Blogging Kills, Part II

A followup from The Japery.


  1. Matthew Lickona says

    Righty-o, Japes. But to talk of how awful blogs are while running one of your own, and further, while commenting on the quality of others (ie First Things) smacks of self-loathing, no? (While we’re at it, is it entirely consistent to rail against the existence of comments boxes, and then leave a comment in one?)

  2. Jonathan Potter says

    Physician heal thyself.

  3. Jonathan Potter says

    Blogs don’t kill people, people do.

  4. Matthew Lickona says

    Put another way – blogger, remove the blog from thine own site first, before ridiculing the combox on your neighbor’s blog.

    I have deep sympathy for Japes. Sometimes, I hate blogging and the blogosphere, too. I even hate my own blog. But if I ever get to the point where I really believe that Blogging Kills, you’ll be able to tell because there will be a Death Notice on Godsbody.

    But lest anyone think I think myself above the wretchedness – here it is a beautiful Saturday in July, and I can go outside and play with my family as soon as I finish my column. And what am I doing? Commenting on a blog. Gad.

  5. Matthew Lickona says

    Um, that should be “a beautiful Saturday in January.” It just feels like July. I do love me some SoCal.

  6. Jonathan Potter says

    SoCal scum! Just kidding. Are you still entertaining a move back to the Northeast? Could you really give up the easy SoCal living?

    Here in the Inland Northwest, all our snow melted and we’ve had days and days of rain that feels weirdly wet and coastal. Basement seepage issues have been impinging on my blogging.

    (Let us compare weather! In fact, maybe an antidote to the dislocation inherent in these online communications could be a requirement that we begin every blog entry with a Hopkins-like description of the weather. Or some other sacramental tidbit of local color — like Binx Bolling’s need to strike up a conversation with the cinema owner before seeing a movie, to get his little orienting pocketful of dirt.)

    Getting back to Japus. I think the fire-water analogy is a fair one. Blogging is a potent substance (not unlike your Wild Turkey) which can serve as fuel for fellowship but also can turn into a manic thing that destroys the soul. I see his two posts as semi-ironic cautionary tales rather than evidence of self-loathing. If the distinction can be made. Likewise my couple of forays into bloggerel verse. (Although, you’re right, there is the taint of self-loathing there. But laced with humor and open to grace, I hope.)

    I was just listening to a radio interview with someone who wrote a book called American Mania. He (the author) was talking about how we Americans are genetically self-selected pioneers (likewise the ancient Asian folks that crossed the Bering land bridge ahead of the Europeans). Thus we tend to be a restless people. The same gene that has been linked to ADD is present in a larger proportion of the New World population than other parts of the world. (I would think there must be degrees of this impulse as well. As if the continent were picked up and tilted towards the West Coast, and everything that wasn’t nailed down tumbled in varying stages with the loosest tumblers landing in Southern California.)

    I’m getting off in comment tangent-land here, but the point is, maybe we here in the West are particularly prone to this firewater of distraction that is the Internet, with Blogging as the latest distillation of delight and, potentially, despair.

  7. Matthew Lickona says

    Seattle, Wash, is in a fog
    I sit inside, and snugly blog
    Down in Cal-i-forn-i-a
    I blog the sunny day away

    You oughtta be a writer, Potter. More anon. Family seepage is impinging on my blogging.

  8. Flea's bass says

    Psychic spies from China
    Try to steal your mind’s elation
    Little girls from Sweden
    Dream of silver screen quotations
    And if you want these kind of dreams
    It’s Californication

  9. Jonathan Potter says

    Matthew, haven’t you arrived at that critical mass of family seepage where the children look after each other (as well as mow the lawn and do other household maintenance tasks) thus freeing the father up for blogging and swinging in a hammock in the backyard? Or how does that work?

    Having one has almost wiped me out (in a good way) but I got a late start.

    I wish I were a writer. I always wanted to be one. I think you’ve mentioned envy now and again. That’s my bitter pill as well.

    Lickona writes his reams
    While children orbit the room.
    Potter eats ice cream
    And plots Lickona’s doom.

  10. Matthew Lickona says

    Good god, man, you’ve got to aim your sights higher than me! Lessee, one book in print, one rejected manuscript, and a handful of half-started fictional efforts. Plot my doom?
    Why not an historical novel starring your man Soren? Check out The Love Artist for a wonderful imagining of Ovid’s ruin…
    Or hey, I hear memoirs are hot…(sigh).
    Or a meta-blogger novel in which Our Hero has to solve a crime by plunging into the fetid swamp of the blogosphere, armed only with his wits and a copy of Guilty/Not Guilty…

  11. Jonathan Potter says

    You’re right, Matthew. That my range of envy is only able to encompass such a hack wino memoirist as yourself is pretty sad. But there it is. And moreover I envy your progeny. At 40, I’ve got one foot in the grave and probably won’t have time to produce more than one or two more — and he/she/they will no doubt be the final nail(s) in my coffin. You are a youthful thirty-two, and that pisses me off, too.

    What were you saying about self-loathing?

    And Fr. Jape is agape with Jesuitical glee. (Japus, if you’re reading this, drop us a line!)

    Speaking of Fr. Jape, when did he dis comboxes? I missed that, although I noticed the lack of ’em there at ye olde Japery.

  12. Matthew Lickona says

    Here’s what I believe is his first shot over the bow:

    But he’s taken others since. I can dig up more if you like. We had a pleasant exchange about it once.

    “Hack wino memoirist.” That’s even better than my wife’s term for me: “Word-pusher.”

    As I love to remind folks, Percy was around 40 when he published his first novel. Get to it.

  13. Jonathan Potter says

    Thanks for supplying the evidence. I see where Fr. Jape (his real name?) is coming from but I personally don’t think of a blog sans comments as a blog at all. Not a real, full-blooded blog at least. For awhile I did a lot of subversive shenanigans with the comments on Korrektiv, manufacturing characters or quoting real people out of context or other things that could probably land me in jail. Now that real people (i.e. you) occasionally comment, I’ve sort of left off that, but … sheez I’m giving away too many Korrektiv trade secrets here. Guess I’ll leave it at that. Well, except to say, I like what Fr. Jape says here about slowing down this whole blog biz. Mark Shea and Amy Welborn are amazing, wonderful, but I can’t keep up with ’em. It’s too much, too fast, with the comments flying fast and furiously but then the train keeps moving and there’s not enough time to take a breath.

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