Friday, November 10, 2006

What about the political blogosphere?

OK. What about the Commonwealth Society of Bloggers concept?

Conaway Haskins III is a Virginia political writer. Based in Chesterfield County, he has gained some notoriety for commentary on his blog, South of the James. Now Haskins has floated out some notions about creating a new blogging consortium with a purpose. He has written about this concept in a recently published Bacon’s Rebellion piece, “The Day After Tomorrow.”

In my view Conaway’s idea is well worth discussing. Accordingly, I am beginning a series of posts that will represent what occurs to me on this topic, in a general sense, rather than write a single piece to gather all my thoughts. And, I invite others to join in by commenting here, or posting on their own blogs. Where better to hash this out?

OK, here’s my first installment of "What about the political blogosphere?"


During this election year political blogs were in the news. Political blogs emerged to play a noticeable role in races all over the country. Virginia’s lively political blogosphere had so much impact on the senatorial contest that it will no doubt be studied for years to come.

More importantly, it is being studied, feverously, as you read these words.

If there’s one thing the vast majority of the political blogs have in common, whether they lean left or to the right, it is a glaring self-awareness. Although too many bloggers use their keyboards to castigate the mainstream media relentlessly, they yearn for recognition from newspapers, television stations, etc., in a way that sometimes hurts to watch.

Professional or amateur political bloggers who shower the traditional media with angry hot lava one day, go off like happy little geysers the very next day, if their blogs are mentioned in an article published any-flapdoodling-where outside the bubbling blogosphere.

Idealistic bloggers sometimes imagine themselves to be akin to Revolutionary War-era pamphleteers. While there is some substance to that claim, the most active players in the political blogosphere are probably more like tagging graffiti artists.

George Allen’s dubious Internet stardom, via YouTube, was like a new form of graffiti in motion. Its power to doom his run for reelection was unprecedented. The political camps and the mainstream media are stewing over the implication of that phenomenon as you read these words.

That’s it for now. More on this topic will appear -- coming soon -- in the next installment of, “What about the political blogosphere?”


Scott Nolan said...

I seem to recall a precedent for lewd graffiti impacting the outcome of some Roman elections during the last days of the republic. Sometimes graffiti is a very powerful medium, in blogs, or on walls - it does not really matter. The message and the idea is what matters.

If the message is strong enough and strikes a chord, it will be pervasively re-copied and re-broadcast.

Anonymous said...

Macaca seems kinda lewd or crude and was certainly catchy when stated by a cocky man riding in a gravy boat.

Nice recall Scott.

As always, ty for the brainfeed of words and art Frank.


F.T. Rea said...

scott nolan,

In the history of propaganda graffiti has surely played a role, at times. And, I'm not using that word to put down bloggers. Well, not entirely.


"Macaca" sounds funny, no matter what it means. And, this time, Allen took the fall, in part, because he made himself the butt of too many jokes.