Monday, December 6, 2004

A Whole New Word

Memo to Tony Perkins: YOU ARE DUMB.
It's Monday, and you all know what that means! It's time for a NEW WORD TO HATE! Like we've done so many* Mondays before, we take a look at a new word coined to represent a new idea - a new idea that is stupid and wrong and nobody needs and should crawl back into the hole from whence it came.
So this Monday's New Word To Hate is.... drum roll...BLOGOZINE. A "blogozine" merges the best of two worlds - the timeliness of a magazine, and the writing quality of the blog!
The specific originator of the "blogozine" concept is AlwaysOn - a new quarterly magazine from web entrepreneur Tony Perkins based on his blog, AlwaysOn. Yes, every three months, you can pay good money for a dead-tree version of old blogs and ads. IT CAN'T POSSIBLY FAIL.
The "blogosphere" has already crawled so far up it's own ass that telling it to go fuck itself is pointless and redundant. But then, we're a nation that tends to fall in love with the tool rather than the content, the medium instead of the message. I mean, sure, there are a couple of people out there using web log tools to disseminate useful and interesting information, but if you use those same tools to whine about your weekend, show pictures of your cat, or tell us incessently what your mood is and what you're listening to, that does not put you on the same plane as the Daily Kos.
And that goes triple for people that think the shit they say on the Internet might be interesting when it's not on the Internet. According to the AP, "About half the so-called 'blogozine' will be devoted to the most provocative posts on his Web site, like a recent debate about whether a new computer video game re-creating the assassination of John Kennedy should be rated more obscene than online pornography."
Move over Dante, because Tony Perkins has created a modern vision of Hell that makes brimstone taste like sweet, sweet candy. I can think of no greater torment than to open up a magazine and find it full of PEOPLE ARGUING ON THE INTERNET.
Trust me, folks. I've been arguing with people online for two frickin' decades, back when "blogs" were called "bulletin boards" and the text appeared on the screen slower than you could read it. The only thing appealing about arguing on the Internet is that it's fast, it's easy, it's free, and you can say brazenly opinionated shit without getting a broken beer bottle shoved in your face. None of which is remotely applicable to a "blogozine".
I don't want to read arguments about the stupid "JFK videogame" NOW, much less three months from now, in the airport, when people will have taken their insipid, pointless, misdirected outrage at the JFK game and remisdirected it towards something else I'll probably be yelling about here. But Perkins thinks different. It's ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"It makes my heart go pitter patter when I think about it. I really think this is where the media is going to go in the future." - At which point, we'll all be BEGGING for reruns of "The Real Gilligan's Island". Or we'll be hoping they accept our application to be on The Running Man. Anything to escape from the bleak future media of nerds arguing with each other online.
The "blogozine" idea is so dumb that its innate stupidity has actually LEAKED and infected some of its critics. OK, just this one guy the AP reporter bothered to talk to. Jason Pontin, who worked for Perkins at the dot-com-boom magazine Red Herring, is next up in the grand tradition that is ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"The blogosphere doesn't have the capacity to produce analytical, well-researched journalism." - Neither does Maxim, and it seems to be doing just fine. A blog is just a publishing format, like a newspaper, a magazine, or a daily web-based column maligning idiots. Blogging attracts self-centered idiocy, but it doesn't REQUIRE it. But even the best blog content is going to be old and stale by the time it sees print.
And AlwaysOn is not the best blog content. A website full of middle-aged white IT guys should not have a section entitled "Weekly Rap", and if the kind of "provocative posts" that will see print include examples like the currently highlighted "What Does God Say", "Root of 'Male Enhanement [sic] Movement ID", and the unintentional meta-commentary of "The End Of Originality?", then maybe they should rethink their business plan. Perkins heart may be pitter-patter, but his brain is purest flatline.
For values of "so many" equal to zero.