When it comes to technology and media, some people are Early Adopters. We're not. And it's not just that we're cheap. We genuinely never think anything's going to last. Then it does -- just long enough so that when the lights come back on we're the only boys with their underwear down. We're Late Resuscitators. And since we can't help it, we try to make a virtue of it. It's like with vinyl records. Now, we're not saying that blogs are the vinyl records of the Internet, but... They quite demonstrably are, so we don't have to say it. Compared to their successor forms, they contain more sensory information per unit of whatever and they have a richer, more emotive sound. In fact, the instant we felt ourselves becoming nostalgic for blogs (We were watching our Twitter feeds swiftly dither by and we thought, "This is the Brownian Motion of culture, this is entropy itself, and we love it, it's freeing the tyrannized peoples of countries we don't have to live in, except that's since we're Twittering too it's probably about to die out completely, except in Yemen") we decided to write one. The formatting and the other tricky stuff that used to cost $5,000 is easy now. Like most things that no one wants to do anymore because they overdid them and ruined them, it's so easy, in fact, that it practically runs up and does itself for one, then flatters one and adores one and even offers to pay one a little bit for letting it do it. So, there's that. Also, have you read a magazine lately? We love the Kardashians (they're so old Hollywood!), but most of the articles are shorter than this post and they're all about diving watches. Yes, there is The New Yorker. Of course. And the Atlantic Monthly. And also McSweeney's and its sister publication and Tin House and Open City and the Virginia Quarterly and so on. (Or did that close?) And Vanity Fair! We really don't know about Harper's, though. Those depressing art photographs of massive chemical spills at dawn as seen either from space or from the implied perspective of one of their aboriginal victim's ghosts that the editors always run above the stories are not only pretentious in a way you don't see a lot in New York-based smart publications anymore, they truly do depress us after a while. They make us feel nihilistic, not engaged. Or weirdly angry. And so does the sad-ironic Harper's Index, which is basically a masochistic thrill for thoughtful medium-high-income liberals at this point, and so do the exquisitely-counterpointed-so-as-to make-you-smirk-suicidally-at-the-moronic-folly-of-it-all-but-then-you-read-something-great-and-moving-and-hate-yourself-for-smirking Harper's Forum pieces. What is the editorial goal of Harper's? Honestly. To publish often-superb writing in such a way that no matter what the individual pieces are about the reader will always go away thinking: "I should never under any circumstances reproduce and next year at this time I should probably go to an assisted-suicide legal-marijuana state and, while dressed in clothing of the other gender, die?"
We would prefer not to. We would prefer to do this. Since nothing pays anymore anyway, why not?
And why should you possibly mind?