The Doonesbury Blog Attack
Doonesbury, GB Trudeau
"I'm here chatting with blogger SlamZ88 at the tail end of the media's fascination with blogging." Gary Trudeau, Doonesbury
The blogosphere has now been officially attacked by a veritable icon of free speech in American media -- Gary Trudeau. And Bloggers everywhere are getting their panties in a twist.
In the July 3 strip, Trudeau's Doonesbury asks a dorky, pimply faced geek Blogger, "Isn't blogging basically for angry, semi-employed losers who are too untalented or too lazy to get real jobs in journalism?" Hooboy, piercing irony isn't so funny when it's directed at you.
So every blogger who even remotely fits an obscure part of that description is suddenly feeling like a smacked ass -- when instead they should be enjoying the big fat moon Trudeau is shooting, as he does so well, at the worst of us.
Yo, guys, lighten up! It's Doonesbury, for cryin out loud. Which means Blogging's made it. We've arrived. We're legit. In fact, getting a mention in the Mother of all comic strips signifies we're a genuine phenomenon, a force to be reckoned with, and therefore examined. And--if warranted--skewered.
Doonesbury set the gold standard for taking a hard, irreverent, penetrating look at our culture, our leaders, our lives. Trudeau's stinging satire has for years represented liberal boomer ideologies, frustrations and experiences. It's altogether fitting he take a shot at the Blogging phenomena, especially at Bloggers who take themselves and their blogs too seriously.
"If the market really valued what you have to say, wouldn't someone pay you for it?" Doonesbury asks. Yes, some can answer, and in ever growing numbers. Businesses and websites are paying for intelligent, interesting, authentic, unusual, funny, newsworthy and community-generating blogs.
Trudeau's referring to the crackpots, the self-indulgent whiners, the blowhards and geekazoids of the world who overpopulate the blogosphere in unfettered and unregulated profusion. If you took offense at Doonesbury's remarks, I need to tell you, as kindly as possible, that you're one of them.
The world has seen that blogs can be a viable collective chorus when rallying around an important cause like truth in media or stopping radical right wingnuts from co-opting the Constitution for their own agendas.
But there are so many Bloggers whose solo rants and ramblings are just plain idiotic and boring. They're filled with comments from "fellow crackpots who have time to respond to your posts." Some badly need editing, some could stand a few reality checks--and if it were possible--many should just be jettisoned.
That's the beauty of the blogosphere -- everybody gets a voice. And a chance to speak out on serious issues and causes and inequities and truly repugnant situations (like the war in Iraq) without censorship to a virtually unlimited audience. Bloggers with the Right Stuff have the very real potential to make a difference -- and to make a name for themselves.
Those of us who are/were journalists or marketing mavens know the truth of the old adage: It doesn't matter what they say about you, as long as they spell your name right. As far as I'm concerned, Trudeau spelled B-L-O-G just fine.