I was thinking more about my rant the other day against the blogosphere, which got a lot more attention than I ever expected. The Guardian asked if they could reprint it, and it should be there in a few days.
It's certainly not that I think Matthew Yglesias is vapid or unintelligent or Andrew Sullivan or any of them. They're obviously all very smart guys with things to say, though perhaps limited by the need to post 25 times a day.
I guess I am just disgusted with the superficiality in our society, which has now taken over much of the blogosphere, especially the political blogosphere, which seems to have rapidly sunk into that hole. Maybe you care if Obama's third-to-main advisor has a pastor who once had dinner with a former Black Panther who once quoted Nietzsche when he was a 19-year old sophomore wearing dredlocks -- maybe that's all campaigns revolve around now -- but if so it is an utter fucking waste and I have absolutely no interest in it and I mourn for the death of my country. Paying attention to it all gets me nowhere, and why else to tune in to Yglesias or Sullivan 5 times a day except to find out the latest gossip. Is that what the blogosphere is about now -- gossip? Maybe.
I just don't see that they have much original to say, and so why am I spending my time there and not reading great books by Robert Pirsig and Charles Dickens and Chellis Glendinning and Edward Abbey and Thomas Kuhn and Warren Siegel and Stanislaw Ulam and Updike and Rick Bass and John Irving and Henry Roth and people who are writing for the ages and not for the current 15 minutes?
Yes, there are gems in the blogosphere, issues not discussed anywhere else (and certainly not on cable TV or even mainstream newspapers). But they are farther and farther apart and I can't spend time trying to dig them out.
And Obama, who once seemed like he might be an answer for those ready to give up, is clearly not that at all, but just another one of them. A product of the system, spit out at the top.
Some responses to my rant said that blogging is a conversation, and maybe I'm just not a good conversationalist. I live too much in my head.
Anymore most blogs just feel like things that get in the way of me living my life, really living it, instead of sitting in front of the damn computer for 12 hours a day trying to stay abreast of it all. Fuck it. It's disturbing my life and, I suspect, the lives of lots of other people. All this crap is not life. Instead I'm going to go out for a walk or up to the library or meet a friend for lunch or go sleep in a tent up in the mountains for a few days and get rained on, and then I'm going to focus on what little I can understand and can write about and communicate, in a manner and depth that matters.
I gave up TV a year ago and maybe the blogosphere is next. Who knows, maybe I'm on my way to living off the grid in a small cabin in the Cascade Mountains, a heartbroken hermit, but I just hate wasting my time on gossip and trivialities and every stupid thing they try to divert you with.
There are so many huge issues in our society and it seems clear to me that we are on a precipice and our future really hangs in the balance. Our economy is taking, we are at Peak Oil, 1/6th of the fucking country has no serious access to the health care system except for pitiful clinics at Wal-Mart, we are clearly not going to even begin to address climate change, our youth are wasting their lives in the Middle East securing oil profits, politicians lie rampantly and the media are pussies and those with power are clearly bought and sold by international corporations. We spends hundreds of billions on war, enriching the oil companies and the defense companies, and can't even pay Medicare doctors the minimum of what they're worth. And... I don't know, Americans don't even seem to care. They just go to work and go out to eat afterward, and polls show them to be happier and happier. So why am I getting angrier and angrier?