In 1966—the same year that the first acid test was held at San Francisco’s Fillmore, the same year that a B-52 accidentally dropped three 70-kiloton hydrogen bombs near the town of Palomares, Spain, and the same year that Bob Dylan purposely wiped out on his Triumph Tiger motorcycle in order to avoid public appearances, Time Magazine—one of the world’s most widely-read weeklies—published a controversial edition with a red-on-black cover that read, simply, ‘Is God Dead?’
The gist of the accompanying text suggested that then modern-day theologians were facing a relevancy crisis within an increasingly secular America.
In 2008, the Los Angeles Times named the ‘Is God Dead?’ issue among ‘The 10 Magazine Covers That Shook The World’.*
* Note that the exposé on the cover of my July, 1966 edition of The Intoxicology Report, entitled ‘The Other Miracle At Cana: Jesus Turned Tooth Powder Into Pharmaceutical-Grade Cocaine’ did not make this list.
I thought that this Time Magazine controversy was a perfect lead-in to sommelier/scribe Fred Swan’s June 11 non-blog in NorCal Wine about Jamie Goode and his recent blog-related comments.
Goode is also a non-blogger; he refers to his life’s work in a single, made-up word: He’s a winewriter.
So there’s no doubt, question or homicidal retaliation, I happen to have gobs of respect for both of these industry mega-voices; Swan is prolific, alert and justly proud of being on his way to becoming a Master of Wine, while Goode—who has a PhD in plant biology—wrote a book called Wine Science that I refer to all the time, rarely giving credit where it’s due. He’s also liege lord of an online wine magazine called Wine Anorak which I log into every time I forget how to spell ‘Languedoc-Roussillon’; and yes, for the curious, unless you are talking about a snorkel parka, ‘anorak’ is also a made-up word.
Both of these fine gents look at wine from a point of view of acuity, reverence and frequently, whimsy, and although both probably sport the same Mission Statement, each has his own unique pathway to the Emerald City of success.
Their divergent, if wine-pickled Yellow Brick roads (Swan is from Castro Valley, CA and Goode from London) recently crossed when, according to Swan’s Monday non-blog:
‘[Goode] proclaimed, via Twitter and Facebook, ‘Blogging is dead!’
Swan goes on to define blogging as ‘an online journal with brief, sequentially-ordered entries sharing pictures, ideas or news.’
Fair enough; we’ll go with that definition.
IS Blogging Dead??
I love that Fred wrote that Jamie Goode ‘proclaimed’ as much, because proclaiming is generally reserved folks who can make proclamations with some degree of credibility. Like, when Abraham Lincoln ended slavery by issuing the Emancipation Proclamation? That counts. Or, when Roosevelt proclaimed that the United States was at war with Japan, a frightened nation took it at face value that sushi was off the menu. And when the Oz County Coroner proclaimed, ‘She’s not only merely dead, she’s really most sincerely dead,’ it was a genuine day of independence for all the munchkins and their descendents.
While these are proclamations into which folks can sink their teeth, I’m not so sure about Jamie’s blogging obit.
Beyond Goode and Evil
Oddly, although Al Gore did not invent the internet until seventy-odd years after the death of Friedrich Nietzsche, according to an article in the German weekly Der Speigel entitled ‘Nietzsche: “Blog Ist Tot”’, the puffed-up Prussian had something to say about this brouhaha back in 1889:
‘Nietzsche’s thesis was that striving, self-centered man had killed blogging even before Tipper Gore invented it. The current death-of-bloggery group believes that an online journal with brief, sequentially-ordered entries sharing pictures, ideas or news is indeed completely dead, but proposes to carry on and write them anyway.’
See, I’m In That Camp…
I’m a Nietzschean. Absolutely. Whereas I agree with Fred Swan’s other postulation—that the made-up term ‘blog’ (diminutive of ‘weblog’) ‘has taken on derisive, or at least dismissive connotations,’ when I re-read various crap I’ve posted in The Intoxicology Report, it is with pure derision—right before I dismiss it as the product of a deranged and unclean mind likely sporting a low-level, semi-permanent wine buzz.
I am, therefore, in the worst sense of the word, a blogger. And I acknowledge the stigma to the point where my forehead, palms and feet are actually starting to bleed.
Jamie Goode, by his own admission, is not a blogger. Later in his now-infamous Tweet, he proclaims, “I blog, but I’m not a ‘blogger’”
I hear you, Jamie. Me, I’m a card-carrying atheist who accepts Jesus Christ as my sovereign Lord and personal Savior.
To me, blogging has become like jogging. In the past, I resented it when people pooh-poohed my daily, five-mile runs through hail, sleet, slush and tornadoes, wherein I risked female stalkers, rabid dogs and/or (when I lived near the zoo) escaped lions, as ‘jogging’. But now, in my dotage, I realize that what I have been doing all these years is, in fact, a made up diminutive of the Middle English ‘shoggen’ and the dialectic ‘jot’, meaning ‘to jolt’: I have been jogging.
I blog and I jog. There, I’ve said it.
Thus, I wear upon the shamed breast of my comfy-chic Nieman Marcus jewel-studded, funnel collared jogging suit a shameful, scarlet ‘BJ’, and as a result, I now have to worry about male stalkers clutching copies of Ecce Homo and The Gay Science With A Prelude In Rhymes.
And now that I am officially out of the blogging/jogging closet, I actually do need to jog prior to my blog, so it’s time for me to make like Bob Dylan and hit the road.