Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Doing one of my periodic clearouts of the mountain of dead tree that I still accumulate, I found this, in the FT magazine from last February. It's by Trevor Butterworth, who, in the course of an extended poo-pooing of blogging,* argues:

"In contrast to the British and European media, which had their origins in the Enlightenment and the belief that journalism was a forum for debate and argument - even philosophy, according to David Hume - the American press is a 19th century creation animated by the pursuit of fact. Blogging - if you will forgive the cartoon philosophising - brought the European Enlightenment to the US. Each blogger was his, or her, own printing press, spontaneously exercising their freedom to criticise. Which is great. But along the way, opinion became the new pornography on the internet."

Maybe this explains the differing reactions of old media practitioners on each side of the pond. Many American hacks hate blogging, because it does something different, and thus confuses them. Many British hacks (see examples passim) are equally scornful, because it does the same thing as they do, often better (?) and thus threatens them.

* It won't work because it won't make money, he says - cf Patroclus's PR-related comment appended to the previous post.


orange anubis said...

There really are some very bitter people in the world. So, would you describe yourself as an "anorak who couldn't get published any other way", Tim?

Heather said...

Old media, so last season.

Billy said...

Is saying something is the "new pornography" one of the laziest comparisons you can draw?

Joel said...

"Hello, did somebody call a plumber? Seeing as you're here, why don't I... tell you why I think the new Mac ads are really obnoxious?
And then show you pictures of my cat."

Tim F said...

Anubis: Bollocks to that.

Heather: I know. But wait for the analogue revival.

Billy: Second only to "like watching paint dry".

Joel: Are you a lifestyle journalist or what?

Jun Okumura said...

Mr. Butterworth says we bloggers have replaced porn as No.1 on the Internet? That's way bigger than Ebaye, even Google! We rock!

Thank you, Mr. Butterworth.
*takes bow*

I'm so excited I won't be able to sleep tonight.

Rog said...

I always wondered how a search engine like Google would turn an honest penny.

Tim F said...

Jun: We just need a few more porn blogs and then everyone else might as well give up and go home.

Murph: Maybe they earn their money in Second Life. Is that honest?

St. Anthony said...

I want to see pornography become the new pornography.
Bringing Enlightenment values to the U.S.? Sounds like a good idea, someone certainly should.

patroclus said...

The Analogue Revival would be a lovely band name.

Tim F said...

Anthony: I do rather think that Jefferson and Franklin and Paine would look at the current state of affairs over there with, to put it mildly, a degree of embarrassment.

Patroclus: Yes, I see it. Vintage Farfisa, theremin, fuzz bass and floor toms. RAWWK!!

patroclus said...

Hmm, that band already exists - it's The Shortwave Set. Not to be confused with The American Analog Set, aka The Dandy Warhols It's OK To Like.

I have a super quote from Kevin Kelly to throw at Trevor Butterworth, but I fear that it's too late now, what with it being a year later, and also I have to go on a conference call.

Tim F said...

Oooh, I like the sound of them. The first track I found seems to be based around a sample of 'My Girl' by Madness, which is a good thing, obviously.

Is a conference call the blog it's OK not to like?