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THE “OUT OF WHISKEY” BEAR

I was going to write yesterday, early in the mornin’, about Peggy Noonan’s latest column but I also knew as I knew that traffic noise would whine on any given day, that the mega bloggers would blog about Peggy Noonan writing about blogging. It’s like sweet tar to bears, to use the words, “blog” and “blogger” and even moreso, as has Noonan, “blogosphere,” because use those words and here we all come lumbering across the plain, through the forest, out of the woods: gotta’ taste the sweet tar, taste the dripping liquid from the delicious source, got to get all sticky if not stuck entirely, hug that bear that’s got there first.

Not that that’s a bad thing. I like Peggy Noonan as a writer — such a simplistic statement about such a profound talent, given her range of language and conceptual play — so this is not at all a negative roundup here. Nor is it in any way discriminatory to or about bloggers — of any fat or lean sort.

It’s just that the themes become redundant when you read the same comments about the same comments about the same columnists, in this case just one (Noonan and her latest column). Plus, she is a columnist, she’s already exercising opinion on the line, so blogging about a columnist writing about blogging seems redundant, to apply another simplistic tag here.

I was down about Noonan following her dissing of President Bush’s 2005 State of the Union Address. Noonan seemed oddly struck by some anti-bug, that bitterness about the religious expression and references in public venues that categorizes many writers: nothing too grand, avoid the religious if and when hope is involved. In Noonan’s case, she made it out to be that Bush had failed in his speech to reach and rally in a practical way because his references were too non-worldly, too deist in reference, not “human” enough, no handles to grab hold of. But, that’s it right there, that ungrand thing. Noonan just made it sound literate and remote.

So, what I decided about Peggy Noonan’s copy after reading and hearing her negation about President Bush’s SOTU Address last month, what I decided about Noonan was that she has become oddly affected by preoccupational trends of personality, and even now writing about blogs, blogging and the blogosphere does not quite rearrange that perception. It is a surefire way to get press, to be talked about, if a columnist makes these points in today’s media confusion, but that is exactly my point: it doesn’t make it alright just because bloggers blog about you. Noonan still has a way to go to reach parity (she’s a paid columnist contributing to the very Mainstream Media that she delineates as being apart and distinct [and worse] from blogging as also do bloggers themselves [which is incentive to blog right there], and, worse, she describes a successful blogger as one who has arrived and is deemed acceptable to a larger group of bloggers just as has the stodgy Mainstream Media so described a successful Mainstream Media model — thereby proving that Noonan does not, yet, understand, realistically, what blogging actually is), although she has long ago reached popular. Just read the popular blogs and you’ll see.

Which isn’t a bad thing, just that it is what it is: more of that range of the cult of personality that I am presently finding objectionable. But, at least Noonan errs on the right side of the cult, and about bloggers, sometimes you have to be raw and unique and write your own material. Sometimes you have to write without whiskey — the sticky stuff of personality, the juice that makes it all go blog, or, not. It can be lonely to drink, or not drink, alone.

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