Think Positive

Behind the bad headlines sociologist turned playright Philip Slater detects a powerful and positive cultural reawakening which the forces of fundamentalism and reaction are trying in vain to prevent. That’s the gist of “Why America is Polarized, an essay that calls a “must read.”

It’s a big set of thoughts, some of which I find appealing, such as when Slater onserves that the economic system demands growth yet we’re drowning in trash. Later, though, he notes that “the isolated nuclear family began to erode,” citing as a positive indicator the growth in unwed couples with children. Huh? And that is a good thing, why? Perhaps my skepticism on this point is just my inner husband taking charge. Or perhaps America is polarized because we disagree on many fundamental and deeply personal beliefs that do not easily change.

Blog distribution: You may soon be able to read provocative content from the blogosphere in the newspaper and other mass media. Paid Content reports that a company called Pluck will screen and deliver blog content to newspapers. The service is called BlogBurst. Apparently publishers pay Pluck for the feeds. Pluck tells Paid Content the service “will definitely have a compensation option for bloggers.” The use of future tense suggests there is no such option now. I note that the San Francisco Chronicle, where I will shortly head to work, is listed as a BlogBurst buyer. Recently Corante, whose media hub incorporates feeds from this blog, said it was exploring ways to channel its collected works to other media. I’m not sure if that would be through BlogBurst or some other method but syndication is clearly coming.

Tom Abate
‘Cause if you ain’t Mass Media, you’re Mini Media