To me, the written word, no matter what media, has value, if it's good. And as always, regardless of the media, "good" is in the eye of the reader.
Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that blogs are necessarily art. Nor that they are the new version of quality journalism. I am just saying that not all are trash. And not all are a fad. Some folks are really good writers out there, and just because they choose a non-traditional media doesn't make them junky!
Some folks, non-journalists, maybe have had no other outlet, or know-how, and are willing to share with their world their opinions, beliefs, themselves. Don't shoot them, OK?!
I also believe that private blogs paint a vivid and colorful, never boring, always surprising landscape of any society. You go through them, and you meet anyone from the lonely introverted computer geek who cannot get a date, to the soccer mom overwhelmed by chores, to the angry Republican voter who just lost a big ticket!
They also offer arenas for the new debates. They are the new scene for exchanging ideas amongst regular folks, if they allow comments ...
Just to prove my point, and just because I found this hysterical for a Friday, here follows a blog from The Washington Post and its subsequent comments.
I am not going to reproduce the whole article, although it's not big, because I am not sure of all the copy rights involved. I hope the link will stay valid for a while, though, so you can read it:
And if not, the article is, in essence, talking about the new release of the a new MacBook, next week, on October 14.
What I found formidably entertaining were the comments. I have always believed that the comments to a piece of writing are, of course, comments about that piece of writing. Well, you'll see below, they tell us MORE about the people who make the comments than they tell us about their opinions on the blog. In fact, the point of the article is seldom acknowledged by the commentators.
What the comments did provide for me (outside of the intrinsic humor) was a picture of our dear America as we know it. The paranoid, conspiracy theory freaks, right along with the child molester, and the computer geniuses, the Republicans, as well as the Democrats, the soccer moms, and the overworked soccer dads of our country, the war vets and the Depression babies; the potheads and the schizos - everyone has a piece of virtual soapbox to climb upon in this one.
My God, what a masterpiece!
As if I needed further approval that all this was true, please read what 'English Guy' posted - as I think he does a great job of summarizing this blog and its comments for all of us.
I have not modified any of the comments. These are honest to God posts on The Washington Post's site.
Enjoy, and please allow me to make some of my own comments (in blue), to the ones that the readers have made. I just can't help myself sometimes - I am THAT opinionated! My comments follow (not precede!!) the post of one person.
And feel free to post yours, as well.
Happy weekend, all!
i can't wait for these (he means the MacBooks) to come out.
i'm only 13 but i plan to get one as a joint birthday and christmas present.
nobody can understand how excited i am!
Posted by: adam codrington | October 10, 2008 11:30 AM
Recognize the type?! Sure you do: our computer enslaved teens being misunderstood - come on, this is an easy one!! Now, the fact that this is the first comment is karmic and cosmic at the same time: this is the one faucet that releases the torrent to come.
Kudos to the poster, because he's amongst the very few here who refers how the topic affected him personally (which is what personal comments most times should be, I think) and almost the only one who gives his whole name.
Thank God for kids, some days. Because it's a Zoo in the adult world. But let's not divulge, shall we?!
Um, son, your not getting this laptop, we cant afford it cause your dad lost his job due to the economy crashing and we must now sell you for slave labor, sorry.
Posted by: YOUR MOM | October 10, 2008 11:38 AM
How sad, that the family is in need! And how sad the mom cannot spell, either. I am sorry, Adam! We all wished for more forward thinking parents.
Misleading headline - bad journalism
Posted by: Poster | October 10, 2008 11:38 AM
who needs a labtop a thirteen???
Posted by: aa | October 10, 2008 11:40 AM
Evidently, "aa" should have had a computer at age 13 ... maybe it would have helped with the spell check. I think.
I'm a PC.
Posted by: Kenya | October 10, 2008 11:41 AM
These are my favorite: just disconnected, disjointed comments, just because one's bored and would like to share their opinion "online". They say we're paranoid about our identities being stolen online. That's BS! Americans are identity whores. We love to share it, and flaunt it. Most of us have several "personal sites". Sometimes I think the only thing we're really afraid of is that we're not interesting enough to have our identity stolen! Now, who cares who is a PC, I ask you, in this context or otherwise?! This shows only one thing: you watch too much TV and you know the commercials! Not a very laudable characteristic, in an evolved human's book, and plus, no ONE is a "PC", because no ONE is a "thing". Or, are you?!?
Love my iMac, Macbook Pro, iPod and iPod Touch.
Keep innovating Apple!
The days of infected Microsoft software are over for me.
Posted by: Anonymous | October 10, 2008 11:42 AM
Wow!!! How can one keep track of ALL those!!! Pretty soon, (s)he'll turn into a robot themselves ...
Posted by: Arun | October 10, 2008 11:42 AM
One of my favorites ... :-)
but I'm a PC.
