clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:


Kyle's got us requoting Susan Sontag in reaction to a piece of his. We swear it's pertinent:

In place of a hermeneutics we need an erotics of art.

Sontag basically says here that when talking about art (not science) you need worry less about how to interpret things, but more about wondering about the pulleys and levers involved in what makes a particular painting, book, movie, or in our instance, Youtube clip of a man crashing his bike into a brick wall so effective. Ditto for any and all discussion we want to participate in about the world of blogs and the mainstream media.

That spinning sound you hear? That's Sontag in her grave.

(Again, please, put down the lighter and gas can. This won't be long.)

We're only concerned about what we find interesting in college football, and seek to write about it.

This necessarily drags in skeins of other things we happen to be interested in, since our brain is a great, sticky mess that holds on to everything it sees, important or unimportant. Some of it's quite silly. Some of it's not. All of it is on the market of ideas, and it's for sale in the form of traffic and your eyeballs scanning ads.

We don't exist, however, as an attempt to replace ESPN, or even revile it with any sense of mission or purpose. ESPN's current status can be phrased in a number of ways:

Corporatespeak: ESPN is a overcapitalized entity that has lost its core audience and overdiversified its products to the point of being all things to all people, and thus nothing.

Orsonspeak: Like Kobe Tai, ESPN sucks whether we're watching it or not.

They have to know this is a problem. Versus is already riding their ass as an upstart competitor bent on presenting programming currently unavailable on ESPN, snatching up much of the charismatic fluff ESPN built their bones on: professional bull riding, the Tour de France, the growing world of mixed martial arts. Yea, a competitor rises, and they're doing what ESPN has ceased to do: put good food on the plate. They're small potatoes now, but so where the protorats that replaced the dinosaurs as the dominant form of life on this planet.

Yet, this site--and almost all other blogs, we guess--don't exist to be that kind of aggressive, inclusive corporate entity that a network would be. The wonderful and scary thing about the online world is what we'll call its "open exclusivity:" the ability of people to choose their own communities based on their own reaction to content. We never intend to explain or slowdown (though an EDSBS glossary might be in order--we've lost track of some of the running jokes.)

That openness can be frightening. There's places on the internet (cough cough) we fear to tread, mostly because we don't like seeing human hamburger smeared across highways. But that's their discourse, and if it doesn't pollute my stream, then fine--it's a wide open veldt of possibility. That's a lot for someone to really accept in practice, since it implies no essential authority and a lot of work and responsibility (relatively speaking) for the user. It also means there's no sheriff, and you'll need to carry your own gun into a new and strange town, cowboy.

Thus the intellectual shortcut leading to some polar conviction that blogs (as if we were uniform and operating with the same communities) have to have some golden, perfect policy stance vis-a-vis ESPN or "the mainstream media." That does not have to be the case. We hate 80 percent of what's on the network now, because they've confused their forms of entertainment. No one wants their kabuki diluted with vaudeville, and yet ESPN figures muddying the waters of compelling sports program with movie tie-ins, "original programming," and "Who's Now" will escape notice from the viewing public. In theory, it's akin to having someone slip a chicken nugget into your McRib because "you're trying to promote the chicken nuggets" when all you wanted was a savory, undoubtedly carcinogenic McRib.

So as much as we respect Kyle's opinions on the terror that is ESPN, it's beside the point for us. The point is sharing passion, building a completely voluntary community of people just as odd and obsessed as we are about college football and sodomy jokes, and a chance to let the little Mr Toad in our head go on a wild ride each day and watch the sparks when the wheels fall off the whole thing. (Which happens at precisely 2:45 p.m. on the dot. You can time it.) ESPN, aside from getting out of the way and televising games, has little to do with that besides the growing alienation fans feel watching the network. It is just one of the things driving people online for commentary and community.

Therefore: We want no theory (hermeneutics), no authority, no fences, no pundits. There's only enthusiasts, data, material, associations, and what is made of it. The rest is just rehashing and doing what other, slower people have done before, which ESPN and many, many other venues are just dandy at doing. We can't take their job, and never will.

For us, there's only interest. And if our interests don't match yours, then please re-examine our thesis statement, presented helpfully by Mastodon and the producers of Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

Do not explain the plot. Don't like it--walk out. Them's the only rules here. Otherwise, you'll get headbutted and sung to within an inch of your life.