Blogs > Cliopatria > Claiming the Generic ...

Apr 14, 2004 2:50 am

Claiming the Generic ...

Over at The Poor Man, there's a hilarious post,"Every Damn Weblog Post Ever". Really, just follow his links. And, yes, indeed, it does ring with the familiar. So do the comments. Read those and you've read them all. Well, yes, but that reminds me of the time that I walked into a library with a friend in seminary. Suddenly, he stopped and said:"No need to go in here. I've read all those words." He meant that at one time or another he'd seen them all, but of course not all of them in all of their particular contexts. I was put onto to this particular generic business by Adam Kotsko, who has the universalist presumption to name his groupage "The Weblog". Kotsko quotes one of the Poor One's commentators:
From Matt McIrvin:
No, see, the real problem with this kind of humorous exercise is the implicit assumption that these rhetorical fallacies are essentially independent of ideological alignment, that all sides engage in dishonesty to approximately the same degree. It's the fake"balance" of the ersatz political authorities that whore themselves in unsigned editorials, the he-said-she-said sickness of a world unwilling to express itself in anything but surrender to the swollen organizational monstrosities that order our lives like six-thousand-ton ticks sucking the life essence out of the national discourse. When in fact anyone who has eyes to see and is not yet a complete quisling prostitute will reject such empty"nonpartisan" jocularity, and recognize that all people who disagree with me are guilty of crimes against humanity, and in a just world would hang by the neck.
"Amen," says Brother Kotsko."Anyway, with that post, the blogosphere is officially over -- we have entered into the post-blogosphere, during which we can only shallowly mimic other people's past achievements." That from him who had just taught us that "There is Nothing Outside the Blog"! But, wait, claiming the generic has been done by historians of all people. There is The Historical Society and, why not?, The Journal of The Historical Society. Even they know that the generic is the form thereof, but that the interesting stuff really does lie in the particulars.

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More Comments:

Ralph E. Luker - 4/14/2004

As I say, what makes The Weblog and *Informed Comment* the great blogs that they are is the eschewing of the universalist gesture implied in their titles. They are both excellent blogs because of the particularities of their interest. Then, there is Chun the Universalist ...

Adam Kotsko - 4/14/2004

in my opinion, is Juan Cole's "Informed Comment" -- especially with the asteriks on either side of the title, thus implicitly claiming any and all future titles including the words "informed comment."

It was kind of funny that Robb, my most reliable co-blogger, asked in the comments whether the "Every Damn Weblog Post" was directed specifically toward us.

Jonathan Dresner - 4/14/2004

Eh, I guess. It reminds me an awful lot of the "college student's check-box letter home" gag. Unless you're including the comments, in which case they're still missing the obligatory "it's Israel's fault" vs. "anti-semite" exchange. Or someone selectively citing biblical text as contemporary authority.

Ralph E. Luker - 4/14/2004

I'm a fan of Garrison Keillor, too, but The Poor Man's post is still very funny.

Jonathan Dresner - 4/14/2004

in other formats, of course. I'm constantly amazed at how clever blogospheroids think they are when they are just replicating discussions that have gone on elsewhere. Garrison Keilor's been doing bits on the "National Association of Organizations" for years now.