Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Who Shall Succeed SotP As South Florida's Most Visible Blog?

Critical Miami and Klotz As In Blood Are the Top Contenders

Many crocodile tears have been shed over the death of Stuck on the Palmetto by South Florida blogs that depended on its blogroll for their survival. I say "crocodile tears" because all these blogs, small and smaller, while benefitting from SotP's seal of approval also despised it cordially as all industry leaders are despised. What was it exactly that SotP was a purveyor of and how could one or more of these vestigial blogs replace it? That is the question which many pretenders to Rick's mantle have been asking themselves. If you ask me, I think there is an heir apparent to SotP already. Which is? Critical Miami, of course. It's a little too highbrow (though not insufferably so) and much too conventional, and Alesh's legendary adversion to a local blogroll is an impediment to Critical Miami's ascendency, since many regard him unfavorably because of it. In fact, chief among Alesh's critics in this respect was Rick, who chided him many times for the blog equivalent of stinginess. It is a poor emperor who has no dependencies and Alesh's reluctance to give his imprimatur to any other blog is the only thing which is holding him back and which may prove an insurmountable obstacle to his aspirations (supposing he has them).

The only other South Florida blog of its stature, which sparkles at times in ways that the genial but rather staid Critical Miami rarely does, is Klotz as In Blood. He is by far the best writer among the South Florida bloggers: wit, irony, sarcasm, those precious condiments of good writing which others avoid or use indiscriminately, Steve knows how to balance to create quite a smorgasbord. But he too has his limitations. He is not prolific and he is too much of a wordsmith to be. His blog is not easily identifiable as a South Florida blog since it has no distinctive Florida marker in its name (e.g. "Palmetto, "Miami"). Although he writes often about South Florida, he would have to write a great deal more about it to don SotP's mantle as leader of the local blog consortium.

For my part, I should be pleased with either Steve or Alesh. Both are decent and honorable human beings with no hate except for purveyors of hate. In this they differ markedly from and are a great improvement over Rick, who hated many and sundry, especially Cuban-Americans, and used that hate to expand his readership. I do not suggest copying his formula of seeding hatred among ethnic groups, either. Racism is a disease of the mind, not an eccentricity; and I believe that Rick succeeded despite and not because of it. But, again, there is no chance that either Steve or Alesh would follow that course. By virtue of that fact, they won't require a second banana from a maligned group as a token. In fairness, Alex was more than just a token; often he pulled Rick from the brink of his own unfanthomable ignorance. Why he would consent to be Rick's waterboy when he is in every way his superior, I will never know. Although neither Rick nor Alesh need a partner, they should nevertheless consider acquiring one. I can think of no better blogging partner for Alesh than Steve and vice versa. They balance each other perfectly. The success that they would achieve together would be far greater than what each could attain individually. Both have at least some respect for my opinion, and if they were content to follow my advice, they could exceed by far SotP's ephemeral success.

But what if neither desires to succeed the late SotP as doyenne of the local South Florida blogs. Well, there is a formula which any local blog can follow to achieve SotP's rapid rise and avoid crashing as it did. Ephemeral success, ultimately, is not success: it is a fluke. My formula also contains the seeds of permanence. I should really sell it to the highest bidder, but to avoid another Rick — that is, to avoid creating a monster — I prefer to pass on the formula to all the local blogs and let them compete on an equal footing. There may be an element or two which I have missed that one of them can supply which might prove the determining factor. I will present this formula in a future post, as I wish to give Alesh or Steve the chance to seize the moment.


POSTSCRIPT

Here’s the formula:

Google News is your best friend. Search South Florida and every major city there. Also, Digg’s Offbeat News. Copy and paste liberally. Add a sentence or two of your own. Be sarcastic and offensive if possible. There you have your typical SotP post.

Do an occasional introspective piece about yourself. These can be dashed off quicker than the news posts.

Pick a group — not blacks or gays — and make it the object of your special ire. Attack them often and ignorantly. Hope that they will attack you too.

Be rude and smarmish with your commenters. The post itself is insignificant; it’s the give and take of the thread that will get you the stats.

Hope and pray for someone like me who can carry a thread forever and do other yeoman service for you. And don't forget to ungrateful.

14 comments:

joep said...

MaT, I don't know if this fits your topics of interest with regards Cuba, but I'm still waiting longingly for someone with your talent to write the definitive commentary or analysis on why internal revolt in Cuba is about as unlikely as my being invited back to the Vuelta a Cuba after I pissed on a statue of Fidel on the outskirts of Cienfuegos. I'm hoping for a piece that contrasts Cuba with Eastern Europe with particular attention paid to the relevancy of 1) The Cuban regime's having a monopoly on violence (no private ownership of weapons); 2) How the geographic isolation of Cuba, unlike East/West Berlin, or East/West Europe, makes it much more difficult for external players to meaningfully fund or support materially an internal resistance; 3) Total control of news outlets, an indoctrinating educative system that discourages critical thinking and strives to maintain a population in a total state of ignorance; 4) How material conditions (such as almost-famine) leave the population waging a daily struggle for sufficient calories, as opposed to waging a insurgency against government forces and (to keep this short and not make it a PhD dis.) 5) How policies in other nations, directed towards Cuba, actually enable the Castro regime to stay in power, through whatever mechanism is triggered (an example could be the US's banning family remittances to Cubans who don't fit a particular definition of "immediate" family). Will you do it?

