Why I should not be allowed to read the Times Magazine

Sharon September 27th, 2004

Ugh. Long week - 12 for dinner every night, Grandma’s 80th birthday, descent of relatives from CA, baby sick and not sleeping, yom kippur, sukkah to put up, deliveries to do, cranky children, nowhere near enough sleep.

This morning I finally got to yesterday’s Times Magazine, and besides the hideous article in defense of cars and sprawl, which contained a level of coherency and reason only occasionally matched by some of my densest undergraduates in their first drafts (anti-sprawl activists are elitists, and those who advocate higher gas taxes and tolls (regressive taxes that injure the poor the most) are good Americans, intolerable misuse of both Plato and Aristotle, not to mention poor sentence construction); there was the cover article attempting to gauge the importance of blogs on the current political campaign.

Ok, let me be clear. I have no idea how many hits this site gets per day, since I haven’t the faintest idea how to download a hit counter, but I’m guessing maybe…2, one accidentally through the “next blog function” and one that plugged “Shakespeare and farming” in for reasons that escape me. I am giving no one any kind of run for their money as a political blogger - I am so deeply nauseated by the present political process on every side and so short of time to attend to the news that I am reading yesterdays Times. So I should be clear that I am the wrong person to gauge the impact of anything on anything. And yet, I still think we probably shouldn’t care.

The thing is, as many hits as political bloggers get, do we really imagine that Wonkette is being googled by the last undecided voter in Ohio (I know her, actually - she’s the moderator of a list I belong to, very sweet, very wise in her own way - I promise, I’m doing my best to swing her towards the left!!!)? Oh, maybe she is and they all are - maybe they are changing the landscape with younger, angrier voters (Dear G-d - are there really people angrier than me? I know they are younger, but if they are angrier, I pity them and hope the medications help!) - they are certainly raising new money, and I’m grateful for that. But I suspect we’re going to lose this election by a considerably larger margin than we did the last one (ie, we’re going to actually lose it, instead of having it stolen), and I don’t think any amount of money could make a difference.

John Kerry is a mediocrity - he has been forever. Bloggers are giving a direction to the disaffected left, but the disaffected left (which includes me, and has since I worked on my first campaign at 12, and was deeply disillusioned - oh, and for the record, I worked for two of Kerry’s campaigns, once in high school and once in college) has damned little power right now. But the Bush-loathers (of which I am one most passionately) aren’t going to swing this election. And the shame of it is, yet again, we’ll have thrown away an election we could have won, with a passionate, charismatic candidate. Democrats are cowards, and I’m frankly ashamed to be one, but I’m not sure what else to be if I want even the remotest access to change.

I do not aspire to blogger fame - well, ok, just a tiny bit, in the sense of wishing for influence. But the people who I want to influence don’t read blogs - or at least not mine. I don’t know how to reach them, and I wouldnt know how to move them, given the hand we have been dealt. And it appears no one else does either.

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