Reaction: The feminazis of Roxie's World are sorry but not entirely surprised to hear the news. We thought the blog was showing signs of exhaustion. Truthfully, we became less devoted readers once it went from being a solo project to a group effort a few years back. That shift already seemed to suggest burnout or boredom on the part of the alpha Bitch (understandable, given the effort it takes to maintain a solo blog, particularly one that hits it as big as hers did). Nonetheless, we learned a ton from the ornery women of Bitch Ph.D. about what this blogging business was all about, and we are grateful to them for lessons on writing with edge, intelligence, humor, and indignation. We raise not a middle finger but a paw to you, grrls, and thank you for the years of hard, good work.
- Does the closing down of one influential, well-established blog mean the blogosphere is dying, a casualty of the mindless ease of connecting to social networks through Facebook and Twitter?
- Does the closing down of one academic-ish blog mean that interest among scholars in using our skills and expertise to communicate to a broader audience is waning?
- Does the closing down of one fiercely feminist blog mean that heteropatriarchy has won, again and forever?
For readers in a hurry, the answers to those questions are no, nope, and hell, no! In that order.
Our blog pal Annie Em has had a bit of a blog death watch going on lately. 'Twas she who called our attention to the demise of Bitch Ph.D., and she gave us a heads up today that Michael Bérubé and a couple of other academic bloggers have or are about to give up the (virtual?) ghost. (FYI: Bérubé says he's putting his last post up on Friday. You will want to click in -- Dude knows how to stage an ending.) Annie Em has noted signs of flagging energies throughout the academic blogosphere. We've noted that, too, but figured it was just us projecting, on account of my typist has this insanely busy post-leave life that requires her to get dressed and leave the house every single day, which seriously cuts into the time available for surfing the Interwebs and coming up with snarky yet inspiring stuff to say.
Here's the thing, kids: Blogs come and go, but blogging will abide
The question for activists is always how to use available tools effectively. So blogs are for sharing longer ideas, Facebook is for spreading basic information and links, and Twitter is for sending small amounts of information publicly on the go. We even use phones sometimes. The internet can’t hammer a nail, but that’s what hammers are for. But there are some tools that don’t stand the test of time as well. Gladwell writes, “… what use would a digital communication tool be in a town where ninety-eight per cent of the black community could be reached every Sunday morning at church?” Of course, this is a completely useless question. What good would Twitter have been for dinosaurs? THEY COULDN’T EVEN PRESS BUTTONS! By putting the historical comparison on his opponents (who would “no doubt” make it), Gladwell attempts to dodge responsibility for an absurd line of argumentation. He writes that [Martin Luther King, Jr.] needed discipline and strategy because of certain exigencies of the particular movement (the need to maintain a moral high ground for the white viewing public), but never explains why those tactical decisions should carry over. In fact, Alain Badiou has argued that while patience was the cardinal virtue required in the past, right now we need nothing so much as courage. Fetishizing the 60′s is a bad idea because we don’t live there any more. Material conditions change; so should our strategies, so should our tactics, so should our methods of communication. (Emphasis added.)It's like we said: Blogs come and go, but the longings to speak truth to power, to share great stories, or to pass along urgent brief bits of information or vacation photos abide forever. The great question of our time is not whether the Interwebs are making us dumber or more distracted. It is, What is the best tool for any particular communicative/strategic goal? That is a good problem to have, darlings, a very good problem indeed, because we are not dinosaurs and can push many buttons, even simultaneously if we have to.
academic conferences that feel like consciousness-raising sessions. We need them all, and thank dog we have them all at our disposal. Peace out.