The blogosphere just got stupider

Sensible Mom, who wrote so well, so forthrightly, so politely and well…so sensibly, and who used her gifts to deconstruct dubious constructs so definitively, is hanging up her keyboard and moseying off into sunset. She writes:

I’ve turned to blogging less and less. Maybe it’s because I’ve realized that the news never really changes. It’s just the same cycle over and over and it’s too much like swimming against the tide.

I know I’m just part of an echo chamber. My reactions are the same as so many others who remain dedicated to writing and who have a much larger following. It doesn’t seem worthwhile to me to post half-heartedly or only once every few weeks.

Plus, I’ve been extremely busy with other aspects of my life, and I don’t see them slowing down.

Oh, woman, I hear you! I’ve pretty much observed the same thing about there being nothing new in the news.

It certainly does feel like everything that can be said has been said and that the blogosphere is simply riding around a mobius strip of closed minds and toxic partisanship that is bringing us nowhere, fast.

As I wrote in 2006:

There is no way to debate because – no matter which side tries to get serious – a well-thought-out discourse is immediately shot down by the other side with a one-line-sneer, usually a specious one, that distorts or misdirects and never allows a thought to go forward. The disrespect between “sides” is staggering, and completely unproductive. But non-productivity seems to be what people like. It’s “safe.” If you don’t do anything, you can’t get blamed, right? More kicking things down the road.

This is not to say there is no civility on blogs. My blogfather, Ed Morrissey remains the personification of intelligent discourse, tendered with civility toward all and malice toward none. Glenn Reynolds, too, is noticably balanced. My blog-sister Jeanette is also wonderfully kind and civil on the rare occasions where she does get a little “caught up” in things, she always comes back with something sincere, humble and edifying with again, “malice toward none.” I can name you a few dozen more such blogs – even a couple from the left! – but in a world where blogs multiply by the bazillions each week, that’s small comfort.

Although he writes from the far left - the far, far left – our friend Joseph has noted the same thing, writing, “Until a major change comes, there is really no more to say about politics.” Although we could not disagree more thoroughly on matters political, here Joseph and I agree. He has begun a new blog The Empty Sky, in which he tries to ignore politics. Check it out.

Elsewhere I have lamented my own participation in the sort of “sneering-at-each-other while-peddling-to-nowhere” game that defines so much of the blogosphere. I am not proud of my excesses and have repeatedly tried to tamp ‘em down or leave them behind. I wish my natural instincts were simply more kind and mature, but there you go. Like Joseph and Sensible Mom, I’ve been posting less frequently, and leaning toward less-politics, more other-stuff. I am not yet ready to stop blogging completely – I just made the site so pretty! – but to be honest, it’s time-consuming, doesn’t really pay much, and my “real” life deserves a better portion of my “real” attention, if I am striving for balance, which (believe it or not) I am.

Actually, “Striving for Balance” is not a bad name for a blog. If I ever close this one down, I have dibs!

Meanwhile, best of luck to Sensible Mom.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • kelleyb

    If one is totally burned out tonight with the news, check out this http://vultus.stblogs.org/2007/09/the_core_of_monasticism_is_ado.html

    Father posts the Popes talk on monastic life. Father says it better than I could.
    This address is a “veritable Charter of Monastic Life for this generation, and for all generations to come. This is, without any doubt, one of the most luminous Pontifical teachings on the monastic vocation ever articulated. I am humbled and set ablaze by it. It deserves study “on bended knee.” Thank you, Holy Father!” It is awesome.

  • http://jscafenette.com Jeanette

    I am honored to be called your blog sister by you! Thank you. I try to be nice but I do lose my cool sometimes.

    Been gone for a week and I don’t know anything about what’s been going on!

    Thanks for the kind words and I’m sorry Sensible Mom is leaving blogging, but wish her happiness in her new endeavors.

  • Kevin

    Many of us who have been doing this “blogging thing” for awhile realize its limitations. Yet, to watch your journey over the past several years from fully engaged, tart-tongued “thought leader” of the right-of-center political spectrum to an increasingly restless voice of moderation and seeker of the deeper lessons of life and faith is not only fascinating, it’s instructive for many of us. While I agree that there are many more aspects of life more important than blogging, you have to know that for every unhinged hater you’ve encountered through blogging, there are many more people of good will out there sharing your struggle, many of them “lurkers,” that your words touch profoundly, but who, for many reasons, never reveal themselves to you. Even if this supposition is not correct, and that your writing has meant something important to only a handful of people, would not that make your continued efforts, even scaled back efforts, worthwhile? Obviously, it’s not about the money. Your also coming to realize that it’s not about the ego trip of multiple links or site traffic. It’s about discovering that your voice has meaning to others and that, through this relatively new medium, you’ve managed to project that voice over the world and to communicate with others who you would never have discovered you or you them without your blog. So, as for me, I’d as soon see you reduce the frequency of your blogging if that’s what it takes to keep you “in the game.” I definitely don’t want to see you abandon ship.


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