Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Blogging and the “Bullshit!” Defense

In my courtroom days I had to explain to some clients that there was, unfortunately, no way to immediately bring the matter before a judge and simply inform the court that the case was bullshit, as in, “Your Honor! This is bullshit!” No, Virginia, there ain’t no sanity clause, I’d tell them, as patiently as possible, we’d have to file the answer and jump through all the hoops for two years before a jury could decide that, yes, this was bullshit.

Blogging, for better or worse, embraces the Bullshit Defense.

Real newspapers can print opinion editorials, but these must be academically correct presentations of reasonable opinions. No bullshit there. Columnists can be informal, according to their own style, but they too must arrange their thoughts into structured arguments. Bloggers, on the other hand, can come directly to the point, and after briefly describing the bullshit, they can come right out and declare it unambiguous bullshit, the stupidest fucking thing in history, in the entire history of stupid shit, wake the fuck up, this is bullshit.

This is the Twenty-First Century’s gift to journalism, he said, damning with feint praise.

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