liberty punk "the irony of the information age is that it's given new respectability to uninformed opinion."
Wednesday, June 18, 2003
Riverdale Stomp, Baby
Okay. I can't promise anything, but I'll try my damndest to limit today's Weasel-related postings to just one. Here goes:
Info on the upcoming Riverdales record, Phase Three, is now available from Interpunk. Check it out. It's their third record, the first in five years. 1997 gave us Storm the Streets, which was great, and since the blurb on Interpunk suggests that the new album will combine the best qualities from the Riverdales' first two, I am, needless to say, excited about this new one, and glad as hell that these guys are still making music.
In other news, Michele at A Small Victory has compiled a list of bloggers who have something to say about Bill O'Reilly's opinion of the internet and the damage it can let people do to each other. While I'll be the first to agree that O'Reilly is a brazen loudmouth who does the conservative right more harm than good, I can't bring myself to get as angry at the guy as some others seem to be.
Certainly, throughout his tirade he dances merrily on the border between making sense and babbling like an arthritic-finger-waving, back-porch-rocking-chair old codger, but nothing he's saying should come as much of a surprise to anyone who knows and dislikes him. He makes several typically tunnel-vision statements that are textbook O'Reilly, like "the Internet has become a sewer of slander and libel, an unpatrolled polluted waterway, where just about anything goes." Sure, anything goes. Anything from photo galleries of coconut-fucking sombrero-fetishists to erotic X-Files/G.I. Joe crossover fanfiction archives. So what? Bill's not happy that anyone with access to a computer can look this stuff up? So frigging what?
The closest he comes to making a reasonable point is when he brings up the fact that with the instant worldwide readability of the internet, it's easier than ever for people to slander each other and screw up the reputations of others. What he doesn't seem to realize, though, is that there's a correlation between the number of people who read any given person's opinion and the amount of respect/money/etc. that a given person has to lose if they decide to print libelous untrue or questionable material about someone else.
In other words, he doesn't seem to be giving people enough credit for their ability to take what they read on the internet with a grain of salt. Nobody will blink an eye if SuzyCuteCheeks69 posts a LiveJournal entry about how she thinks some celebrity might be gay. Her readers aren't visiting her site for the latest scoop on hush-hush Hollywood secrets, they're there to see which member of N*Sync is heating up her daydreams that week, or what she thinks about the American Idol finalists' failure to properly coordinate their outfits. She has very little to lose by posting lies, but more importantly, she has even less to gain.
Basically, I'm saying that Bill O'Reilly is a homosexual.
Did I succeed in making a point just there? I don't know. I started this post two hours ago and then got distracted by having to upload photos of the crap-ass emopop vagina-magnet band that played in my store yesterday, because I'm at work.
I will say this, at least: O'Reilly failed to mention anything about poorly-thought-out internet posts that later get revised to make more sense when the person writing them has time to do it. Me, I happen to be pretty thankful for the liquid nature of web posts, and being able to revise them when I read them again some time after posting them, even if such practice is somewhat dishonest. At least I don't print out-and-out lies here.