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.