Yasmin Alibhai-Brown Thinks You Are Wasting Your Time Reading This Blog
Read the Independent yesterday. In between articles about how the Israelis are brutal, sick and stupid, I found this renunciation of blogs and bloggers by yet another journalist who doesn't understand how we bloggers can possibly manage to keep up regular, good quality output that people actually want to read (Blog of Funk: 30,000 unique readers per month, and rising). "Where do blog writers find the time? Do they never go to the theatre, read books, make love?" she moans.
This is a sad article, for which the phrase "chattering classes" was invented, and which generally explores as many ways of denigrating the blogging phenomenon as possible, in a self-righteous, uninformed and largely abusive way - "there is a glut of pathetic drivel and idiocy" she writes. After the briefest of appreciations for blog-writers-in-tyranny, she rails against "anonymous blackmail and intimidation." Of course, this does exist - as in life, so in art, but this kind of negative behaviour is but a tiny fraction of the blogosphere, as we who dwell here understand.
We bloggers are from a different place - we are from the tippety-tap classes, that being the onomatopoeia for the sound of my fingers on this keyboard. For the record, I spelt the word onomatopoeia accurately from memory - variants of spelling being one of the many small things about blogging that Yasmin "reely" hates. We should apply the same level of disregard to the journalist's typical lack of HTML coding ability - when was the last time Yasmin wrote A HREF I wonder?
The last word in her article is "fad" and when I read this, I smiled, because I know that whilst a certain proportion of bloggers try blogging only to abandon it - like many other things, such as interior design, hardcore politics, soft drugs, or group sex - many other blog writers, for better or worse, build blogging into their lives. In the past these true journal-ists would have been writing in isolation, but we contemporary writers are blessed with the modern miracle of interactivity - and frankly this is something that scares the Gucci pants off most hacks, whose idea of interactivity is submitting to an axe-wielding editor.
I may not be typical, but I have to stand up for blogging. Blogging has added friends to my life, improved my writing, and even slightly increased my financial wealth - though not, I hasted to add, directly from this page. Blog interactivity is the reason I kept going when I was wondering why I blogged in the early days. Comments always arrive on the days when I need them most. I generally read all the blogs written by my most avid commenters, and if they are good blogs, I subscribe and you can find them all in the well-populated (and regularly pruned) right-hand column. I count bloggers whom I have never yet met among my friends; I intend to travel to at least four countries and two US states that I have not yet visited in order to put face to word, and share some real conversation, at some point not too distant.
Meanwhile, back at the Deekster Ranch.. I am awaiting treatment for my borderline hyper-thyroidism - a rare condition in men, which is frequently mis-diagnosed. I have been referred to an Endocrinologist. There is a splendid array of symptoms listed on various websites, very few of which I have, including the truly bizarre "lung in front of neck". But I am suffering from unpredictable tiredness; and after the above refutation sticking a very funky finger up to the luddite Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, which I felt was necessary to re-assert my personal droit de blogging, (say it in a French accent for maximum comic effect) I am going to do something I have not done before in this blog, which is to trawl my own archives for a short while and re-publish some of my old articles. I won't disappear, I'm just going to be concentrating on getting well. BRB, as we internet people like to say.
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown luddite blogging interactivity health