Psychedelic Octopus Found in Antarctica
If you can read about it elsewhere, you won't find it here.
It has always been our policy that if it's news every other reporter, blogger, online journalist or literary dilettante is covering, then THIS blog would only cover angles that were not being covered.
At least since Terri Schiavo.
And so, with Ann Coulter, the new media, and Michelle Malkin, whom, I will cheerfully admit, I call a flat-out clueless bitch from Hell. (That's the last cursing in the piece, so you can take your fingers from your ears).
Coulter herself is so commented upon elsewhere that nothing said here of her could be of any consequence whatsoever, so best to make no commentary on Mephistopheles' very own Barbie Doll.
i. the blogosphere
There was a bloggers row at CPAC. Well, technically, it would be a bloggers' corner, but that plural possessive is just too hard to understand, too difficult to comprehend, and so, by common, subliterate consensus, we agree to drop it and UNDERSTAND that the plural bloggers who reside on the row "own" the row, and so it's their possession. Thus, the plural (many) blogger (s)+ the apostrophe = bloggers'.
There was a bloggers row at CPAC, dominat(rix)ed by Michelle Malkin, who also had her own podcast vidcast network "Hot Air" photographed on a dozen flick'r streams (a photo-hosting site) as Michelle Malkin, blogmistress interviewed Newt Gingrich, rock star.
As Malkin was doing a "roll out," the Republican presidential hopefuls were doing a roll out of their candidacies, and both Howard Rich-related operations were doing roll outs of THEIR new look. The Sam Adams Alliance handed out Sam Adams bobblehead dolls, which were the big hit of the CPAC, as were the collectible "Convention Barbies" that were given out to delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles in 2000. A cagey veteran doll collector advised me to get one of the Black Limited Edition Barbies, which were much rarer, and so I did.
I don't know what the collectors' market for Sam Adams bobbleheads will be, and am unqualified to offer any prediction, but they were certainly a 'hit' by all accounts.
ii. The medium and the media
A whois search shows the domain hotair.com registered to one "Malkin, Jesse" through a Network Solutions proxy account -- gee, how would YOU feel about, say, CBS, if you couldn't find an address for 'em? Hmmm. Her site states (rather pompously), in part:
A Note from the Founder
Welcome to the world's first full-service conservative Internet broadcast network!
Internet video is booming. Apple's iTunes store has sold a gazillion videos since its debut. YouTube gets more traffic than the New York Times web site. And politically-oriented video is on the rise:
These efforts have one thing in common: they are all produced by liberals for liberals.
- Google teamed up with Al Gore's Current TV network to provide Google Current.
- Amazon.com broadcasts Fishbowl featuring left-wing comedian Bill Maher.
- iTunes offers a discount price for Comedy Central's liberal Daily Show.
- AOL joined with the Huffington Post to provide Contagious Festival, a collection of conservative-bashing short movies.
I formed Hot Air Network, LLC, to bring ideological diversity ...
... a statement akin to claiming that the KKK should be included at the NAACP picnic in order to promote cultural and racial diversity.]
And the bloggers were all treated as stars. How do I know?
I know these things from the bloggers themselves. And, in a sense, I am "there" via the internet in a much more profound manner than, say, via CNN and FAUX Nooz, or the NEW YORK TIMES or ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE, or, some weeks or months hence, via the witty, ascerbic wittiness of some arch wit in VANITY FAIR or the NEW YORKER.
Because, however the mainstream media might snark the blogs, we are close to achieving fusion. We are witnessing the birth of a new form of communication, an evolution from e-mail, and the web, as email and the web were evolutions from print, originally.
Even the Pulitzers are, starting with the awards they'll release on April 15th, allowing streaming video, audio, and online blogs, comments, etc. -- "a full array of online material" as they put it. Print has been superceded, and the full range of expression will be included in the Pulitzers ...
The venerable Pulitzer Prizes even released a press thing to journalists:
Pulitzer Board Widens Range of Online Journalism in Entries
New York, Nov. 27, 2006 - The Pulitzer Prize Board announced today that newspapers may now submit a full array of online material-such as databases, interactive graphics, and streaming video-in nearly all of its journalism categories.
