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October 17, 2009

The Freakin' Patriarchy and Their Jackbooted Jackboots of Oppression

Always tryin' to keep a sistah down...

Wow Dan! That would make you a conservative man who actually respects the opinions of women! To listen to the MSM none of you actually exist in the conservative party. You know, not like all those enlightened male liberals and femanistas who speak about women with respect but behind the scenes only use them for the political purposes they may serve.

I have to say that in 6 years of blogging, I've disagreed with scores of male bloggers and only extremely rarely had one be nasty or take offense. Given that guys get into flame wars all the time with each other (and they aren't particularly gentle in the way they disagree with each other, either!) I've never been quite sure how any reasonable person would get the idea that male conservative bloggers are sexist pigs.

Grim and I disagree a lot and I think our disagreements have make me a more thoughtful person. Dan's another blogger who has often shifted the way I think about an issue by bringing some aspect I hadn't thought of into the discussion.

Patrick O'Hannigan has an interesting essay up that discusses the case against blogging:

Stefan McDaniel has a heartfelt blog post at First Things arguing that blogs are not doing people who love language any favors. Riffing on what Neil Postman wrote two generations ago about television (the book was Amusing Ourselves to Death), McDaniel worries about what blogging has done to our attention spans. That literature is worth saving, he takes as a given, and good for him. Although he doesn't put it quite this way, his misgivings stem from the fact that literature is built for comfort, not for speed. His argument is that the proliferation of blogs now makes it more difficult for people to read or write a sustained argument (or any narrative, really) than it used to be.

I think there's a good deal of truth in this argument: because we react in the instant, blogging is in some ways inimical to the well considered argument. This is something I fight with constantly. My sense is that I just don't have time to think about about 90% of what I read and so I don't comment.

But looked at another way, blogging provides something that can't be derived from longer form writing in a one-way medium: it's a conversation about ideas and a chance to explore our differences.

I don't view convincing others as the point, although that's nice on the rare occasions it happens. The point of blogging, at least for me, is the back and forth; the chance to see how others reason and justify their positions.

Blogging shouldn't be a replacement for more substantive reading and to the extent that it displaces this kind of learning, that's unfortunate. But having another choice shouldn't be blamed for decisions we make freely. We are free to read deeply and thoughtfully.

If we choose not to, we were not compelled to that decision but rather (perhaps) seduced into it. But that's another discussion entirely.

Posted by Cassandra at October 17, 2009 12:36 PM

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Literature is a monologue -- blogging is a conversation.

Posted by: BillT at October 17, 2009 01:08 PM

You and Grim should charge admission when you two take opposite sides of an issue. It is always entertaining and usually very logically argued.

Posted by: Russ at October 17, 2009 02:36 PM

I enjoy a lively discussion between folks who are interested in expressing their POV. The activity reminds me of making a sauce. The process of reduction is what makes a good sauce if the ingredients that provide complexity to the base are there. No base, no flavor and the sauce is flat and insipid.

Critical thinking is not replaced by 'flaming' when we disagree. A well formulated presentation is a joy to behold and provides the sparkle that turns an idea into a polished gem. Amplitude does not make up for a lack of reason.

Now back to my gravy...

Posted by: vet66 at October 17, 2009 03:42 PM

You and Grim should charge admission when you two take opposite sides...

Hear that, Cass? Cage matches. Fifty bucks a head. Whadda ya say?

Posted by: Grim at October 17, 2009 06:59 PM

"Literature is a monologue -- blogging is a conversation."
Without a doubt.
"Hear that, Cass? Cage matches. Fifty bucks a head. Whadda ya say?"
I do expect a very substantial senior discount for a season tickets package...

Posted by: bt_Curmudgeon_hun at October 17, 2009 07:15 PM

I hope y'all will at least consider a military discount....

Posted by: DL Sly at October 17, 2009 07:39 PM

Now, you know, if we give discounts to everyone we like, we might as well be doing it for free.

Oh, right.

Posted by: Grim at October 17, 2009 09:35 PM

May I have the popcorn concession, please?

Posted by: LittleRed1 at October 18, 2009 09:08 AM