Farewell, The 9513

The best country music blog in the country is no more. Barry Mazor says something I just want to highlight, considering the Feministe brouhaha:

I do believe that The 9513 has been providing a service that’s genuinely unique, a place where country music of any stripe—yet with contemporary mainstream country very much included, respected, and featured among those ranks—could be reported on, taken seriously enough to be subject to criticism, and provided along with an open invitation for intelligent discussion.

The invitation has often been excitingly well taken, and sometimes, it could seem, only half-taken, since a site as fundamentally open as this one has been leaves itself open to serial posting by a few who make caustic, belligerent, or allegedly clever pokes at anybody else bothering to write or comment thoughtfully their personal sport, and say so. (Not that you couldn’t tell who they are, anyhow, because sooner or later they always get around to suggesting that it’s the site-hired writers who have “ego” issues, and not perhaps obsessive self-appointed snark mongers themselves.)

I don’t think the dynamic is exactly the same as it is at the big feminist blogs, but I think it’s close enough to warrant consideration. There have always been readers and writers and critics and one of the most fun things about the internet is how it brings those three groups together very close and then blurs the lines between them in really interesting ways. But did writers or readers ever had to contend with hecklers before?

And now we do.

5 thoughts on “Farewell, The 9513

  1. I don’t see the dynamic as being similar, really. What goes on at feminist blogs is about something. Sometimes it’s about power, sometimes it’s about issues, but it tends actually to be about a topic or relationship that involves all the participants. What went on at the 9513, and drove me, for one, away from commenting, was the presence of commenters who explicitly said that they showed up there just to think of nasty (often false, usually irrelevant, but always hostile) things to say to or about the writers other commenters, for fun, because they enjoyed disrupting ongoing conversations.

  2. I didn’t do much reading of the 9513, seeing as it covered topics outside my wheelhouse.

    But from where I sit as a semi-professional User Of The Internet, I noticed about 4 years ago–when corporate entities began entering into the game–that there is a breed of idiot who likes to go to high profile blogs/articles and heckle just to get an audience.

    It happened about 14 months into Nashville Is Talking and led to Brittney moving on. It happened to us at MCB and drove me to quit. I’ve literally watched the SAME FUCKING FUCKS who tore those blogs down drift over to Post Politics and Pith and The Tennessean. I’m just betting some of their mental kin are the ones kicking up over at 9513.

    From what I’ve seen in the occasional stroll through the femiblogosphere, the issues over there are more like the issues we’re dealing with in the Christian blogosphere. It’s warring ideologies, some of which are peopled by extremely doctrinaire and vitriolic representatives. But everyone at least has skin in the game. I can respect those fights, even if they get tiresome awfully quickly.

    But the tawdry shits who move like locusts from one problog to the next just to have a theatre for their cruelty?

    I don’t think it’s the same.

  3. It should be noted, though, that that’s not why the 9513 shut down, which was another issue (lack of time on the owners’ part, since they have a time-intensive paying gig) altogether. The heckling was a problem (IMO) but not a fatal one.

  4. I had read their farewell thing a few days ago (linked by Barry from FB) and knew that…I should have made it clear in my comment.

    I still stand by what I said then, that I can’t believe the owners didn’t try to sell the brand to someone else to keep alive. It had enough traction to continue. If I knew about it when I have no ties to the field then it’s got a great web profile.

  5. I have no idea why they didn’t try to keep it going under someone else’s supervision. Or at least formally folded it into Jim Malec’s American Noise. It was worth saving, I think, despite the creeps. And it would have saved me from having to go looking for Blake Shelton’s apology, ya know?

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