Jack Shafer is the Heidi Julavits of blogville:
Several times a day–oh hell, a dozen times a day–I click my way to Gawker and Wonkette for a couple of minutes of reading that usually elicit more guilt than pleasure. If you’ve yet to visit these blogs, imagine them as the twin offspring of a date-rape incident between Drudge Report and the original Spy magazine. (I’ll leave it to your imagination who jumped whom.) Gawker collects links to the day’s news and gossip about publishing, New York celebrity culture, advertising, the Paris Hilton video, the art world, public sightings of movie stars and rockers, and adds a signature cutting remark to tie things up. Wonkette performs a similar service for the news and gossip from Washington, although sexing up news from think tanks and politics, and reporting sightings of Mark Shields in blog form is by far the harder assignment.
…But after several weeks of consuming every cartoon obscenity, bludgeoning wisecrack, and meta-knowing, callow riposte served on these two blogs, I’ve been asking myself: Are these blogs a part of the better world we hope to leave to our sons and daughters?
Well, yes, if we intend for our children to grow strong from sucking bile instead of milk.
Well, no. For one thing, they’re a snappier, funnier version of what many of us are dishing around the coffee maker anyway. For another, who’s bringing the children into it? Which makes me wonder, is anyone writing blogs for kids yet? It’s gotta be in the cards.