Friday, October 01, 2004

The morning after

Last night's debate, as they call it, featuring Bush and Kerry, is clutering up the airwaves. As Drudge said, let the spin begin...

The interesting phenomenon of live blogging is a cute invention of the blogosphere. (I'm not going to the trouble of linking these phrases to anything. The informed reader doesn't have to work very hard to understand what I'm saying.) Presumably the reader of a weblog will be tuned to the blogger in question, hanging on his or her every comment for pearls of wisdom or clever off-the-set repartee. I can't believe that the main even would be secondary to the attention of anyone, but who knows?

I notice this morning that even the Instafather was live blogging, but he's an exception. He has a greater responsibility than most, like the elementary school teacher herding a bunch of fourth graders through a museum. He has to keep up with everyone else so as not to be caught off guard if somebody whispers "I gotta pee," isn't heard, and subsequently wets his pants.

Mostly, though, live blogging is a corollary to spin. The purpose is twofold. The most obvious purpose is to interpret events in a way that bends the reader's opinion toward one conclusion or another. This is similar to tugging the string on a kite, watching the flight pattern and pulling or releasing the string pretending to "fly" the kite, when all the person is doing is standing on the ground fantasizing about what it might be to be way up there in the sky, looking around, whizzing about like Peter Pan.

The second, less obvious purpose of live blogging is like that of the weekend talkng heads, whose principal interest is focusing attention on themselves rather than the topic at hand. What appears to be a popcorn fest of intellect is really nothing more than an exhibition of micro-insights, each as perfect as the notes of instruments warming up in an orchestra pit, but the combined effect being a cacophony preceding what will hopefully be a good performance once they all get organized under the direction of the conductor.

In any case, I find this morning's harvest from the blogosphere boring. I am content to wait until the dust settles. After all, it is not the effect that the debate had on me that matters. It is the combined effect that on the people who will vote. Though I am in that population, I certainly don't claim to have much in common with most of my peers in that regard. Just about every time I hear someone make a comment about the election my reaction is to either remain quiet or try to change the subject. I know without asking that whatever I might have to say will not be welcome.

Somewhat related to this morning's internet stew is an email that I received:

The National Weather Service has issued a warning for yet another catastrophic hurricane following on the heels of Ivan and Jeanne. The path of this hurricane zigs and zags, and is therefore highly unpredictable. Experts predict that this one will cause the most damage to the United States that we have experienced in four years. They are naming this one Hurricane Kerry.
Be advised, the only way for citizens to protect themselves is by hiding behind a Bush.

No comments: