A Defense of Bloggery Against the Scolding Forces of Printdom:
The Rude Pundit has a married male friend who can't talk enough about how amazing marriage is: how monogamy is so goddamned incredible, how sex just deepens along the life path with your life partner or your soulmate or what the fuck ever, how planning for the future with someone is just, so, god, how can one describe it, but it's just...deep, see, the kind of deep you only feel in the depths of your deepest...and blah and yada and etcetera and whoop-de-fuckin-do. But every Monday, sure as shit, that friend is asking the Rude Pundit about his weekend.
Ah, and then, and then the Rude Pundit gets to let fly. About craven, desperate, sweaty fucking like the world's gonna end; about bar pickups that generally involve phrases like "Have you ever done..." or "Have you ever tried..." or "Have you ever tripped on..." or "Swallower or spitter?"; about various shapes of cocks and cunts, the delicious, breathtaking pause before plunging into another person, the way in which certain twists of tongues or fingers cause one's dick to spasm like it's got a palsy or a clit to quiver of its own volition; about mornings free of regret because, before anything happens, one is absolutely clear about the ground rules: no lies, no error, no foul. There's no pretensions to lifelong bliss, no promises of what happens next, just the time itself in all its exultantly orgasmic, vodka and ecstasy-infused glory. And the ensuing trip to the laundry.
You can bet, and it's such a certainty that no bookie in the world would offer action on it, that the Rude Pundit's friend tells his wife about the Rude Pundit's weekends. And it is just as certain that the two of them talk about how empty the Rude Pundit's life must be, how he must wish he was like them, how he must, must, must desire such security for surely he can't go on like this. And then they fuck the same way they've been fucking for the last ten years. Now the Rude Pundit's not saying there is not innate good in the committed couple life. But, even as he shakes his head at the Rude Pundit, there is behind the movement a tinge of regret and jealousy in the eyes of the friend, as if there but for the curse of God goes he.
See, the attacks on blogging by some mainstream media "journalists" or "pundits" are just a continuation of the establishment's attack on outsiders, the way in which hippies got to get their freak on under the banner of free love versus the conservative America, clinging to its disappearing heterosexual-missionary-position way of seeing the world. Joe Klein is the Archie Bunker of the crowd, waving his craven, befouled finger at bloggers as he pathetically tries to be loved by the right wing establishment, the ultimate compromised MSMer.
And then there's yesterday's broadside by Lee Siegel of The New Republic. Responding, ironically enough, to TNR's blog, the Plank, and its hyping of a non-story about Markos Moulitsas and Jerome Armstrong (and other large-trafficked lefty bloggers) daring to exert people power, here's what Siegel says about the blogosphere: "It radiates democracy's dream of full participation but practices democracy's nightmare of populist crudity, character-assassination, and emotional stupefaction. It's hard fascism with a Microsoft face. It puts some people, like me, in the equally bizarre position of wanting desperately for Joe Lieberman to lose the Democratic primary to Ned Lamont so that true liberal values might, maybe, possibly prevail, yet at the same time wanting Lamont, the hero of the blogosphere, to lose so that the fascistic forces ranged against Lieberman might be defeated." This is not to mention how much our "thuggishness" and "frivolity" upsets Siegel.
So Siegel actually spends time worrying that bloggers might be influencing voters. How fucking dare we upset the moral order, the food chain, the Great Chain of Being. Man, we should all be good little Wonkettes and write cutesy "insider" novels and not worry our widdle heads about the big bad world of real politics. Siegel can lick the Rude Pundit's scrotum.
The Rude Pundit did not attend Yearly Kos for a number of reasons, most of them related to the fact that he has a job and that he doesn't like to go to conferences where he isn't speaking (and that's across the board in the bloggy and non-bloggy world). But never, not once, did it cross his mind that Markos Moulitsas is a megalomaniacal ur-blogger who wants us all to bow down to his Daily Kossiness. In fact, having briefly met and talked to Markos (at the time he spoke to Markos, the Rude Pundit thought he was going to Vegas, but then he remembered that Vegas sucks balls), the Rude Pundit was struck by how naively optimistic Markos is, in good and bad ways. See, he actually thinks he's going to make some kind of change in the nation; that's the kind of person that people are going to follow. And that scares so many who are entrenched in keeping the influence club closed. Or who wanna get into the club where the cool kids are.
Bottom line: the Rude Pundit doesn't give a flying fuck if Markos and other bloggers have a backroom discussion list where they can chat about who the hottest candidate running for President is; the Rude Pundit doesn't give a shit if there's such a thing on the right. And you know what, MSMers? This is all pretty fuckin' new out here in the hinterlands of Blogworld. We don't give a good goddamn about your rules or traditions. We get to make up our rules as we go along - if you as a reader don't like it, well, fuck it, click over to another blog or the blogs of almost every major newspaper or magazine in the country. And, really, and, c'mon, aren't you just a little jealous at our liberatory excesses? Wouldn't you like to write that Dick Cheney's a barely human, oozing, feces-covered demi-gorgon who rips the heads off ducklings just for sport?
But take heart, young bloggers: when they start attacking you for more than just being crazed maddogs who can't get out of their mothers' basements and face the real world, well, then you truly have arrived. Even if they might be better off spending their time dealing with the real liars in this world.
(For the last couple of years, the Rude Pundit has resisted a great deal of the typical self-reflexivity that afflicts blogs. It's the same reason the Rude Pundit hates hip-hop songs that are about the rapper rapping about him or herself. This will not be an ongoing thing here.)
Update- The Horrible Truth: Markos Moulitsas looks smaller on TV than in person. He is actually seven feet tall, with hands that could crush a bowling ball. He sharpens his teeth by chewing beer bottles, and the rumor is that he shot Billmon just for snoring. He scares us all because he enters our villages and eats our livestock at night. Please help us, TNR, please end the tyranny.