Last year, the board for the first time allowed some online content in all categories. However, with the exception of the Public Service category, the online work was limited to written stories or still images.
Now, an assortment of online elements will be permitted in all journalism categories except for the competition's two photography categories, which will continue to restrict entries to still images. The Pulitzer categories range from investigative and international reporting to commentary, editorial writing, and cartooning.
In two categories, Breaking News Reporting and Breaking News Photography, the board will continue to allow an entry consisting entirely of material published on a newspaper's Web site. In all other categories, an entry may contain online material, but it must also contain material published in the newspaper's print edition.
Eligibility for entering the competition will continue to be restricted to newspapers published daily, Sunday, or at least once a week during the calendar year. "This keeps faith with the historic mandate of the Pulitzer Prizes," Gissler said.
You see, the Venerable Pulitzer Board recognizes that it isn't just print and pictures anymore. Gutenberg has finally been subsumed. There is no longer any clear-cut distinction between the constant ebb and flow of the Internet and the "hard" reality of the printed word.
iii. musings on prehistory from your humble correspondent
And yet, stubbornly, hopelessly, forlornly, the Pulitzer Board bravely grabs hold of the last branch dangling in the flood, it must be connected with a physical print edition. It must be a regular publication. But the flood surges onward.
I remember traveling to Manhattan in 1987, with two floppy disks containing both ASCII and Wordstar versions of one screenplay, one short story collection, one novel, and a volume of magazine essays. I'd been writing for my editor at OUI Magazine via floppies that went directly to the typesetter since 1985.
No agent or publisher in Manhattan that I visited knew what a floppy disk was. That included the editor of both my novels, who had moved over to his publications house (and well up the corporate ladder) since he'd been folded in to the new company via his old editorship at Playboy Press. (And THAT company no longer exists, as it has, in turn been swallowed by another company, and is now owned by a European publisher).
In fact, he'd survived the infamous week in the early 'Eighties when one company had gone on a buying binge, snapping up Ace Books, Playboy Press, Berkley Books, and so on and so forth until it had become the largest publishing house in the United States, and in the elimination of staff duplications within the the news mega-publisher, fully one in three editorial employees within the book industry got their pink slip on the same day.
That he had not merely survived, but moved up the ladder suggested that he was no slouch. But he didn't know what a floppy disk was, either.
They didn't ever go away, oddly enough, and I suppose that the blogosphere is supposed to disappear like those annoying computers did, and let us get back to our trusty IBM typewriters. (The IBM Selectric III was the dream of all young writers when I started out, nearly back in the quill pen days).
We are developing a new form of communication, one that comprises more of the senses. Print is cold: you have to supply the pictures, the sounds, the smells and feels and tastes. With video and audio, we can supply the images and auditory impressions, the sound effects. And we now blog using all of the above.
Blogs also have the virtue of being accessible to the illiterate. You only have to know how to click to make things play and such. (This is a great boon to the farm towns of the Midwest, I am told.)
Consider hypertext: clicking on an underlined blue word or phrase takes you to a footnote that is a complete world. Impossible in print. How Emerson or Dante have loved hypertext.
But they were constrained by the limitations of print. This is a new form of communication. And it is a change of medium: from stamped ink on paper to pixels on a video screen and surround-sound.
This has happened before, a long time ago.
We went through this when western tradition transitioned from scrolls to books back around the time of Plato -- who decried, as I recall, the loss of the fine art of conversation to these newfangled books, much as my generation's radio-reared parents admonished us against TV, who, in like form, noted that "playing videogames turns your brains to tapioca" to OUR brats. But some media shifts are more profound than others.
You're living in a sea change, people. The world has altered, time and space have collapsed, and every time I miss something on the radio, I wish I had a "TIVO" so that I could backtrack two seconds, and pick up what I missed.
It will come.
(I've broken the remainder of the tale into bite-sized chunks. Next part, tomorrow.)
Oh, and about that Psychedelic Octopus found in Antarctica?
click picture for story.)