’s “I don’t understand women” followed by “Help, me, oh internet, why do guys like to discuss girls?”. I’ve seen Roger’s work, and have been a fan for a long time, even though we are political opposites, but I thought he phoned that whole thing in. Roger, got mad love for ya, but it came off as a bit contrived.
I really think MCB has turned out to be a pretty good aggregator overall. I also know that it started out as a knee jerk replacement for NiT, but was also supposed to eventually make money. Unless I am missing something, the way to attract advertisers is with hit counts, or something similar. So I suppose there must be some appeal to the idea of not necessarily posting the best of local blog offerings that day, but instead highlighting those that show some promise of generating “discussion.” But it is the quality of that discussion that I take some issue with. Like the endless talking head shows on television, it seems any real exchange of thoughts is too often buried beneath the din of partisan rantings, and that every thread will ultimately devolve into the same collection of self described Liberals and Conservatives slinging cleverly disguised insults at each other.
Just wait till January. The start of the Primary season will usher in 11 months worth of political noise. If it ain’t about the elections, it ain’t happenin. Now, I get that MCB is supposed to act as a sort of mirror that reflects the nashville blawg scene, and, being such, it should be a showcase for those bloggers that offer some insight on politics, whether its their opinion of one of the candidates, or perhaps just a commentary on the process itself. I’d really hate to see a year long blawg-goe-sphere equivalent of Tucker! Does anyone really think that Tucker Carlson has a show because he is among the best and the brightest? His show never, ever, ever offers anything fresh or even informative. He’ll ask a guest a question, and if the answer is too nuanced, or, frankly, not controversial enough, he’ll bring out his carefully crafted “c’mon, you don’t expect me…” schtick. Its tired, and its boring.
Anyway, my purpose here is not to bash MCB. Its pretty new, and it probably takes quite some time to iron out the wrinkles of a brand new internet venture. I know and like everyone there, and most of the contributors and staff have been to my home, so I consider them friends, even when we have hair pulling cat fights at times. My hope is that they read this in the spirit with which it is offered, from a loyal reader who cares about seeing their collective effort succeed. NiT and Pith in The Wind have been critiqued over the months and years, in fact, by some of those in charge at MCB, so it seems fair to see if they can withstand a little scrutiny.
I think I’d like to point my browser over there once in a while and not see the Recent Comments section over-run by the same three or four guys still lobbing the same old rhetorical grenades at each other on a week old thread. Perhaps thats just me. Maybe it is a tried and true business model that befits the day and age we live in. I’m kinda hoping not…
***Disclaimer*** I realize how much time and energy has been put into the MCB project, and that no one there has drawn a nickel’s worth of compensation. Even a web site like The Huffington Post, who I assume can and does pay pretty well, is frequently so shrill I can’t stay there very long.
I applaud the group’s commitment to the project and I wish them all due success.