And a Long Meandering We Go
Well, I was curious as to all the hoopla surrounding a particular post from The Washington Monthly and I can’t really see what’s so original about it. I admit I don’t frequent pundit blogs, but everyone seems to be behaving rather predictably, hm? So here’s what I’ve basically taken away from the post and the comments: female bloggers argue that they’re not popular because they’re being ignored, the female bloggers that are famous use their wiles instead of their wits, male bloggers complain that female bloggers are too quiet but when they speak up, they’re labeled as bitchy, some people say female bloggers aren’t recognized because they aren’t good enough (and one has to wonder–by whose standard are they judging?), and that women can’t be dedicated bloggers because they’re raising kids, etc.
Mostly, it sounds like mean-spirited stereotyping, but I think someone had the gist of it when they said that the popular bloggers mostly read and link to other bloggers just like them. I think for a lot of people (and not just old white guys) reading and thinking outside of the comfort zone is not what they would usually do. Sure, there are some bigots out there who actively discriminate but for the rest of us, the danger is inertia and complacency. The author of the above post complains that there are few female pundits–but from all accounts, he’s complained about it before–so is he going to do anything about it now?
This is sort of like people who only read one kind of book and nothing else be it sci-fi, literary, or historical romances. And I have to wonder–don’t these people get bored at all? If I restricted my reading diet to a string of Piers Anthony Xanth novels, I’d surely go mad. Wouldn’t it be the same for people continually cross-linking to top bloggers? Think of it another way: let’s say the blogosphere is a huge mansion and all the bloggers and readers and commenters are the inhabitants. The popular pundits have firmly parked their butts in a couch in the den with their eyes glued to the television (which is tuned to CNN or whatever). Would you really want to spend all your time stuck in the den with them or take a look around elsewhere? I’d personally visit the library or the attic with the weird junk or the basement laboratory where all the mad scientists are swapping recipes for squid stew.
Of course, most people are not interested in the mechanics of making squid stew. They’re all parked in the den with the pundits on the couch lobbing spitballs at each other. Conveniently, the couch is next to an open window so the spitballs sometimes land on the innocent (or not so innocent) neighbors and passersby. Spitballs get boring really fast, but they don’t show any sign of stopping any time soon. Maybe someone should rig the satellite dish on the roof so all they get is exercise machine infomercials. Maybe then they’ll get off the couch and see that there are other people wandering about the mansion.
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Bacteria thrive at stunning depths. Don’t they all. Researchers have confirmed that bacteria do thrive down in the deep ocean floor. Anyone not bowing down to their bacterial overlords should do so now.
What She Said! I personally don’t have very much time to sieve through weblogs to find the ones that are interesting (for one thing, they require a lot more reading than your run-of-the-mill link) but this one is handy because it lists a bunch of women pundits.
Photoshopped Romance Novels. Heh. Bodice rippers with altered titles such as “Lord of the Tube Socks” and “For the Love of Scottie McMullet”.
Is This It? A Metafilter post filled with links to bubble chamber pictures.