Saturday, April 30, 2005

Miracle cure

It's entirely possible that Jeff Jarvis has cured me of my obsession with blogs. He's like a parent who's into Blink 182 or snowboarding. We're all minding our business posting away on Blogger, LiveJournal, and Moveable Type and along comes Jeffey in his rasta dreadlocked ski cap:

"Cowabunga, citizen journalists! Guess who scored front row tickets for Gwen Stefani?"

Um, no.

Okay it goes deeper than that, deeper even than my instinctive rejection of his term "citizens' media" (which sounds like something out of Orwell or Maoist China). It's the profound sense of anti-intellectualism in which Mr. Jarvis is steeped. Hence his disdain for anyone who dares bring his or her education or accreditation into an argument. Witness BuzzMachine's relentless pillorying of Near Eastern history professor Juan Cole, whose only crime appears to be that he actually sits down to read the Arab press in Arabic from time to time, and shockingly comes up with different conclusions than those promulgated by the pinheads at Fox News.

And God forbid you ever went to J-School, because by believing in standards and quality in news media you've marked yourself as a dinosaur in Jarvis' book--you might as well just leap into a tar pit and be done with it. Recently Jeffey's heart has been all aflutter because news executives are reportedly waking up to the "potential" of blogs, not stopping to consider why that might be the case. Hmm, I don't know. Maybe because execs are now wondering if they can get away with making an end run around professional journalists--you know, those pesky folks with expectations of actually getting paid for their work--by replacing them with barely articulate half-wits from the blogosphere, thanks to virtual pimps like you?

"Hey, man. They took down Dan Rather--nothing can stop them now! Check out my new Ipod Shuffle. Radical!"

Please go away, Jeff. Leave us bloggers to blog or not to blog. Stop calling it something it's not. While the blogosphere is indeed a nifty thing, the only place where blogging threatens to change life as we know it is in between Jeff Jarvis' ears. Yes, it's cool. We get it. But it's not that cool...

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