The WSJ has a guaranteed link-getter piece today on the “tenth” anniversary of blogging. It’s mostly what you’d expect, but I was mildly entertained by this crank-ish Tom Wolfe entry:
One by one, Marshall McLuhan’s wackiest-seeming predictions come true. Forty years ago, he said that modern communications technology would turn the young into tribal primitives who pay attention not to objective “news” reports but only to what the drums say, i.e., rumors.
And there you have blogs. The universe of blogs is a universe of rumors, and the tribe likes it that way.
Blogs are an advance guard to the rear. For example, only a primitive would believe a word of Wikipedia (which, though not strictly a blog, shares the characteristics of the genre). The entry under my name says that in 2003 “major news media” broadcast reports of my death and that I telephoned Larry King and said, “I ain’t dead yet, give me a little more time and no doubt it will become true.”
Oddly, this news supposedly broadcast never reached my ears in any form whatsoever prior to the Wikipedia entry, and I wouldn’t have a clue as to how to telephone Larry King. I wouldn’t have called him, in any case. I would have called my internist. I don’t so much mind Wikipedia’s recording of news that nobody ever disseminated in the first place as I do the lame comment attributed to me. I wouldn’t say “I ain’t” even if I were singing a country music song. In fact, I have posted a $5,000 reward for anyone who can write a song containing the verb forms “am not,” “doesn’t,” or “isn’t” that makes the Billboard Top Twenty.
Favorite blogs: Mr. Wolfe, “weary of narcissistic shrieks and baseless ‘information,’ ” says he no longer reads blogs.
Narcissistic shrieks? Sounds like a great blog title!