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Sullivan Channels McLuhan to Blog

Conservative gays, such as Andrew Sullivan, confuse me. Culturally, at least during my life, conservatism has preached a return to an earlier gentler time. Barring that, it seeks to preserve the status quo. Neither earlier times nor the status quo have treated gays gently.

However, if more Republican legislators thought along the lines of Sullivan—whose political conservatism grounds itself in defense, fiscal responsibility, small government, and personal accountability—I'd have more confidence in at least half of the U.S. government. I might not agree with them on every point, but at least I'd feel as though I could reason with them.

In addition to being an interesting writer, Sullivan has always struck me as particularly media savvy. Virtually every magazine he has played a role in succeeded during his tenure, and he has openly and successfully navigated the turbulent waters of being Catholic, conservative, and gay. Further proof of his media savvy can be found at The Atlantic online in his essay Why I Blog.

It’s a difficult balance, between your own interests and obsessions, and the knowledge, insight, and wit of others—but an immensely rich one. There are times, in fact, when a blogger feels less like a writer than an online disc jockey, mixing samples of tunes and generating new melodies through mashups while also making his own music. He is both artist and producer—and the beat always goes on.
The rest of the essay is equally insightful, but this quote is so noteworthy for the concision with which it highlights the fulcral nature of blogs as a medium.

Blogs provide writers—who according to McLuhan's paradigm practice a visual, linear, left-brain art—an acoustic, right-brain, everywhere-at-once space within which to operate. With their concomitant comments and nonlinear, hyperlinked, mashed-up structure, blogs enable writers and readers to exist both visually and acoustically at once.

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