Posted by: Bill | October 10, 2008 11:42 AM
Hhmmm... Again: who cares?! And: really?? Are you?! Where's the start button, and how do you reboot??
one word bill gates
Posted by: mj38 | October 10, 2008 11:45 AM
Hhmm... that would be two words! But thanks for sharing.
if your 13 you should be worried about getting a bike you greedy punk you dont need a $3000 computer
Posted by: BigDick Johnson | October 10, 2008 11:45 AM
I guess this poster's name speaks for him itself !!
I'm a PC, but I use a Mac.
Posted by: PC | October 10, 2008 11:48 AM
So ... Schizo? Maybe?!
I'm a PC too
Posted by: Vzx | October 10, 2008 11:49 AM
I felt after a while that someone will say " My name is a PC and I am a Macoholic". Geez!! I loved these ones, just because their repetitions sounded rhythmical after a while. Kind of like a chorus in a song.
The headline is followed by an asterisk. Follow to the next asterisk and it says "until the 14th."
This is very clever. It is NOT misleading and it got everyone to not only notice... but to read what it was about.
I missed the "until the 14th" part... but knew the asterisk was there. I read the entire article waiting for them to tell me not to buy it and why.
Then I realized I missed the by-line. MY FAULT! Had I seen it... I most likely wouldn't have read the article.
This was clever, and I was fooled. Kudos to this writer.
I agree... a laptop is not a toy and a 13 year-old shouldn't be given one. Most adults can't even handle one.
I have no problem with kids having them... but let them work for, save and spend their own money on them so that they will take care of them a little more responsibly.
Posted by: Boo Mac | October 10, 2008 11:51 AM
That was the PhD for you: he explains everything. Nothing ever goes by him, and he has a reason and a rhyme for it all. It all makes perfect sense. Now, don't get him started on the aliens vs no aliens one! He'll never finish!! He is the "Friends"'s Ross for all of us!! On top of the PhD, he is also a loner. And a tad OCD. He's covering ALL his grounds... Don't you agree?!
I don't like any MAC without cheese - this article will do
Posted by: Frank | October 10, 2008 11:52 AM
One of my favorites as well. :-)
I'm a penguin. I hope you like your lap top.
There were no lap tops when I was thirteen. We had to play footbaLL and stuff like that. We also did a lot of shooting down at the river.
Posted by: Mr. Ubuntu | October 10, 2008 11:54 AM
Aaaawww ... here come the ones with the memories ... and the remembrances: "in MY time, things were different". And again: Linux is an operating system: what's the machine, you elitist freak?!?
I'm a PC in a Mac's body...
Posted by: Confused | October 10, 2008 11:54 AM
That's the one who's a closeted gay, right?!
Oh my goodness, the headline clearly has an asterisk AND a subtitle that immediately clarifies. No halfway intelligent person would just read the headline and not think there wasn't more to it (much less actually obey it...!).
Bad journalism, huh? And this accusation comes from what background? Don't open your mouth unless you actually know what you're talking about.
Posted by: cbr | October 10, 2008 11:56 AM
But how do you KNOW that you DON'T KNOW what you're talking about , so you can keep quiet ?! Hhhmm...
Dear young 13, what will you do with your new MAC? Text and surf you-tube? When I was 13 I was locked in the basement with only a candle and some roaches to play with. I tied threads from my pajamas to their legs and watched them run and run when the hot wax dropped on their little bodies. It was fun but not as much as a new MAC laptop will be.
Posted by: Weenie | October 10, 2008 12:00 PM
I thought you TYPE on a laptop. You TEXT on a phone. No? I'm STILL behind, eh?!? And someone, please call 911 and also trace this IP, if you would !! I think we've just found out who killed Jon Benet!!
Hey, I'm a Acer Aspire One Netbook with Linux.....how bout that!
Posted by: Fallout330 | October 10, 2008 12:05 PM
Oh, man, this one is soooo cool, ain't he?!? Why does everyone want to be a "thing" though, is beyond me!!
I'm a mac.
I like the present plastic MacBooks because the wireless reception is much better than the aluminum or Ti ones.
For all you PCs...my mac along with all the intel macs can run windows in BootCamp without emulation. Nice. Best thing would be to never, ever access the web/internet, email, etc. while in PC mode...then you'll be safe from PC viruses.
Posted by: macface | October 10, 2008 12:08 PM
I am an IT professional, of sorts. Someone please translate this one for me!
Yeah.. and wait till christmas comes around and everyone gets presents and he doesnt...
Im sure he will whine like the little turd he is
Posted by: Franky | October 10, 2008 12:13 PM
Someone please neuter THIS one! I mean, if he's straight and having sex with a woman, I would not want him to have his own "turd" one day!!! I'd feel sorry for "the turd" !!
I bought MY first mac with cash that I saved. I saved by not wasting money on other things. 3 years later, I'm still using it and still loving it.
Posted by: solvent | October 10, 2008 12:13 PM
WHAT WAS THIS ALL ABOUT???? Saving? Wanting a medal for saving? Being poor? Being poor and cocky?! What in the hell?!? Glad that credit counseling worked for you, there, "solvent".
