A few thoughts about blogging
As I indicated in the previous post, I called into the Brian Lehrer Show this morning. Since I was not allowed to complete my thoughts about blogging (which extend far beyond gazing upon Brooklyn’s fuzzy gentrifying navel) I am going to post them here.
1. I believe blogs are assuming the role that was once assumed by local (INDEPENDENT) newspapers.
2. If I had to liken the proliferation of blogs (be they neighborhood-based or otherwise) to anything it would be the invention of the printing press. Prior to its invention the Roman Catholic Church was (more or less) the sole distributor/gate keeper of knowledge. With the ability to control what people read (or more importantly what people DON’T read) comes a lot of power. And we all know what absolute power does: it corrupts absolutely.
Shortly after the printing press came into being, Martin Luther quickly saw its potential and exploited it. The end result was a little thing called the Reformation. The ability to disseminate and share information is a very powerful tool; the mainstream media (as “gate keepers”) has begun to realize this and they starting to pay attention to the “blogosphere”. Albeit very, very selectively— which of course, is what happened today*.
I suppose I should be content with getting any air time at all and giving a shout-out to The Gowanus Lounge (which was curiously absent from this forum). But I’m not. Here is a list of blogs I wanted to mention on the air today.
Queens Crap: Sure, this is not a Brooklyn blog, but— and this is a big BUT— it deserves attention. Perhaps it may seem paradoxical to some of you, but I do not envision blogging purely as a Brooklyn endeavor. I suppose being located about 15 minutes from this borough gives me a much broader view of things. My neighborhood (and its “growing pains”) have much more in common with Long Island City or Sunnyside than Park Slope or Brooklyn Heights.
To purely focus on Brooklyn is not only an insult to the hard-working and very dedicated bloggers in the other four boroughs, but it also fosters a (somewhat) false notion that Brooklyn bloggers are a smug, clannish and contented lot of well-to-do “white people”. Once again, race was drug across the floor like a red herring and once again it worked.
Confusing race with “class” is astonishingly myopic and naive. One need not be a minority to be poor— but it helps. Contrary to popular belief, poverty is not an indicator of lack of discipline or personal worth. I speak from experience. Even though I was provided a very comfortable upbringing and excellent education, when I started working my lifestyle radically shifted. Downward.
As the incomparable Dorothy Parker once said:
If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.
Some call me a “gentrifier”. I probably am. But as a person who lives in a rent-stabilized apartment (and does not have the luxury of or ability to buy a condo) in a “hot” neighborhood, I have the presence of mind to know I am in danger of being displaced. Just like my less-affluent (and largely Hispanic) neighbors. Their concerns and mine are one and the same.
Atlantic Yards Report: Norman Oder’s dedication and hard work should not be ignored. While we may not agree on some things, I cannot over-emphasize how important his work is. He deserves to be heard.
Outside.In: They seem to be paying attention to the recent (and ongoing) proliferation of Greenpoint bloggers.
Dave Kenny and Xris Kreussling, of Dope on the Slope and Flatbush Gardener respectively: It is one thing to bemoan the lack of diversity at the Brooklyn Blogfest, it is another to actually try and do something about it. Both of these gentleman were of vital importance in the creation of monthly blogger meet-ups. I mention this because Louise Crawford of Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn seems to be garnering most of the credit. Not only is this a tremendous disservice to both of the previous gentleman, it is downright false. I could not have organized last month’s meet-up without their help.
On that note, I have to say organizing the Greenpoint meet-up was very challenging. One of the obstacles I faced was the perception that this meet-up would be a repeat of the Brooklyn Blogfest. While I can understand that some might find “Smartmom” to be good reading over that first cup of coffee in the morning, the fact of the matter is many people do not. For this reason I made a concerted effort to contact people directly and to a certain degree it worked— although not in the manner I had expected. It was much better.
Not only did a lot of number of new faces show up, but they were very talented ones at that! Many of the attendees operate food-oriented blogs. To name a few of them:
In closing, I’d like to say that I am very excited about September’s meet-up in Bedford-Stuyvesant. My only fear is that today’s episode of the Brian Lehrer Show might have scared off a number of Brooklyn (or Queens) bloggers who would otherwise have been inclined to attend.
This post was brought to you courtesy of one 24 oz. can of Coors. Now back to our regular programming.
*This is in no way intended to be critical of BushwickBK or Bed-Stuy Blog.