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Joe:

I'm sure you don't realize it, but you have just written that perfect post: succinct, compelling and original. I can expand but not improve upon it. What you say is exactly what I have always believed; indeed, it is the only conclusion which a reasonable person can make. Certainly it is the one that most inhabitants of the island have already made. Your powers of penetration into the Cuban predicament are unrivalled by any American. All the millions of papers that so-called cubanologists have regurgigated over the last 40 years have not managed to analyze the Cuban reality as you have with such economy and brilliance.

Charlie Bravo said...

Manuel, Joe....
What Joe wrote is a guide to the understanding of what Cuba really is, written by a brilliant man with a very sharp pen. Pens are sometimes swords, and Joe's reminds me of one that I saw at a classmate house in Havana, almost 25 years ago. It was a Spanish commissioned officer saber, which had been modified by a young Cuban scion of the saccharocracy who had joined the Ejercito Libertador. This particular officer had taken a Spanish Toledan blade, and had added a counter edge to the typical design of a saber, which has only point and edge. Resourcefulness makes for great weapons, and Joe is given us a clear bullet point(ed) concise guide of what are the conditions in Cuba, pound by pound, ounce by ounce.

Steve ("Klotz" As In "Blood") said...

Manny: you honor me with these very kind remarks which I deeply appreciate. What will be will be: forced to work for a living, I put about as much into my blog as I possibly can already. It isn't as widely read as I'd like, either. But it's fun, and it gives me an opportunity to grind some axes.

What you say about Alesh and me is interesting on another level. We're colleagues who work in adjoining offices of the same building. When he started CM, I didn't even know what a blog was. He invited me to write for his, which I did, and contributed something about once or twice a week. When I wanted to branch out of Miami-centric topics, he had the idea it would be better to have my own blog. Q.E.D. So your insight that we'd make good partners is actually accurate history!

Joe P: That's the best concise statement of the status quo I've ever read. But tell us more about pissing on the statue!

Anonymous said...

I vote for the Baba Blog , si ese mismo

Anonymous said...

Manuel,
archives of Stuck on the Palmetto are still available at Sourstock.com, a unique project to archive all Florida blogs from the folks at Spacecoastweb.

Oz

carlosmiller said...

Joep,

I think the number one reason why internal revolt has never happened in Cuba is because the United States is only 90 miles away and has always welcomed Cubans into this country.

The other factors you mentioned also play a role. But the fact that there is total control of the media in Cuba does not necessarily mean the Cubans are ignorant to what is happening.

Besides, a free media, as we've seen in this country during the run-up to the war, can still be manipulative.

Despite it being an island, there is no shortage of cash flow into Cuba from Miami. Castro, of course, gets his cut.

And the fact that so many Cubans have been able to escape from Cuba on a raft shows that it shouldn't be impossible to smuggle guns into the country.

But you would need people to take up the arms in order to succeed with an overthrow.

And most anti-Castro Cubans have opted to come to the United States.

Although it is true that Cubans are on severe food rations, they are better off than poor people in other Latin American countries where revolutions have succeeded.

However, it should be acknowledged that Castro has wiped out the middle class, which historically, has always needed to support the revolution in order for it to succeed.

But having said that, Cuba is far from a classless society. The opening of tourism has created a new class of Cubans who are no longer restricted to the few measly pesos the government throws their way each month.

Finally, I do believe the American embargo has ultimately backfired on the United States because it allows Castro to manipulate Cubans into believing the United States is deliberately trying to keep them under.

Those Cubans who see through Castro end up giving him the ultimate fuck you by coming to the United States to pursue their capitalist dreams.

Anonymous said...

here's the site:

http://www.sourstock.com/Stuck_On_The_Palmetto/


Oz

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Oz:

The gentlemen at Sourstock mistakingly assumed that no blogger would be so devious as to erase completely every post and comment on his blog, as Rick did. Consequently they made the fatal error of not creating templates for each archived page. Instead, they simply linked directly to the blog; but since all those links were rendered dead by the obliteration of the site, it is impossible to retrieve their content anymore. The only use of Sourstock is that it provides an incomplete synopsis of every erased post.

Anonymous said...

Manuel,

with regard to sourstock, check out theinfomaniac.blogspot.com and under the SotP closing post there is a comment by sourstock. Seems Rick called him and asked him to remove the data from the web, for now. I know I was able to read it earlier last night. This is really beginning to sound Orwellian.

Oz

Anonymous said...

here:

http://newsresearch.blogspot.com//

The comment section:

by: Spacecoastweb

Oz

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