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  • Wednesday, August 10, 2005


    Opinions are like...

    ...assholes; everyone has one. Or so the saying goes. But intelligent, informed opinion is much rarer and difficult to find.

    Bloggers are an opinionated lot. Many bloggers' stock-in-trade is opinion on current events. I visit many blogs for that exact reason: to find out what issues are making the rounds and what my favorite bloggers think about them.

    Blogs act as a vastly expanded Op-ed page or a letters column. This is good. Instead of relying on a newspaper as a gatekeeper to news and views, we have a chance to read many more people's opinions.

    Some blogs are very thoughtful, working to explore and understand the ramifications of events. Some are reactive, emitting clear opinion in firm tones with the addition of vituperative arrows aimed at the opposition. Along with opinion comes not-so-subtle ad hominem attacks intended to tear down the credibility of others. This is not unusual. It has historically (in the US) been the way public debate and discourse has developed.

    Boldness of language and volume of opinion does not automatically confer accuracy or truth.

    You may note that I have carefully declined to attribute such behavior solely to left or right commentators. This is because both sides participate in this kind of rhetoric and tactic. My opinion (and it's only my opinion) is the right currently does such attacks more frequently and more viciously than the left. However. The left is catching on and up, particularly focusing on the sometimes outrageously hypocritical public stances and private actions of some of the more prominent figures on the pundit circuit of the right.

    All in all, no matter how heated the words, it's still probably better than having a rumble or fight with knives, bats and chains. Probably.

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