Friday, July 20, 2007

Some things better left under development...

So today I decided to scrap a pair of follow-up posts to this little diatribe. A couple of lessons about blogging: first, if you have doubts about the veracity of your own logic, you're probably right; and second, if you can't finish a blog post in one sitting then it's best not to let it collect dust for too long. With these now-deleted posts I managed to violate both rules. Plus they were just plain poorly written. Guess I needed my vacation more than I thought.

There really isn't that much to read into this. I just wasn't happy with what I wrote. It's not the first time, certainly won't be the last.

On to other things....

Saturday, July 7, 2007

I'm still here... fact I have a rapidly growing stack of posts saved as drafts-in-progress - an interesting test of the hypothesis that if you have no clue whether the technology you're using works or not, the only way to find out is to try it.

Meantime, I thought I'd share a letter I sent to the National Post the other day, in response to a typically annoying editorial rant about the alleged excesses of liberal celebrities. Not surprisingly, it didn't make the cut....

"The Editors of the National Post this morning seem unusually unaware of the hypocrisy of their words ("Don't Ask Us - We're Just Musicians" - 06 July,2007). Quite secure in their moral and intellectual superiority, they congratulate the Arctic Monkeys and other rock groups who've chosen to opt out of the Live Earth concert series, and encourage other, less "humble" artists to take note, do the right thing and muzzle themselves for what would surely be the betterment of society.

"That popular artists would choose to use the platform afforded them by their celebrity and public reach to promote the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, rather than Scientology or their preferred brand of eyeliner, is presented as evidence of decay in public discourse.

"This line of argument is getting old, and undermines a key principle of the notion of a marketplace of ideas - that what is true and right rises above what is false and wrong, because the aggregate of consumers will be able to tell fact from fiction.

"In that sense, it should matter far more that the findings of the IPCC are typically vetted by over 600 scientists and reviewed and approved by over 100 national governments - including Canada -before being released to the public, than whether or not the Arctic Monkeys play Live Earth.

"This is not to pooh-pooh on the Arctic Monkeys, by the way. They are well within their rights to recuse themselves from this particular marketplace. Just as Ronald Reagan (or Ahh-nold)was within his rights to stand for governor of California. Just as Todd Rundgren is within his rights to advocate on behalf of the National Rifle Association.

"The point is, they have the right to use whatever particular advantages they have to whatever end they choose. As do the editors of the National Post, by the way: their access to this platform - the editorial pages of a national newspaper - is an advantage they have in the marketplace of ideas that has little or nothing to do with whether they are uniquely qualified to use it.

"What the Post editors fail to realize is that ordinary people are increasingly noticing that those who occupy the traditional platforms of opinion leadership -the Lou Dobbs, Margaret Wentes, David Frums, Lowell Greens, etc., of the world -are not necessarily in those positions by divine right or ubiquitous talent. And they're turing elsewhere - to late-night TV, to the blogosphere, and to the celebrities whose pet causes mirror their own.

"One would suspect that the editors of the National Post should be more rattled by the rise in competition in the marketplace of ideas than they are irritated by Barbara Streisand. They probably aren't. They should be."