Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Vox Optima

The best minds of my generation devoted to optimizing clicks
With an insight a minute they can overwhelm you with their tweets
It was a shrewd bet after watching the inexorable rise of Wikipedia
To fall in wholesale with the new and emerging commentariat

You might have attended the same schools
   as some of these members of the new media
Roamed the same halls
   studying lessons with the same cosmopolitan professors
Surprisingly, their main takeaway
   was a studied pose of technocratic neutrality
They may appear reasonable and sensible,
   but are handicapped by their incuriosity

Jack of all trades, their concerns are cross cutting
Sad that it seems they've chosen to launder attention
The paradox is that they are often on the right side of things
But choose to squander insight pursuing the wonkish instinct

If you follow their careers closely,
   you'll find the skein of careful punditry
Albeit with fetishized concerns,
   they are ever ready to pronounce reflexively
Sweeping arguments even when it's not their area of expertise
Wars, education, immigration, housing, how hard could it be?

Specialists on policy, whether foreign or domestic
Making claims to insightful views on economics
To opine is an inalienable right to them, if not an obligation
To scratch the surface of the discourse is their avowed inclination

Blind spots in abundance, historical amnesia is their lot
They give a free pass, the benefit of the doubt,
  to patent scoundrels
A repeated assumption of good faith of obvious rogues,
   mea culpas galore
They roam from think thanks, to podcasts and columns,
   it's a revolving door

But is there a there there?
   Does Vox Optima have lasting value?
Is this curious brand of earnest ersatz journalism simply filler?
When you play, as they do, the shell game of the media
One can only fail upwards in this celebrity culture

With their pose of arch seriousness and mask of the anxious
It's hard to locate them in the taxonomy of useful idiots
Some would place them between those who should know better
   and the ignorant
Methinks, though, that they're professionals,
   either opportunists or contrarians

cubist painting at pompidou metz

Vox Optima, a playlist

A soundtrack for this note (spotify version) ...

Timing is everything
Observers are worried


After some bright young things who came of age with the web. Middle age looms, you know, might be worth leaving a mark...

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Writing log. April 15, 2022

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