01/19/2006: I think I'll pass.....
Sometimes it's good to get together with bloggers. Our local Memphis Bloggers Bashes tend to be very worthwhile times: good food, good drink, and interesting conversations; I've never left one thinking "Jeez, that was a waste of time."
But then there's there are the blogging conferences. So far, I've seen announcements for a number of them (BlogNashville last May was the only one that was even convenient for me to attend, and the scheduled appearance there of both Bill Hobbes and Glenn Reynolds at that less-than-dignified insurrection made doing my laundry that week much, much more compelling entertainment), and I've yet to see one that didn't have me thinking, "WOMBAT!" (For the record, I'm using that only because the expansion of the acronym is fitting; I'm definitely not using it canonically.) And it looks like BLOGGING MAN 2007 is going to the top of my "must miss it!" list. But I wish I had the acid pen of James Wolcott, if only for a few minutes, so I could put it in its proper place:
TBogg brings to our sleepy attention a forthcoming jamboree that threatens to be the singular non-event in postmodern non-history: Blogging Man 2007, being held at a bingo parlor in Reno, Nevada, brushfires permitting.
Get a load of their lineup of guest speakers. It's like a cross between a Lawrence Welk reunion and Poseidon Adventure in drydock, minus a token black blogger to lend it sham inclusiveness and Carol Lynley's bottom bearing Gene Hackman's handprints as he ably assists her up every staircase he can steer her towards.
I really don't grasp the bang-for-the-buck logic behind these dinky extravaganzas. I can understand why culture buffs would pay to attend a New Yorker Festival, say, to see/hear Martin Amis, Julian Barnes, Dave Eggers, Anthony Lane, Lorrie Moore, Zadie Smith, et al, but what is the draw in traveling hundreds of miles to observe an all-star lineup of no-name bloggers? The only semi-demi-luminary is that Republican hologram Hugh Hewitt, and he's got his own radio program, he does blog events all the time, he'll show up at the opening of the envelope; he's not exactly a great "get." What good did its lavish launch do Pajamas Media? In retrospect, it sure doesn't seem to have rustled up advertiser and media interest in that managerie. It seems to have been money pissed away. Mind you, I'm all in favor of conservative interests piddling their money away, I'm just not sure what they get out of it, since they don't get to mingle and get their picture taken with starlets, models, and real celebrities. These people they could meet at the laundromat. And I'm really mystified as to what the "registrants" get out of it, apart from a copy of Hugh Hewitt's Blog book that will end up being left behind in the hotel room along with the free newspapers with the escort ads and the unused coupons for the all-you-can-eat chow-hound buffet.
Len on 01.19.06 @ 12:54 PM CST