Timothy Gray, chief editor of trade magazine Variety, has once again stepped out from behind his precious paywall to give The Rest of Us an address on how the industry institution hopes to remain relevant in the face of online scoops and the like. (Let’s all take a moment and shake our fists in the general direction of our own Hollywood Cog.)
The last time he had a sermon to share was last April, in the wake of much spring cleaning and rank-shaking. “This is not about blog-bashing,” he insisted then, although internal memos suggested that was exactly the case: “Ignore the bloggers (who obviously are trying in vain to steal our readers and our advertisers)…”
Cut to last month, and his concern has now become that the very word ‘blogger’ isn’t quite specific enough to help distinguish the perhaps credible and “the guy in his pajamas pounding out personal thoughts from his basement.” He goes on to invent new names in jest — kid bloggers could be ‘kloggers’, professional blogs could be deemed ‘prologs’, etc. — before worrying that the distinction between fact and opinion isn’t clear enough, much in the same that ‘the media’ has become a catch-all term for any number of outlets.
My mind, though, jumped to Animal Farm and George Orwell’s suggestion that “some animals were more equal than others,” and to Dr. Seuss’ story about the Sneetches, so worried about who had stars and who had none. And so, as a favor to our left-handed, right-minded vanguard of the old guard, I’ve come up with a new label or two that Gray might find handy, perhaps even worthy of incorporation among Variety’s legendary slang.
For the professionals, we can assume right off the bat that they’re Not The Threat, so let’s work with that much. Lose the ‘Threat’, because the ‘non-’ portion is what really matters. ‘Not-The’s’? A bit clumsy. How about ‘Notzes’? Rolls off the tongue the same way, gets the idea across.
As for the amateurs, well, we all regard them as Junior Bloggers. Again, we can lop off one word because the other alone sends the message of unworthiness. In this case, let’s run with ‘Juniors’. Hmmm, it almost suggests that they’re more like would-be journalists, eager to join our ranks. I think not! We can shorten that, though… ‘Ju’s’!
So instead of just anybody being a Blogger, you can be either a Notze or a Ju.
That sounds pretty boffo to me!