While the expression “jumping the shark” has been placed alongside “it is what it is” in the grotesquely overused department, the concept remains valid. There are telltale characteristics indicating when something, be it a television show or other form of entertainment and/or communication, has passed its prime and is now settling into decline. For example, in TV whenever there is a male and female co-lead who are not romantically involved from the get-go, the moment they lock lips it’s over. The show may struggle on for a season or two, but the end is near as the original premise, the original foundation and strength now lay abandoned. The quality that permeated its initial concept and execution have already been canceled. And by its own hands.
Blogging is very much the same way. There are unmistakable signposts on the road up ahead saying a blog has entered the twilight zone and its reign as something worth reading has passed. Different reasons for this exist; for example, when a blog is built on the sole foundation of shtick which inevitably tires. This duly noted, the most common is megalomania, when the blog’s author or authors start seeing themselves as more important than the message, or in the worst cases as the message.
Unlike most television shows, bloggers can, with effort, walk themselves back from teetering on the edge of this self-made abyss. The key is in admitting they started loving themselves too much with corresponding retreat put into action. One must believe they have something to say in order to say it. However, as noted above the moment the messenger believes they are the message, you’ve got problems.
A couple of recent examples of this are on the surface rather disparate individuals: Ace and Glen Asbury. Ace is the quintessential South Park Republican, while Asbury portrays himself as the epitome of gentle meek and mild. Recently, though, they’ve both fallen prey to the dread disease best described by the Beatles all those years ago:
Let’s start with Ace, since he is something of the ace face blogging-wise. The other day, after several posts about Rep. Anthony Weiner’s photograph indiscretion on Twitter, he penned a lengthy vent about how he was done with the whole thing because the conservative media, let along mainstream media in general, weren’t paying attention to the story:
If you guys have some reason to believe this is fake — an opinion not shared, by the way, in the liberal media — please tell us so so that we do not further expose and embarrass ourselves.
And if you don’t — STOP THE EMBARGO.
We’re Used To… embargoes from the liberal media establishment.
Having to fight the conservative establishment media establishment is one too many fights for me.
I was informed by a reporter that the story could only get cooking on Tuesday, when DC came back to work, and so I thought if we kept the story going by today the cavalry would come in.
But there is no cavalry. Still the same twenty bloggers covering it.
If you want the story to be buried, it will be buried, because I think I speak for a lot of us in saying we’re about to give up. It’s one thing to get the finger from the liberal media; it’s another thing to get it from our most prominent champions.
If there’s some reason the conservative press wants to run interference for the noxious anteater Anthony Weiner, fine, you’re about to win.
We did our part.
Given how the story has exploded across TV, radio and print today, wonder if he feels the same way.
Or simply feels foolish for throwing a temper tantrum about how no one was paying attention to him… er, all his work.
Which leads to the question of what is more important to him: the story, or his own name in the spotlight?
Moving on to Asbury, his recent contribution to the “look at me — SQUEE!” parade actually has the word “me” in the title. It’s a lengthy ode to how everyone should go to the RightOnline shindig in Minneapolis later this month because… well… let’s count the total number of me, myself and I references in a 719 word post.
Higher percentage than the average Obama speech.
Sarcasm aside, the primary flaw with Asbury’s rationale is that somehow a weekend pep rally — which to the credit of its sponsors is far more affordable than CPAC — is going to save the world for democracy. And he’ll be there! C’mon, everyone! Join me in the 21st century equivalent of an Andy Hardy film where someone’s uncle has a barn so let’s put on a show. And did I mention that I’ll be there?
It’s not that a gathering of like-minded people is a bad thing. If it was, there’d be no need for church. However, in church (at least when it’s done right) the focus is community, translating into serving one another and putting others before yourself. And that Jesus guy you might have heard about. Primarily Him.
A brief aside. Back in March I mentioned Asbury’s daughter, who was going in for surgery, in a post here. No acknowledgement from him. In April I sent Asbury three separate requests for prayer for Terry Taylor of Daniel Amos and Lost Dogs fame. No response. Finally I asked him to please respond, to which he did. Regrettably, his response has disappeared down the Twitter memory hole, but the tweet consisted of him, without addressing me directly other than (I quote) “a word to the hopefully wise,” throwing quite the temper tantrum about being addressed in what was apparently a most unforgivably brusque manner. Draw your own conclusions about Asbury, who dangles Christ from his cyberlips like a cigarette. Mine is that apparently I’m of insufficient assistance to him in his pursuit of blogging stardom to warrant his being bothered over such trivial matters as, oh, saying a prayer for someone. But I digress; back to the main topic.
Setting aside while simultaneously acknowledging how the actual movers and shakers in conservative politics won’t be in Minneapolis the weekend of June 17th but will in fact be in New Orleans at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, the point of political activism isn’t photo ops, or who can score the biggest piece of the exact same pie for which everyone else is in hot pursuit. It’s in actual results. Racking up points inside a clubby chummy clique, which is what those who attend gatherings such as RightOnline make them into, has zero application in the real world.
It boils down to whether people wish to fight genuine battles by swimming with the sharks or play “reality” TV stars while jumping over the illusion of sharks. In the aforementioned real world, no one cares about bloggers either throwing temper tantrums because they don’t get the attention they believe should be lavished upon them, or who attends which whatever gathering of Little Jack Horners. It’s how you treat people outside the realm of your phone booth kingdom that matters. That is where the difference lies.
Everything else is, simply put, a lie.