Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Blogging May Be Hazardous to Your Health

Add this to the first-world problems meme ("white whines"): Andrew Sullivan reflects on the death of Andrew Breitbart and how it was the "brutal, unending culture war" in the media that is ultimately responsible for doing him in ("Breitbart - And Us." The Daily Dish, March 1, 2012). Lest we forget, and apparently Sullivan has, Breitbart's participation in that culture war was entirely of his own volition. In fact, Breitbart stoked the flames of that culture war at every turn.

Nonetheless, Sullivan sees him as perhaps the country's "first new-media culture-war fatality." You see, it is the "physical, emotional, and spiritual toll" of blogging and being a news junkie that led to Breitbart's untimely death last week:

Human beings were not created for that kind of constant unending stress, and the one thing you can say about Andrew [Breitbart] is that he had fewer boundaries than others. He took it all so seriously, almost manically, in the end. The fight was everything. He felt. His anger was not feigned. He wanted to bleed and show the world the wounds. He wanted to scream. And he often did. [more]

Unending stress? Of what? Being a reactionary attack dog for the Right? I can think of many, many other more stressful "lifestyles" people have thrust upon them in the world today, such as starvation, suffering from AIDS in Africa, being tortured in Syria, kidnapped in Colombia, living under state control in North Korea, or living under a failed state in Somalia. Now that's "constant unending stress." Or how about just living in poverty in the United States? Or how about just being Shirley Sherrod and watching Andrew Breitbart unfairly and untruthfully torpedo your reputation publicly?

Sullivan needs some deep perspective. I can't weep for him blogging at 9:30 at night (his example), or for Breitbart being a polemicist, which is a charitable way of describing what Breitbart was. I didn't feel giddy like so many fellow progressives and liberals when Breitbart died. In fact, I found the giddiness disturbing. There are worse villains in this world than a deceitful blowhard like Breitbart. But to go to the other end and describe him as a casualty of a relentless schedule of blogging, arguing in bars, and jetsetting around the country to make vicious tirades at union organizers and Occupy folks? No way.

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