Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Viruses

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I have been out the past few days, laid low by a case of food poisoning, and a subsequent punishment meted out by my intestinal tract. I will spare you the details, except to warn you to check out the expiration dates on your foods.

As it happens, I also discovered a Trojan Horse on my computer, along with an assortment of viruses sent to me. Apparently, they are a new generation my existing defenses couldn’t whack. Great. I’m working on getting rid of them with a couple new things.

That brings me to the obvious topic of viruses. As I sit here, wondering if I can coax my stomach to accept some soup, and I’m feeling the effects of a mild fever and some annoying but also-mild vertigo, I’m a bit annoyed by the fact that viruses generally don’t announce themselves. You’re fine, you’re fine, you’re fine – wham.

The thing about viruses is, they don’t know any better, they just do what they do. From what I understand, viruses can actually be good in some cases, even if they are just a small virus that inoculates a person against something nastier, like a childhood disease protecting the adult later on. In other cases, there doesn’t seem to be a worthwhile purpose for some viruses, but they exist and we must deal with that fact.

Politically, the virus question naturally finds some relevance in debates between Democrats and Republicans, and between the Old and New Media. Like a virus, the body may be weakened or strengthened by fighting off the invader, or if the invader wins, the virus becomes the new paradigm. I’ve noted before that the Democrats of today bear little resemblance to Andy Jackson’s Democrats, or the Democrats under Franklin Pierce, or the Democrats under Grover Cleveland, or the Democrats under Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, or John Kennedy. In their turn, the Republicans of today do not look all that much like the Republicans under Lincoln, under Hayes, under Taft, Harding, Eisenhower, or Nixon. The times change, sometimes drastically, and we are at just such a turning.

It’s always amusing to see each side try to paint the other as the invader to the American body politic, when in fact we all are trying to direct the course as time and events move us forward. I will venture to say that the New Media represents the virus here, but that’s because the Old Media has become a cancer (in the definition that a cancer is a malignant growth that will kill the body if it is not stopped). Blogs, then, are the scalpels, which explains why DufusUnderground and DailyKooks (I think you know which I mean) are hurting themselves by their own efforts; they’re like clumsy wannabes who don’t know what they ‘re doing. And in the end, the New Media will become the standard, absorbing from the OM what works and has value as a gathering tool for news, while the best blogs will develop into news analysis networks worthy of the name.

In the meantime, I will be seeking out topics worthy of a blog, and a healthcare product which can completely remove the room-spinning and headache qualities of my present condition.

1 comment:

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