July 25, 2007

Hoi Polloi Amuck

Colleen Doran has 2 interesting and related posts regards the apprehension and outright fear certain intellectuals have of the new media and the coarsening or dumbing down of our culture ...see here and here.

   Now complaints about the quality of thought put forth by the rabble is not  without some merit. The history of democracies is as old as the first lynch mob, which, of course, is why this nations founders strove to give us a Republic.

The internet has vastly lowered the bar for publishing and done an end-run around the editors that were once the gatekeepers. The result, more often than not, HAS been semi literate "cranks with chips on their shoulders" typing out unfocused digressions and on the fly media reviews without the benefit of any deep literary appreciation or other expertise. To find such 'travesties of the tubes' one  need not look far....

  That example notwithstanding, I think the benefits of this unkempt stream of consciousness do outweigh the downsides. The Jayson Blair fiasco is mentioned in the comments and it is important to remember that Walter Duranty got to keep the Pulitzer given to him by those same hallowed gatekeepers.

  Is there a colossal cacophony cretins creating cartloads of craptacular crap plaguing the interweb?

Yes.

But one can turn it off or on with a mouse click...and the potential to bypass the people who fancy themselves arrestor switches on society is what really gets up many of these peoples nose. As Colleen  points out...

The artiest of the art crowd is just as inflexible, narrow-minded, and cliquish as they would presume a community of Mennonites to be; their idea of what is acceptable is different, but no less rigid in context.

The second link is closely related and bears reading as well. Both have lively comment threads that warrant a look....the second of which is launched by an accusatory comment from some Parsons wannabe who one could be forgiven for thinking is a bitter, out-of work-editor...a rather bad one.

Anyway, enough of my rambling, go read both posts.

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