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Mitch Albom Hates Me

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Educated journalists seem to have a healthy distaste for bloggers, and I don’t blame them.  If I studied for seven years to be a surgeon, and saw some mook cutting into people because it looked fun, I’d be skeptical too.  Especially if said mook started to have some success.

The weird thing is, I don’t like blogs either.  They’re incessantly negative (if you can’t get attention with your talent, extremely polar views seem to get reactions from people), full of parentheses (damn), and without space constraints.  Real writers, like Mitch Albom and Rick Reilly have been outspoken in their opposition to blogs.  The problem is, with the general dumbing down of our society (shout outs to The Hills and celebrity magazines), bloggers occasionally write in a voice that more readers can relate too.  In short, you can’t write anything too smart or you have a smaller audience.

But people earn their qualifications in different ways.  Brett Hull and Garth Snow are managers of NHL franchises, not because of college degrees in management, but because they played the game at the professional level and gained their knowledge there.  Barry Melrose is hockey’s liason at ESPN, not because he’s a sports journalist, but because he knows what he’s talking about (or at least Amercians believe he does).

In all aspects, reporters write while other people do.  Politicians write legislation and make major decisions, while high and mighty reporters with 20-20 hindsight vision judge.  They have time, fact databases, researchers and editors to thoroughly destroy or applaude whatever the goings-on may be in the politcal forum, the sports world, the art community.

CNN, ESPN or any of the major networks push the events of the day through their own prisms and broadcast the biased views of their station to the public.  Fox News and CNN can make the same event feel like Darth Vader was on both sides of a topic.

This is why the best journalists to read are the ones who don’t hide their bias, but speak openly and honestly about why they hold that bias.  Jon Stewart is a great example of someone who labels himself a democrat, and will defend his views with logic and clarity.

A small set of people seems to have the potential to tarnish the appearance of a larger group.  Not everyone from the Middle East wants death to America, but there are people in the US incapable of making that distinction.  As my Uncle has explained to me, the best way to write is to show, not tell.  Bloggers who make comments that cross the line of extreme have tarnished the idea of blogs for other writers with a voice.  Brett Favre doesn’t “suck”, though you wouldn’t know it from reading blogs.  He threw a crap-load of interceptions, as the stats will back up, so tell me that.  Explain to me why the Jets are better off without him. 

I’m new to the blogosphere, and so far it kind of weirds me out.  It’s offered me a neat platform to tell some stories and prove I can write, but it’s hard to fault educated writers who knock people like me.  But the only way to get better, like in the sports world, is to practice, practice, practice, and for that, not only am I glad to have this forum, but I appreciate having readers who seem to like it.  So here’s the filter my writing will get pushed through:  The Jets, Mets and Islanders rule, I would label myself a democrat because of the liberal views I hold, I frickin’ love sports (the baseball season is too long), animals (anything with “oodle” in it doesn’t count) and having some laughs.  I hope you like it.

On why Mitch Albom hates me (bloggers):     http://deadspin.com/5153058/mitch-albom-has-a-few-things-to-get-off-his-chest

On why Rick Reilly isn’t a fan of blogs either:    http://deadspin.com/5157404/rick-reilly-still-unimpressed-with-blogs–but-wants-everyone-to-know-he-actually-likes-the-sports-fella

Comments

4 Responses to “Mitch Albom Hates Me”
  1. Buddha says:

    Following the link to deadspin, we find out that Ablom has “a Master’s Degree in this [writing].” Big deal. I have a BA in Business Administration, and yet somehow I am deemed qualified to do all kinds of things. Work in retail, change tires, sell lawn mowers, write for hockey sites, write for non-hockey sites, basically anything where the job requirement is a four year degree.

    I once worked for a guy who had an MBA. He was the biggest idiot I have ever worked for and used to hang signs from the fire suppression system and more than once took the head off a fire sprinkler causing the entire building to flood. But he was more “qualified” than I was, so he got the payday, and I had to say, “Oh, yes sir.”

    It has nothing to do with the degree you have. The degree is equivalent to a driver’s license. Once you have it, it really doesn’t matter anymore. It is more what you do with it than the fact that you have it.

    The fact that i did not go to school for journalism does not make me a bad writer, nor does it make him a good writer for having gone. As a matter of fact, most newspaper articles are so grotesquely boring that no one can stand to read them anymore.

    It is not always the qualifications on paper that make someone good at what they do. As you say above, it is the amount of practice, the amount of work someone is willing to put in.

    Screw you Ablom, and everyone who thinks like you.

    Here is my filter: No one who thinks they are better than anyone else should be allowed access to the bully pulpit.

  2. Chicken (or maybe egg) says:

    “In all aspects, reporters write while other people do…”

    Ah, the constant harp at the critic, voiced eloquently Teddy Roosevelt:

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

    But does the writer/critic/journalist/blogger not also expose himself/herself by the act of writing? Aren’t they “in the arena” every day, facing the judgment of all those who read their work? And aren’t those who diminish their efforts guilty of the same offense?

    I’m just saying…

  3. jtbourne says:

    If nothing else, this blog has exposed me to things I never would have been privy to if I hadn’t been writing. That Roosevelt quote is one of those things, and I totally agree with his argument.
    I also agree with what you’re saying though. The difference is, as a writer I’m exposing myself to criticisms on how I describe, or on what opinions I form on any given event, not on how I performed during the event itself. It allows me the ability to say “this is my final product” which holds me twice as persecutable (?) as the athlete who made the split second decisions that’re up for judgement by every writer. It’s a different type of job, because if an event is boring, my writing is supposed to represent that accurately. I’m new at trying to explain to the reader why the weekends’ growing grass competition was as interesting as Federer/Nadal.

  4. robberbymyglovehandallday says:

    not a word of a lie bobby that quote was on our dry erase board this year in on of our hour long pregame meeting

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