The Conversation

MSNBC, the World's First Televised Blog

I don't mean this in a good way, you understand. Everything bad about blogs is right there on MSNBC, except it's easier and dumber, because all that difficult readin' has been taken out of the process.

Back in the day, the blogosphere was full of blog triumphalism. We actually thought Blogs Could Change the World (or at least we pretended to, sometimes). It turns out we were right... in a way.

What we failed to understand is that You Really Haven't Made It Until You're On TV. And we failed to understand that television was a ravenous, indiscriminately-consuming organism, always needing "content" (of a kind) to fill the time between commercials, and it was furthermore a highly adaptable, very fecund, very insidious sort of colonizing/cannibalizing pullulating growth. Like John Carpenter's The Thing, it imitates and consumes.

 What we failed to understand, in short, was that the Triumph of the Blogs would come when a television channel adopted an all-blog format, with all the Hot Sloppy Stupid that is characteristic of blogs on their bad days.

 And we failed to understand the Iron Law of American Dumb that is responsible for the rise of TV in the first place: It's just easier to watch people talking rather to read people writing. Pictures are fun and words are work.

 Dumb is Easy and Easy is Holy.


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