The Null Device

Meg's none too happy with blogger cliques and A-lists, and so has posted this mini-diatribe on the topic:
Whatever. Lists and cliques and blogmeets and non-blogmeets and, in fact, the entire concept of communities and blogs and bloggers in general bugs the fuck out of me at the moment and makes we want to jack this whole thing in - or at least walk away from the gameplaying backslapping snideness of it all. It's so tedious.
Perhaps I'm allergic to bloggers? Could this be the cause of my mystery ailment?

That echoes pretty accurately my sentiment towards another group of petty-minded, clique-forming, hierarchy-obsessed wankers, namely goths. Not the ones who sacked the Roman Empire, but the pale, spotty kids who got left out of all the popular cliques at school but failed to move on, and now have formed their own cliques with fellow socially insecure losers so that they can have a turn at conforming and ostracising, all the while affecting a stance of mock-suicidal alienation hewn from a few carefully stereotyped clichés. (Don't get me wrong; there is a lot to be disaffected about, but the empty clichés that constitute the goth vocabulary are incapable of expressing anything other than a few stale, stylised poses. For an example, note the difference between Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails.)

I realised a while ago that I am allergic to goths; or at least to groups of more than one or two at a time. (Put them in groups and the Gothic Hive Mind takes over and they cease to be individuals and become herd-following tossers.) As such, these days I typically avoid large concentrations of goths. Though maybe I would not do so if I was wearing one of these T-shirts.

There are 9 comments on "":

Posted by: TOBY Thu Oct 25 14:50:07 2001

My heart bleeds (not) for Meg, who - until it became inexplicably uncomfortable - basked and preened in the glow of the A list phenomenon she and her clique helped create.

I find the name dropping genre impossible to stomach. However I think M et al may find, like Lady Macbeth and middle class "bourgeois bohemians" everywhere, that the taint is impossible to erase - it will certainly take more than one "heartfelt" paragraph. But, and now I get to my point, who cares?

Posted by: acb Thu Oct 25 15:03:32 2001

Hmmm; the official A-List Meg was a different Meg, one of the Pyra/Blogger people (who comprised most of the A-List Of Blogging; the same A-List Bruce Sterling turned to to give his blog instant cred and status a few months back).

Meg Notsosoft seemed a bit less cliquish, at least to me, though I suppose she does fit into a scene (the "Brit List" perhaps?)

Posted by: Toby Fri Oct 26 09:07:19 2001

That'll serve me right for not following the "scene"... I did in fact have in mind blogging's "Adam & Eve". Why is the audience expected to overlook the staggering gratuity of the namedropping (and other habits which are not tolerable in ordinary social interactions) and gross self-aggrandisement which permeate the "scene". Are these people incapable of self-criticism? Are they as unpleasant as their blog-personae? I hope not. OTOH, it does come with the territory - the implicit assumption that one's arse is worth photocopying, blog-wise. Mix that with celebrity - and boom! there's your mysterious ailment. Thanks for reading. Now visit, they're smarter than I am.

Posted by: acb Fri Oct 26 09:28:56 2001

Whenever I looked at adbusters, I found them too dogmatic and preachy.

Posted by: Mihaly http:// Fri Oct 26 15:15:54 2001

Thought the site was pretty good. It seemed well designed. The stories were interesting, and some of the jokes funny. What do you want in a web site?

Perhaps familiarity breeds contempt? Or popularity. I have no idea what the A-list is, and until recently I had no idea that people put so much dedication into a website I suspect that the dedication to the "up-to-date-ness" must put some pressure on a weblog maintainer (it seems like mein host would agree) but when some events occur it must be impossible to keep up to speed.

Combine that with the fact that most voters wouldnt know their local member until an election is called, I think you're pushing it.

But I wish she had put my story online, she wrote me and said it was funny. That was pre-september. Besides. Self aggrandisement is the creed of today, get with it people. While I am on the matter, why doesnt nulldev simply go black until the war ends or we all die? I mean no half measures. One in all in? whats wrong with some

Posted by: Mihaly http:// Fri Oct 26 15:22:46 2001

sense of community? Besides, the more you link, the more people looking at one site will go to another? isnt that the community you want? Are you all just tall-poppying? Support each other, thats what I say. I lament the loss of "Bert-is evil" sites and the like. I lament that generations of web-surfers today cant see the history of the web, and the sense of humour and free speech that it developed. We mustnt lose that, because it re-invents itself so quickly. Sure the internet will develop. I am just concerned that people in the future wont be able to see 'from what' that led to whereever we are now. does this make sense?

Posted by: Meg Fri Oct 26 22:05:22 2001

I wish there were more "Bert is Evil"-type sites, and less people linking to them. Does that make sense? The web seems to have made a strange shift in recent years from a network of destinations to a network of networks. I miss the places, the end result. <br><br> I never thought I was part of a clique. I was just me, doing my thing - no, wait, I *am* - but it rankles slightly when people who stumble over my corner of the web think that they know me. Very odd.

Posted by: Ben Sat Oct 27 00:34:19 2001

Glad to see this comment thing is finally working out for you. I tend to follow Marx on Cliques: "I wouldn't want to join any club which would have me as a member".

Posted by: Jimbob Sat Oct 27 03:57:12 2001

I just get the impression there are a significant number of people out there (Call them A-listers or whatever, I wouldn't know, I only read Australian weblogs) who misjudge the importance of what they're doing. A weblog is a's not some all important, innovative cultural's just a sub-culture within a sub-culture within a sub-culture. No-one in the real world gives a shit, just do what you do and enjoy yourself.

I agree with you Meg...the net's lacking good "content" like bert is evil these days, or maybe it's just become harder to find amoungst the noise. If all else fails,

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