Monday, August 28, 2006

Silence of the Blogs

If you really listen carefully, you will hear the breeze making a soft whistling sound as it blows across keyboards all over this land, dangling from their cords below the computer desks of bloggers across the middle and right of this fair land. Why the quietude? Why the lack of passionate arguments? Hard to say really.
Dave included this post which shows all sites are having a reduction in traffic. But it is larger among the center and right blogs, even though left blogs are also experiencing a reduction.
One answer might be that the beauty of summer has drawn us away from providing insight or even questions, into the outdoors to enjoy the halcyon days of the joy of life. But maybe, there might even be a different answer.
I think that the blogosphere has finally evolved to the level of real life. That is, we no longer actually discuss anything anymore. We shout out our opinions, and if the other side fails to be impressed with our volume, we simply relegate them to the great unwashed "idiots/criminal fools" that we always knew the other side to be.
There is almost no intelligent discussion. Instead, there is the presentation of a point of view, and the denigration to the point of questioning any opposing commenter's lineage, rather than a discussion of the points rasied.
There really seems to be a lack of curiosity in seeing the other side's perspective on an issue. Instead, anyone out of the poster's line of thought is considered to be a heretic, and unworthy of salvation after a few feeble efforts to rehabilitate them.
Compounding this problem are the trolls. Those who lack the courage or intellect to make their own blog, (they're free you know) but choose instead to populate another's blog with witticisms more appropriate for a kindergarten playground for juvenile delinquents.
My favorite example is Larry Kradj, the self proclaimed environmental ranger, who trolls the blog Left in the West. Larry loves to make fun of people's names, a wonderful technique for debating an issue. He further expounds on his service to his country giving him full authority for challenging anyone who is not quite as deranged as he is, even though he probably only spent his tour in Viet Nam stoned to the gills, and visiting the local ville to get a child prostitute every payday.
The real problem with Larry is not just his infatile postings. The problem is what do you do with such an obnoxious beast? If you take him on, he inevtably drags you down, since he cannot rise to the level of civil discourse. If you ignore him, he has an influence well out of proportion to his argument, as witnessed by many of the letters to the editor.
Reading Larry is a lot like being forced to sit on the flight from Missoula to Minneapolis with a four year old having a tantrum the entire way. There is no reasoning with the child, they simply want to have a fit. There is no way that you can make the child appreciate how odious their behavior is by acting the same way, because the child like Larry and his ilk lack the capacity to see beyond their own ego. Thus you are forced to sit and suffer while the obnoxious brat carries on, unable to say or do anything that will have any meaningful effect.
I hope with the cooler weather to come, we will see more of the intelligent debate that I used to read. Of course, that doesn't include discussion of football teams. That is a discussion that is really one sided. Football is of little real consequence but it does provide amusement.
I wonder if that is what has become of political discussion.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Although I agree with for the most part when it comes to the lack of thoughtful debate and the troll issue, making the comment "even though he probably only spent his tour in Viet Nam stoned to the gills, and visiting the local ville to get a child prostitute every payday.", seems to me to be the same thing you are complaining about.

I thought your article was very good until this statement. Now I am left wondering if you merely wrote this so you bash someone you consider to be troll.