There's recently been a thread on the Guardian's blog pages about whether the internet is killing culture - all based around the theory that all these bloggers writing crap and wanna be thrash metal stars on MySpace are clogging up the cultural bandwidth.
All the cultural establishment are getting all huffy that people aren't using the orthodox record labels and book publishers and doing it by themselves.
People have always done this and always produced crap. Look at the number of dire magazines available, derivative mass market paperback novels and the like. There has always been a lot of rubbish out there, just as in the punk era when technology allowed bands to produce their own music on vinyl and cd there was a lot of not very good stuff in circulation. But the not very good stuff never really made it.
Like blogging. I blog to write down my ideas and practice writing skills. I won't pretend it's deathless prose and never expect to get famous from it. One day I'd like to do some serious writing. Just now I'm blogging with a purpose.
And if other people think what I write is sensible I might get an audience.
Now we know that sites are full of teenage rants and right wing hooehy. Well someone has to start somewhere and everyone is entitled to their views (I'm with Voltaire on that one).
I don't think a lot of _literary_ writing and cultural commentary is a lot better than some of the blogs I've read, the only claim to authority in the more conventional publications is often not much more than it's written by someone who claims some cultural authority because they went to Oxford, slept with some famous artists and once had a small volume of poetry published, and have brown nosed the right people.
Well I went to St Andrews, once peed beside John Maynard Smith, and have been among other things chair of the UCISA systems forum. I think I have as much right as anyone else to have my views heard.
Oh, but I didn't brown nose the the right people ...