The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

14 March 2004

Another dead tree heard from

Vanity Fair has always seemed just slightly out of sync, its coverage of events inevitably shaped by the need to drop the right names, its coverage of names inscrutable to the max. It should surprise no one that James Wolcott's four pages on blogdom ("The Laptop Brigade", April '04), its subject matter inextricably a combination of both names and events, would wind up a hash of half-truths, occasionally punctuated by quarter-truths.

Consider this pronouncement on the Way of the Blogroll:

No blog can be an island unto itself. Visitors vote with their mouse clicks, and the vitality of a blog site derives from the rising number of hits it receives — the return visits. The higher the hit count, the heavier the hit traffic; the heavier the hit traffic, the larger the popularity; the larger the popularity, the greater the love. This is why there is no graver act than to remove a site from one's blog roll, eliminating the link. It can be a haughty kiss-off or a sad rebuke; either way, it's public notice that you no longer wish to be associated with this louse. By thy links shall they know thee, and the fact that neo-liberal blogger Mickey Kaus (Kausfiles at Slate) links to both Lucianne Goldberg, the right-wing Broom-Hilda of Monica Lewinsky infamy, whose comments section teems like a cauldron with racist, homophobic hate speech, and Ann Coulter, the She-Wolf of Sigma Chi, is evidence to his foes not of the Mickster's catholicity but of his scaly lizardry.

Links taken from a current Kausfiles.

Let's assume that Wolcott is correct and Mickey Kaus does, in fact, have foes. (He doesn't bother to list any; he just presumes they exist.) Why would they — why would anybody saner than James Capozzola — care about who's on whose blogroll? To most of us, the gravitas of a public delinking is right up there with the disappointment we suffer when we pop open a can of Pillsbury's biscuits and are not immediately greeted by the Doughboy.

And Wolcott probably doesn't read either Lucianne or Ann, either, inasmuch as he has a palpable distaste for any suggestion that the Administration's Middle East policy might have some semblance of merit:

Honest, confused souls could disagree over the case for overthrowing Saddam Hussein. It was the ugly rhetoric, fathead hubris, and might-makes-right triumphalism that repulsed. Warbloggers hunkered into B-grade versions of the ideological buccaneers in the neoconservative camp. Punk-ass laptop Richard Perles, they excoriated dissenters as wimps, appeasers and traitors, peddled every xenophobic stereotype (the French as "cheese-eating surrender monkeys," etc.) and brushed aside the plight of the Palestinians with brusque indifference or outright contempt. And the warbloggers behaved like they owned the legacy and sorrow of September 11, as if only they understood How Everything Changed and those who disagreed had goldfish bowls on their heads.

Put me down for "outright contempt," and if the Palestinians decide to act like a people capable of self-rule instead of like a pack of rejects from a road-company version of Lord of the Flies, I'll consider upgrading to "brusque indifference."

As for the first line quoted — well, I don't think Wolcott's confused, anyway.

Still, if you have to have a picture of the man behind Daily Kos, this is your issue of V.F.

Posted at 2:51 PM to Blogorrhea


TrackBack: 10:07 PM, 14 March 2004
» De-linking... from marcland
How odd to run across this as I'm going through the process of trimming down my link list:To most of us, the gravitas of a public delinking is right up there with the disappointment we suffer when we pop open......[read more]

TrackBack: 8:11 AM, 16 March 2004
» CARNIVAL OF THE VANITIES #78 from Patterico's Pontifications
Patterico's Pontifications is proud to host the 78th edition of the "Carnival of the Vanities," a weekly roundup of submissions from across the blogosphere. Please allow me to introduce myself. I am your host, Patterico. I am a frequent critic......[read more]

It doesn't have "Vanity" in its name for nothing.

Posted by: Ralph Gizzip at 5:49 PM on 14 March 2004

But I've concluded they must have misspelled "Fare"...

Posted by: McGehee at 9:51 AM on 15 March 2004

Nahh, it's just incomplete. Vanity Fair to Midlin'.

Posted by: triticale at 7:45 AM on 16 March 2004

Triticale - Heh. Nice one :-)

Posted by: Harvey at 3:03 PM on 17 March 2004

He's good. Must be the wry genes.

Posted by: CGHill at 3:14 PM on 17 March 2004