April 25, 2005

The big, foaming mass-o'-celebrities blog.

Arianna Huffington thinks she's discovered something new in blogging: the group blog with famous people, a lot of famous people. If you've got 250 people -- famous people -- able to post on one big, foaming mass-o'-celebrities blog, that's got to be exciting, right?

When I think of blogging and celebrities, I think of bloggers tweaking and slamming celebrities. When I think of a big mass of celebrities, I think of pretty people murmuring self-congratulatory banalities -- like at the Oscars -- barely able to say anything interesting to go with the pretty pictures.
Among those signed up to contribute are Walter Cronkite, David Mamet, Nora Ephron, Warren Beatty, James Fallows, Vernon E. Jordan Jr., Maggie Gyllenhaal, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., Diane Keaton, Norman Mailer and Mortimer B. Zuckerman.

Well, now my picture isn't so pretty. But they'll be writing, so it doesn't really matter that they are not really telegenic. Of course, if they're writing, how do we know it's really them and not some assistant or P.R. person or joke-writer?

UPDATE: This post was talked about on an MSNBC TV segment today. Political Teen has the video clip here.

Jeralyn Merritt of TalkLeft, who does the segment, pronounces my name funny. It's "alt" as in "salt" without the "s," and then "house" as in "house" -- just plain old "house is not a home" "house." It means: old house.

Unrelated observation: The "v" key on my keyboard suddenly only works if I hit it twice. What could possibly cause that? This problem just started when I first tried to type MSNBC TV. Do you think I should hold Bill Gates responsible?

16 comments:

Timothy K. Morris said...

"Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., ... Norman Mailer...."


Well, at least we know some of them can write.

Ann Althouse said...

Or could at one time.

Uncle Jimbo said...

The problem is you have to wade theough Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton's banalities too.Where are Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins surely we can't miss their insight?

Cordially,

Uncle J

Military Matters

Josh Maday said...

Ooh, I'm so excited! I just can't get enough celebrity drivel. It's not enough to clog the TV screen and the air waves with what they're selling, so now they have to gather into a little clique on the internet, too? On the bright side, with so many celebrities talking at once, they will hopefully drown each other out, or, now this is a long shot, with such a concentration of brilliance and fame, something worth reading might be written.

Sorry to make a diatribe my first comment on your blog, Ann. I've been reading your comments on Richard Lawrence Cohen's blog for quite a while now and have been meaning to wander your way. If you can't tell, I'm slightly nauseated by celebrity self-congratulation and self-importance. Oscars shmoscars.

Jack said...

I believe this is known, in hunting circles, as getting all your ducks in one row or perhaps all your fish in one barrel. For those who enjoy, as you say, "tweaking and slamming celebrities" this should be pretty tasty. But I predict it will fade away pretty quickly once they realize this will not add to their fan base and that the Democratic Underground already has the political front covered.

lindsey said...

The blogosphere is going to have a lot of fun ripping them to shreds.

Ann Althouse said...

Jack: I think "ducks in a row" is from bowling, actually, but it still works. And it is nice of Arianna to entice the celebrity fish into one barrel. Part of me wants to deny them the links they'll get by being so conspicuous, but it will be such a glopping, rich dessert for us. It will be hard to resist. Will it be more fun to go after the movie stars dipping into writing or the big shot writers who think they should be able to easily overshadow the existing bloggers? I am so ready to take on Norman Mailer!

carla said...

I think you mean "Arianna".

Picking nits. :)

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks, Carla. Man, I could have looked at that all day and not seen it.

Michael Babin said...

How do we know it's really them writing, as opposed to a subordinate/friend/doppelganger, etc? I suppose we'll never know for certain, but don't we have the same problem to some degree with all blogs? Or all writing, in general? I suppose the best assurance that we can get is the association of the name with the words. It would only take one incident of some celebrity blogger disclaiming ownership of an article published in their name to severely damage any credibility they may have had.

amba said...

When one of my keys sticks like that, it's usually because I 've been eating near the keyboard and there's a crumb under the letter.

Ann Althouse said...

Good question, Michael. I think if we expect blogs to have a distinctive voice, then the blogger is the writer with that voice, and you'd know if it was someone else. But maybe we don't expect blogs to be that distinctive. I think they should be, and my favorite blogs are, but there is also a kind of a generic breezy/snippy blog-tone and also the kind of very standard journalistic tone.

Louis said...

Pull out the key and spray the mechanism with WD-40.

boringmadedull said...

If the point of the blog is to develop a distinctive voice, with original writing and points of view, this is going down in flames.

Most of this gang isn't going to be dedicated to posting. Others will retreat to having their PR staff post in their name.

250 people isn't a discussion; it's chaos - like trying to have a serious discussion in a chat room.

more on this over at boringmadedull.blogspot.com

(shameless plug - unlike Arianna, I don't seem to be able to get the MSM to tout my blog.)

Ann Althouse said...

boring: Like you, I have an automatic prejudice against blogs that get promoted on or before their first day of posting. It seems to me you should have something of substance written first. With all this publicity, they'd better be damned good on day one and consistently thereafter. They need to hit the ground running or they will deserve to be beaten to a pulp. And they will be.

boringmadedull said...

Heh. even The Guardian is making fun of this.