Friday, April 19, 2002

A Message to All

The "Warblog" book pot is further stirred by Nick Denton, who sees a divide between the original, computer-related bloggers, and the bloggy-come-latelies who have concentrated on politics, policy, and blowing things up.

Nick has some good points to make for both sides, finding a Clintonian third way:
    For a long while, there was a curious arrangement between the two groups, in which each ignored the other's politics: the warbloggers grateful that someone had made web publishing so easy; the web kids pleased to see their creation spread.

    And then James Wolcott writes a piece in Business 2.0 that pretty much ignores weblogs before the warbloggers; and the warbloggers get together to write a book, tentatively called Blog Nation. Jason Kottke, veteran web kid, seems to feel weblogs have been hijacked, which they have. The warbloggers respond, politely: write your own damned book. The revolution is eating its children. On balance, I think Jason has a point, and at least he's making it; most of the SF web people are scared of argument. Sure, a book needs to have a voice. But, get real, “Blog Nation” is not a monolithic work, it's a *compilation*. Compilations are meant to be diverse; at least in so far as that makes them interesting. So, warblogger buddies, just make nice with Kottke; apart from anything else, he's actually an excellent writer.
Interesting and perceptive all, but immediately upon seeing Jason's original comments, I sent him an email thanking him for his comments and inviting him to participate in the book as HE WAS THERE and made valuable contributions to humanity on 9/11 itself. Haven’t heard anything from him, so I am not sure that Jason is “making his point” since he would have appeared to have made his critique from the bleachers, then bugged out early to beat the traffic.

I restate again, here, now, that our intention is to put out the best-written and most thought-provoking book we can. That’s all. There is no political agenda beyond HATING TERRORISM in its many forms. This is not a “warblogger” vs. “whateverthehellblogger” situation; this is not Bay Area vs. Everywhere Else; this is a book to represent the contributions of bloggers everywhere to the minds, hearts and souls of mankind in reaction to a stunning tragedy.

Two of my most fervent nominations - if I can only pick two, I pick these two - are about as far from “warblogging” as possible: Tony Pierce’s riveting, brilliant, funny, wrenching photo essay "Dear Kids From Afghanistan," and David Rees’s scathing, scabrous, hysterical, vicious satire "Get Your War On" (part 6 is my favorite). That’s about as far from “eradicate the assholes and the camels they rode in on, NOW,” and dissertations on ballistics as you can get.

Now I have question: Where did Nick get the “Blog Nation” title? I haven’t seen or heard a title discussed anywhere and I am confused. Not that it’s a bad title, but Nick, who I also have not heard from, seems to know something I don’t.

Keep those cards and letters coming.