Well, that's more or less the kind of consistent theme here at the talking dog that has pretty much devastated my traffic numbers, along with the "big box" blogs... but Chris Bowers, himself a pretty good demonstration of the phenomenon he describes, notes that money (i.e. bloggers working for it) has pretty much decimated the ranks of the free-standing amateur blogger, who he now suggests is an endangered species in the progressive blogosphere, anyway. Bowers specifically notes that Nate Silver's "fivethirtyeight.com" is going to be hosted by the New York Times web site as the occasion for his discussion, but Nate was pretty big to begin with, and had already been tied to the Daily Kos, among others who are themselves tied to the media/political money establishment. But still.,.
Anyway,.. good riddance to those damned amateurs, says I: they and their damned independence... they might do things like go out and question the sanctity of St. Barack and the rest of :"our" leaders when they prove to be little more than clones of the people they purported to run against and replace... and those amateurs go out and do things like their own basic journalism where they interview people on their own and do things like "embed" themselves with GTMO detainee legal teams and... oh, right... those are the things actual independents (such as... moi...) do, who, not in any way having their blogging tied to money, can afford to do, because if their (our) traffic is decimated by the loss of links from the big-box bloggers who are in whole or in part dependent for their livings on their popularity and/or their fealty.. we/they can go on, because, hey, it's only a hobby anyway. Did I say that out loud?
Folks, those few dozen of you who are left out there and still reading this know bloody well that here on the talking dog, at 8 1/2 years, just about the oldest extant liberal blog that I can think of (Kaus and Sullivan are older, but are they "liberal"?)... we're not beholden to.. well, we're not beholden to much of anything, really, because "amateur" means... wait for it... independent. Not beholden to the big media establishment, to political parties or candidates, to advertisers, to big-box bloggers... not beholden to anyone... other than to you, of course, who can comment away, if you feel like, or not, or read this blog, or not read it... and while I love adulation and attention as much as the next guy... let's just say that I make a perfectly nice living utterly unrelated to blogging, and I have no intention of altering that arrangement.anytime soon.
Just as truly independent media doesn't take corporate contributions (PBS and NPR, I'm talking to you), the progressive blogosphere until a couple of years ago (and folks, I mean this... the entire blogosphere prior to the Iraq War) were fresh, original and downright interesting... there really was no "party line"... or at least, none that could be traced directly back to the party, as there is now ("both sides", btw)... the last truly interesting work on the blogosphere is by the truly independents... academics, particularly tenured or tenure track, come to mind in this regard, as their living is safe, whether or not if their blog tanks... that's what I'm talking about, really.
With all due respect to the great big box bloggers... they're just not as interesting, For one thing, at just over 1/3 of the way through St. Barack's first term, independents (or as I prefer to call us, actual liberals) have concluded that the Obama Administration has sold out virtualy every value we hold dear and for which we supported him in the first place,,, well, try getting a blogger dependent on advertising and.or media connections and/or political consulting to acknowledge that both parties are virtually the same-- that we really ARE in a "post-partisan" era... just not in any kind of good way, To be truly honest, we are a one-party state:.. neither blue nor red.,.. more of... the Green Party... just not in any kind of good way, as we have the best government money can buy... i.e. not good at all . Not gonna happen, folks.
Anyway.. even though Bowers says I'm extinct... I still seem to be here, paying for my own damned band-width and writing what I perceive to be "just the facts" whether you care to click in or not... so... sorry Chris, but I'm an amateur blogger... and I'm not dead. And neither are my amateur brethren. Nobody but those who need to know will be reading... and that's fine with me.
The fact is, folks, as civilization collapses around us (and feel free to believe me or not... but I believe it) we're totally in an "if it's going to be, it's up to me" posture. Our businesses, unions, and political parties have sold us out; we can be all "victimy" (and of course, racist) like our overweight friends in the "tea party"... or we can take matters into our own hands, and try to at least get ourselves and our families off the grid... off the political dependence grid, and maybe off the electrical, communications, finance, and corporate food and medicine grids too, come to think of it. A tall order, and like Rome, not easily built in a day.,.. but baby steps... today. And one of those steps is to realize that with their dependence on money, even our favorite progressive blogs are "compromised"... and maybe that's not a good thing.