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July 17, 2009


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The whole "masturbation" comment is on-point insofar as it addresses the question of how a writer considers his/her audience. There was an incident about a year back with an MTV blogger and Bradford Cox, and the thing that strikes me about it is that the writer, in his apology, talks about how his voice has literally split in two. There's his newsy voice and his bloggy voice. The thing that scares me is that there's going to be a parallell thing that happens (and is kind of underway) where the compulsive, snide side takes over and nothing real gets said or done because the only place there's any incentive is in being the quickest and the meanest. I mean, I still love the utopian direction where 100 smart people each tweet a dozen smart things about a new song the moment it drops, but I'm equally afraid of the idea (HT to HRO for hopefully not being prescient) that the "Merriweather Post Pavillion" reviews are the last great reviews that will ever be written. It scared me that I had an essay in me about crabcore (partly because it seemed like the obvious jokes had already been made) because there's an element of engaging with things beyond the jokes that feels like an intellectual wank after awhile because you realize that it will generate less interest than tweeting about Eating bacon pizza in a Harry Potter cape while watching Jon&Kate+8. I guess what it comes down to is how much you're invested in giving the reader credit and how much you're willing to invest (time and money wise) in that proposition. An awful lot of that seems to be dependent on what's out there and relevant as well. Do I really love "Bitte Orca" when I only feel like tweeting about it or am I merely engaging with it correctly?

It seems to me that the good writers will write well even on their non-paying blogs--in fact, contra Ben Myers, ideally, and at its best, blogging is a purer writing. But that's only if the writer approaches it as worth his or her time. If the writer sees it as wank, then so it will be. And readers will notice.

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