Friday, 30 July 2010

Something Newsworthy

This week in the blogosphere there's been a lot floating about. I mean hell, there's always a lot floating about. But over the past week or so it's felt a little like there have been fewer Double Rainbows and more Elegantly-Written Op-Eds on the Newsworthy. Everyone's experience of the internet is different, every day, but these things seems to come in cohorts, and so I think the average English-language blogger and blog reader (or at least those who spend an hour or more per day reading blogs) will probably have had a similar experience.

The latest wave in the PFC Bradley Manning case (google Wikileaks for more on that) has crested with his transfer to Quantico; Time Magazine has put a shockingly disfigured Afghani woman on their cover to highlight the dangers of the Taliban's religious extremism; Susannah Breslin's The War Project has just posted another interview with a soldier/survivor of the American Military.

And the Newsworthy isn't limited to war talk. There's the matter of Shirley Sherrod and her firing and re-hiring by Tom Vilsack in the wake of the NAACP calling on the Tea Party to renounce their racist elements (and of course their fully expected racist response, which, to paraphrase was something not far short of “how dare you n*****s call us racists!”). I seem to have read a host of articles on everything from Obama to Mad Men to Freemasonry that deal with this issue of race in the New And Improved Post-Racial America (copyright USA 2008, all rights reserved). Hell, I just watched a video of Commander Adama of Battlestar Galactica decrying the very idea of race as an excuse for waging cultural war (which I am tempted to believe, but which, to my mind, brings up a host of its own issues).

I've been reading about Catholicism and the supposed Natural Law justification for discriminating against homosexual sexual behaviour; I've been reading about Israeli right-wingers considering a one-state solution; I've been reading about the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement and its on-again-off-again committment to openness.

Today boingboing posted a link to a collection of (some of) the Best Magazine Articles Ever – articles about the Maine Lobster Fest by David Foster Wallace, about hacker tourism and the laying of transatlantic cables by Neal Stephenson, about the depravity of the Kentucky Derby by Hunter S. Thompson – and I realized something:

I would make an awful, awful journalist.

I can hardly stand to read this stuff all week, let alone immerse myself in it enough to write about it. It's depressing as hell. After just reading this stuff I need a unicorn chaser something fierce – if I needed one in real life, what would I do?

I think I'll go back to reviewing the X-Files on my personal blog. It's only 17 years after the fact.

But at least it's not Newsworthy.

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