Information, observations, and analysis from the James River valley on the Northern Plains-----
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We have a rather comprehensive posting in process on why we, among other people, have greatly reduced our blogging activity. In a few words, the reason is simple: blogs are not credible sources of information and informed opinion. They have as much credibility to the discerning intelligence as the graffitti in roadside outhouses.
Blogs are the habitat of the marginal. When the Press Project released its compilation of news stories and blog postings from the election of 2004 and its aftermath, it became apparent that the people who dismissed weblogs as the precinct of floundering adolescents were right.
A good example of what characterizes the sulking, mean, and not-terribly-intelligent fare of blogs occurred on Mt. Blogmore when a former legislator presumed to give a definitive assessment of the upcoming election:
"Whoever thought a retired surgeon from Sioux Falls is going to be elected governor is a bit deluded," he wrote. This was touted by a Republican blog as astute.
It contains all the requirements of the regressive repertoire of rhetoric. It finds being a retired surgeon an occasion to be dismissive about a candidates intellect and ability. And it has the requisite suggestion that anyone who supports the retired surgeon has mental debilities. In South Dakota blogdome of regression, this kind of witless insult is considered "witty repartee."
Democrats may or may not make big inroads into the statehouse this year. In a culture which tolerates and even reveres political rhetoric of the kind displayed above, quality of mind and character are not considered attributes. But at least the Democrats can refrain from joining in petty, snarky belittlement as a form of political discourse.
It is rhetoric such as this that makes bright, educated people long for other places. More than children are being left behind. It is also why progressive blogs have greatly reduced their activity.