I want that 13 year old boy and his new macbook for MY birthday... mmmmmm
Posted by: Krunch | October 10, 2008 12:13 PM
OK. Another 911 call, please!! Jesus, people! I cannot believe this is The Post, still!
Don't buy a 'Mac' ANYTHING. It's a bunch of overpriced proprietary garbage, for people who have more money than brains...
Posted by: John Galt | October 10, 2008 12:14 PM
You know... I have always thought that, but I cannot speak, as I have never used a Mac. Hhmm...
The Mac is also a PC.
Posted by: Javier | October 10, 2008 12:18 PM
Amen, broher, is ALL I am saying!! I never understood why a Mac is NOT a PC anymore!!! What? A Windows machine belongs to you (it's "personal"), but a Mac is a lease?! Makes no sense to me!
I can't believe with the economy so bad this article was published.
No one should be buying a new anything from Apple. (Unless of course you are using bailout money to do so. ;) AIG)
Also does the memory of the readers fail to remember the Apple 5400 Laptop and it's great release....er....recall.
Give Apple time to stew in the laptop for a year then race out to get one when the economy forces it to be ...let's say ....affordable!
Posted by: Jason K. | October 10, 2008 12:19 PM
Love the economy rant. I mean, can we please see PAST the 'today'?! Think of something else other than the headlines of any junk paper in town?! Evidently, some cannot !! And if they can't, why to they clog up the virtual waves?! Just so we all know they're bothered by the economy? Who isn't?!
I love my Mac.. it quit working 6 months after I bought it, but the monitor still is bright enough to use as a night light.. It's great!! Wouldn't trade it for anything, I've always had macs so I'll stay with them F O R E V E R. I have to use regular PC's at work and everywhere else though. But, I still have my trusty nite light at home. Soon I'll give it to my 13 year old son as a xmas present. :)
Posted by: Loyal2dacore | October 10, 2008 12:23 PM
I was CONFUSED about this one! Man, the loneliness in some folks' lives is truly ... touching! NOT! It's sick!! I did get 'some' ideas about home decorating ... *eye roll*.
I will bet $5.2 Trillion in mortgage derivatives that this '13 year old' is a 28 year old marketing guy sitting in a cube in Cupertino monitoring press coverage and writing under 'Adam' in WaPo and 'Jenny' in WaTimes...
If I am right you can have Fannie Mae's bad loans, if I'm wrong you can have Freddie Mac's bad loans. (hey at least I didnt give you Wachovia's bad loans from Golden West!)
Posted by: Mike | October 10, 2008 12:26 PM
And there goes the conspiracy theory man! Well done!
When I was 13-years old, I got an abacus.
Posted by: Old Dude | October 10, 2008 12:30 PM
... and the Depression grandpa... How endearing!
This is brilliant, you are all re-enforcing every American stereotype available! Cheers for the buggering up the economy, when you get a passport come visit me in the rest of the world. And are you really, seriously gonna let that Alaskan bird with learning difficulties run your country? ha ha ha!!!
Posted by: English Guy | October 10, 2008 12:56 PM
It's fun to see how truly we are and look like when the Brits (or the rest of the world) are holding the mirror in front of us, and point. And laugh. Quite nice! If this doesn't make you shake your head and wonder how we got here, I am not sure what does ... All I can say is: I have an escape: I am a DUAL citizen!! And 50% of the time, I can be the one holding that mirror. That makes me sleep at night!
Gah, it's taking all I have not to burst out into hysterics in my pink cubicle...
Posted by: LoriMar | October 10, 2008 1:03 PM
That was Jessica Simpson for you!
Posted by: beep | October 10, 2008 1:21 PM
So, is it journalism? Or blogging? And how are they different? Is it blogging or tech blogging? Is it an editorial, but no journalism?! Thank you, Style Professor, now, we're all happily confused and have one more topic for the next blog. Or Journal Entry. Or ... Editorial blog entry. Wait...! Which was it again?!?
I need some weed
Posted by: "Sad Face" | October 10, 2008 2:11 PM
"Are you a pothead, Focker?!" :-)
I like Obama
Posted by: Aho liquor | October 10, 2008 2:15 PM
Well, good for you. Thanks for sharing! Just sober up before you vote: we need to make sure you don't punch the wrong hole, OK?!?
Posted by: Rusty's Mom | October 11, 2008 2:32 AM:-) - is all I have to say about this one, while laughing ...
Posted by: Joe | October 10, 2008 3:01 PMWith that spelling and poor grammar Obama would not want you voting for him, I am sure.
Does anyone remember the topic of this blog? Or the first comment?! Then, please relate "Rusty's Mom's" comment to those?!
And if THESE are the readers of The Post, I wonder who reads Soap Opera Digest anymore ... hhmm ... That's it for one week's bashing of our society.