Friday, July 18, 2008

Different Tones and Wider Nets

One of the great debates of blogging is the general rudeness and shrillness acceptable within the discourse. Does profanity exempt you from being taken seriously? Are you necessarily "calmer" because you don't drop a few four-letter words? We'll discuss the tone and attitude of various pockets of bloggers, and also why, no matter what, Michelle Malkin is still worse.

PANELISTS: Jesse Taylor, Amanda Marcotte, Lee Papa, Duncan Black, Kevin Drum, "Digby" Parton

This is my first panel of the day.

We started by being Rick Rolled by Amanda Marcotte!

Jesse Taylor starting out by talking about the difference between what the right gets away with. Talked about the bottom of the barrel of the right. But Liberals can't say anything like what they get away with without being crucified on the public author. Nice intro.

Digby talking about the change in her writing from when she started till now. Blogging is maturing a bit too. When she started didn't know if anyone would even read her. She blogged like she talked. Now we all seem to be becoming more aware of all it.

Next up, the Rude Pundit, Lee Papa. Talking about how he got started. He said that he wanted to make the point that talking about the war, being critical of the president etc. was not Offesive... Kind of an attitude "you find that offensive? well how about this...?

Kevin Drum, and Duncan Black up next.

Duncan (Atrios) started talking about Friendman's SUCK ON THIS QUOTE. A lot of bloggers started out with anger and swearing because we are angry, because we had a sense of screaming into a void. Then talked about George Carlin's 7 words. And the absurdity of worrying about words, when we have people on the right supporting ideas, and policy that is truly offensive.

Pt 2
Amanda next, she says she is somewhere between Digby/Atrios and the Rude Pundit. She uses a lot of language and jokes to make a point. Her role model is Bill Hicks, Using obsenity to highlight the absurdity and hypocricy.

Jesse, (pandagon) also talking about how he changed between when he started in college and now. He talks about how is profanity in a much more targeted way now. These days his profanity is not expressing anger so much as sarcastic outrage. Profanity seems to have more power when used in a more targeted way.

What do you find offensive? and where won't you go?

Starting with Kevin Drum
Lots of ideas offend me, but words are not the offesive part. He won't use c*nt, or N*&*er. We don't discuss language. Kevin doesn't feel that the world is all that outraged. Compared profanity to cat blogging. Some people do it, some people don't.

Duncan; it is about the MSM trying to apply the norms of their profession to blogging. And trying to control the conversation. They look at the blogs as "They are doing something different and it's it Wrong!" The use their outrage to undermine our authority.

Lee Papa: when the MSM focus on profanity they focus on the commentors.
Lee trys to avoid talking about killing people. Can be seen as a security risk. He avoids comments about men raping women. Those are his limits. "I have created orifices". but I won't do the other two."

Amanda; One limit I try for, is how vulger can I be without being sexist. Challenges people's ideas.

Digby; "I have a few words I won't say. Not because I am offended by them, but words that I wouldn't use in speech I don't use them." I try to steer away from every referring to people's looks, using that kind of shallowness is not what she does. Bad language has now been associated with the left. How did that happen? Why do the reporters don't report it. Saying this stuff on the right is portrayed as macho.. when we do it-- portrayed as vulgar. She thinks the answer is to do it more. Not let them control what we say or do. A lot of liberal writing over the decades seems to lack guts.

Question 3; did you ever edit your blog because of something a reader or commentor said.

Digby; NO

Rude Pundit; was going to do something potentially divisive at the eschaton conferece this year but decided not to. But not on the blog.

Kevin: no

Duncan; once. edited something I wrote about Andrew Sullivan

Amanda; Had to change a title for a post for google ads. The title was "Defend Blowjobs."

Jesse; Edited one post, Duncan called him on it. During the 04 primary. Critical of John Kerry, didn't like him as a candidate. "A bunch of Kerry people complained, You are destroying the cause. I edited the post... and Duncan and he met up and said he was disappointed that I had done that. "

Question 4;
Does profanity and snark run the risk of closing down the conversation?

Kevin; NO

Duncan; You can do both, serious posts and also snark. You can do both. The right shut down useful conversation years ago. Much of the last few years has been Jonah Goldberg conservativism. there is little point in engaging with that. So it is ok to use the snark to shine a light on how stupid and wrong this is.

Lee; Movements need pressure relief valves. We on the left are using snark and profanity as a way of saying the movement itself has serious concerns. But that release valve needs to be there. It helps keeps the movement coming.