Dvorak Doesn't Get It

· Weblog Concepts

I remember when the Internet started being big news and a lot of the reports back from it discussed some cursory overview of an arbitrary aspect of the Internet as if this random facet was the whole thing. The old “blind men and the elephant” metaphor. This April PC Magazine article from Dvorak, Deconstructing the Blog is mildly amusing but neither succeeds as pure satire nor hits the nail on the head as legitimate criticism. A little of both, sure, but nothing a decent blogger couldn’t have produced easily.
What most surprised me was his attribution of longstanding jargon (such as “grrl”) to the blogosphere. Had he never heard of riotgrrls? Similarly, he writes in his facetious list of advice, be sure to use:

screed, grok, gonzo, meme, and other bloggerisms

OK, now. “Screed” is a real word. He should look it up. “Grok” goes back to Heinlein and has been faux-hip (“hep”) for years, decades. Gonzo is a ’50s/’60s era play on “real gone,” the title of a movie, piano genius James Carroll Booker III’s nickname, and the sobriquet for a type of journalism practiced by folks like Hunter S. Thompson in the 1960s and ’70s. I believe there’s a gonzo porn genre as well.
Lastly, “meme” may be a popular concept in Blogistan but its hardly a bloggerism. I recommend that Dvorak read Dawkins’ The Selfish Gene and Thompson’s Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 1972 and Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land and then get back to us.
[Note: I don’t want to give Dvorak another entry, so I’m tacking on here that the article cited above was preceded by an earlier cursory glance at blogging with many of the same kinds of snide oversimplications. Even if he’s been not getting it on purpose, that still counts as not getting it.]