Blogs on blogs: Ken Layne

Blogs on blogs
: Ken Layne brushes away that guy from like so much dandruff.

: And Matt Welch warns that he won’t tolerate reading the suffix “gate” on the prefix “Enron.” Spot on. The mere thought of it — another scandal with the whole, predictable script that comes along just as surely as “City Digs Out” comes along on the front page of any newspaper after a blizzard — gave me a terrible case of media ennui. Enron is a scandal to be sure, a scandal of giga proportion and mega shame. But it’s a financial scandal — think junk bonds, not Monica; S&Ls, not Watergate — not a political scandal.

(By the way, let me be the last to welcome Welch back … at frigging last. Nick Denton, whom I had dubbed the Laziest Blogger, at least managed to find cyberbeachbars in Thailand to post the occasional post; Welch couldn’t find a single cafe to post to us from France? We all felt so neglected.)

: Quick gets very sensitive. Skin thin?

Left … Right … Wrong
: A month after the world changed, Ken Layne wrote, “Something weird is happening in this country, and it’s not just Anthrax and suicide hijackers. The rational people on the Right and Left are finding — surprise! — that we have very much in common. We like it here, and we like the world.”

Ah, the good old days.

We knew they wouldn’t last. And they didn’t. Today, three short months later, we’re back to right-v.-left bickering and backstabbing and bitching. We’re back to politics for politics’ sake. We’re back to the bullshit.

Look around you here in Blogdom and you see it everywhere: people snipping and sniping at each other because of the their political clique — Andrew Sullivan on one end, on the other, and lots of people lobbing spitballs inbetween. There’s a lot of nya-nya in the air.

I confess that I partook in — and, yes, enjoyed — my own binge of reactionary conservative-baiting in the last few days when I had started suffering repetitive stress syndrome reading the monotonous whining about alleged liberal media bias. I snapped back. And it was fun because it got reaction and it got links but it was stupid. Such bitter banter is all meaningless, unproductive, inane. Stupid.

Politicians do it. Media people do it. And now we’re doing it.

But the people don’t. The people don’t give a rat’s rump about political sniping, politics for politics’ sake, the game for the game’s sake. Go sit in a Denny’s for an hour and you won’t hear that. You’ll hear their real concerns.

They’re concerned about safety and security, especially now; about keeping their jobs; about their health care; about their kids’ education; about their retirement. They’re concerned about real things. Politics is not real.

Now I’m not naive; I know that politics is necessary; it’s how a society balances needs and resources. Playing politics to do what you think is right, to get what you think the people need, is a means to an end.

But playing politics just because it’s fun to nya-nya, well, that’s at best dumb and at worst destructive. Let us hope that blogdom lives above that.

Stupid is…
: Now take this incredibly numb-nuts piece in the Guardian. You could say it’s a sign of liberal media bias. I say it’s just stupid. Simon Tisdall argues that the war against terrorism has led to a “strategic power grab” that is the modern equivalent of “imperialism” and “colonialism” because we’re now dealing with Russia and China and all the Xstans. You could look at it that way. Or you could see this as newfound harmony and common purpose. What’s so wrong with getting along?

Fear of flying
: Howard Stern said this a.m. that he refuses to fly commercial; he’s scared since Sept. 11. Me, too.