Friday, February 13, 2009

Biting the Hand that Feeds Me? Yep, Sounds Like Me Alright…and a Public Announcement on Behalf of PBS

I have been asked to add my voice to Perspectives, a feature on the World Focus website. I consider it an honor, and have gladly accepted. But:
Perspectives highlights the best of the blogosphere by cross-posting columns culled from a network of contributors. We cut through the noise of tens of millions of bloggers worldwide and bring you commentary from experts and voices on the ground.

So I guess my question is: Should I consider myself fortunate no longer to be considered noise, or should I show some compassion for the riff-raff, the clamorous multitude from whose cacophonous midst I have so recently emerged?

How about:
We sift through the voices of the tens of millions of bloggers worldwide
I think I could have lived with that.

Seriously, Perspectives must be following hundreds of blogs every day, so don’t expect my posts to show up there any time soon. Of more interest to me is the fact that this is part of the move the mainstream media have been making in the blogosphere for some time now, pushing forth their own journalists and columnists professional writers and journalists, and roping in solitary bloggers like wild horses—I was asked to suggest some blogs, which I did, reminding myself of yet another equine parallel. I am far from going professional—one of hundreds, one of hundreds, but am I being domesticated nonetheless? What will the lure of a broader readership do to my content? My choice and interpretation of events? This is going to have me thinking for a while.

In the meantime, Perspectives has asked me to plug Talk to Us, a “World Focus Citizens Initiative”. There’s always a quid pro quo, it seems. Kidding. They want you to give advice to President Obama. Take a look.


Zach Baran said...


(As for "biting the hand," I didn't read noise as pejorative, per se.

On noise: Play anything from the Well-Tempered Clavier in one channel, then on top of that play Beatles' "Lady Madonna", and on top of that layer in John Coltrane's "Giant Steps". Listen. They are all fine on their own, but once you lose the clarity of any one of those pieces, you are hearing noise.)

Jun Okumura said...

I see your point, Zach, and I think that it’s a valid one. But I still don’t like seeing the term “noise” used in a social context unless it’s meant as a putdown, though maybe that’s just me. The fact that I think that being drawn into this initiative is a mixed blessing—I mean this in a strictly nonjudgmental sense—must had added to my unease with this word. And PBS is not claiming that this is an attempt to separate the Bachs from the Beatles and the Coltranes.