Saturday, June 13, 2009

Die meme, die! I AM wearing pants

Okay, can we call a moratorium on lazy, predictable decriptions of bloggers as anti-social weirdos who snark at the world (from their parents' basements while wearing stained pajamas) because they haven't the skill to get out and do something like the celebrities, politicos and other folks they write about.

It didn't surprise me when Sarah Palin and John McCain were talking shit about bloggers during the campaign--new media isn't exactly the Republicans' bailiwick. It doesn't surprise me when some bitter journalists take a few shots at the genre that is helping to kill the print news business--I understand that (though I don't think it is helpful). But when a supposedly "hip" pop culture icon repeats the blogger = basement geek meme, I snap. "Daily Show," I'm looking at you.

As we speak, you’re putting the finishing touches on your segment about The New York Times. Can you give me some sense of what it’s about?

We were trying to make comparisons on the up-to-the minute blogger versus the in-depth analysis you guys call yourself. We were making correlations. One thing you guys apparently utilize more than the casual blogger is pants. Have you been to the blogger tents at the conventions? They do not smell good.

You are aware that The Times has a Web site and blogs, too? This very interview is going to appear on one of them.

Yeah, that doesn’t really count. I’m talking about the guy in his mom’s
basement, with his fedora on.


Yeah, I know. Jason Jones was doing schtick in his interview with The New York Times, done in advance of the Daily Show debut of his interview with Times honchos about the alleged demise of newspapers. But this particular joke has become so hackneyed as to be eye-rollingly unfunny.

The characterization would be funny if it fit even a fraction of the bloggers I know. If that were the case, I would snicker along in that "it's funny cause sometimes it's true" kind of way. But the bloggers I know are professors, small-business owners, attorneys, activists, non-profit professionals, journalists and freelance writers.

As I type this post, I am showered and clothed after a morning workout (I know you can't see me, but trust me on this.), and sitting at my dining room table in the house that I own (with my husband). Later, I'm going to work on a writing assignment for a class I'm taking and look over a grad school application, because I am thinking about building on my journalism degree with an MA in creative writing. I'll also probably spend some time playing The Sims 3, shouldn't mention that cause it probably hits too close to the stereotype. I never said I wasn't a geek, just that I wasn't a loser. My point is that I have a life, as do most other bloggers that I respect and admire.

The success of The Huffington Post and Daily Kos, and the high profiles of their founders, should have been enough to kill the basement-dwelling blogger meme. Still it persists.

I know...I's just jokes. I really do have a sense of humor. It's just that every time I hear someone spout some snark about bloggers, I take it as an affront to folks like Professor Tracy and Jennifer and Latoya and Mac Daddy and Jill and Monica and Renee and Julia, who are pretty cool, smart people, who have harnessed new media--not because they are frustrated with their real lives, but because they have something to say and they understand the power of the InterWebs.

Everytime I hear some crack about drooling, lonely bloggers, I want to scream.

"Jason Jones, I am too wearing pants, dammit!"


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