Monday, December 04, 2006

Democracy or dumbing down

Two views on blogging:

First, Jasper Gerrard:

"Vodcasts and blogs are to the noughties what graffiti was to the Seventies: mindless scrawls reading: 'I woz ere.' It says: 'I'm a moron, but worship me anyway.' …
Bloggers are the codgers who used to write letters in green ink banging on about speed humps or Judao-Freemason conspiracies".

In contrast, Robert Tait in Tehran:

"With some 7.5 million surfers, Iran is believed to have the highest rate of web use in the Middle East after Israel. The net's popularity has prompted an estimated 100,000 bloggers, many opposed to the Islamic regime. Some blogs are substitutes for Iran's once-flourishing, but now largely suppressed, reformist press".

Instinctively, and obviously, I approve of the latter and I don't like the snobbish rubbishing of any open method of communications that does not require the moderation of an editorial board.

Jasper Gerrard does qualify his remark by, rather patronisingly saying, "They probably include gifted amateurs whose vodding and blogging will earn them a proper job. As for the rest, well, everyone has a right to write; but a right to be heard still has to be earned". Presumably, this means that amateurs like Norman Geras might get a proper job, just like those erudite masters of the English language who sometimes lurk on the Guardian's opinion page, and then we might be able to read him with respect.

Blogging is for me a simple form of self-indulgence, but I have also learnt much from a number of distinguished bloggers, all anyone has to do is to exercise their judgement. I am certain that I am as capable of making my own mind up about the quality of the blogs I read, just as I am of abandoning another ghastly Guardian article about the travails of being middle-class in London after the first few lines.

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