A Dismaying Saying from Camille

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T.S. O'Rama blogged this from Camille Paglia--an eccentric, egocentrical Valkyrie of a woman who, despite her lifestyle, I find myself much admiring. As I do admire her much, and as I have considered this before, I find her statements dismaying and tending to encourage me once again to silence. If blogdom is really this awful, do I do anyone a service by contributing to this surfeit of "political or media junkies preoccupied with pedestrian minutiae and a sophomoric "gotcha" mentality. I find it depressing and claustrophobic."

Today, at least, I feel she is right.

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hhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmmm,good food for thought

But Steven, you can say the same thing about any field of human endeavor where the costs of entry are low. Book publishing, for example, or landscape painting or pottery. The median quality of nearly everything humans do is distressingly low.

Every book in your public library went through several go/no-go screening stages. Even at that, I'd give good odds that fully half of them could be chucked unread by anyone with no discernable loss to society.

Carping about the quality of *unfiltered* human artistry, then, is like shooting fish in a barrel.

If none of us decided to do anything until/unless we were excellent at it we wouldn't get up in the morning.

Besides, I hardly think your blog would qualify for her negativity. You pepper your blog with thoughts on art and spirituality and poetry - hardly a myopically political or media blog. Far from it.

Yes, she does have a point; I have clicked away from several self-indulgent rants. But, on the other hand, there are good bloggers with thinking minds, who self-edit; and bloggers who supply good information about events in progress. "Thrown Back" has been very useful to me, following the Schiavo situation.

I'm not waiting for CP to annoint Super Blogger, however. Her comments are from a competitor; she claims the title "first blogger" so she evidently has a dog in the fight.

She speaks like a good teacher; stern and has a point. But a good teacher shouldn't crush the student's spirit, either.

So bleat away; it's still a new form
and might be a little red and ugly yet.

Walking my dog, Max, I realized the "subtext" of Camille's
opinion piece is: "shame." Shaming new voices into silence is an old weapon.

It's not necessary to shame bloggers. The really bad ones will fall by the wayside for lack of response, anyway; (and some good ones, too.) Failure in art is very impartial.

without failure, there is no meaning to success.
if one does not try, one can neither fail nor succeed.
I would rather try and fail than not try at all.

That is why I no longer read the mostly political blogs (and as I am becoming less and less interested in current events, they make less sense to me). People commenting on Bill O'Reilly, who I have seen once in my life, just do not engage my interest.

Your blog, on the other hand, is a a refreshing breath of fresh air. Paglia is talking about Little Green Footballs, not Flos Carmeli.

By the way, I agree with you on Paglia. She is a good writer who cannot be too easily ignored.

I have no doubt that if the blogging world was largely liberal-minded, Camille would be praising them as "baby steps in a new journalism."

She doesn't like the tone of many bloggers.

I too kind of admire her, her brain works exceeding well. I pray she'll make a great crashing conversion (actually reversion) one day and be a wonderful spokesman for the Faith.

You must not be discouraged by some braying empress of elitism. Her screed was itself a blog - visceral, dyspeptic, and ephemeral in its substance, none of which qualities describe this place. Here is something to read to lift your spirits.



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on October 30, 2003 9:28 AM.

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