Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Mr. Scabies and Academic Blogs

Perhaps my least favorite type of blogging is blogging about blogging. It has the potential to be meta-blogging, but generally just tastes like flat Diet Rite Cola. I hate to have two posts in a row about blogging, but sometimes that's just the way things fall out.

A little brouhaha has broken out over at New Kid on the Hallway regarding this comment Steve Muhlberger made -- and just as Muhlberger is on his blogging vacation, too. The question at hand is whether or not blogging about academic life has peaked. Myself, I'm inclined to think it hasn't -- after all, I read New Kid's fine blog regularly -- but that's just not what the Wordhoard is about.

The side issue has to do with cat blogging -- the reference to "Mr. Scabies." I can't figure out the fixation that academics have with their dang cats. Surely no one thinks anyone else wants to see pictures of their cats, so the pleasure must be somehow exhibitionist. I suppose love of pictures of cats wearing human clothing is at least one point of potential connection between Academia and viewers of the Home Shopping Network.

I suppose if one is blogging about the academic life and one's cats, at least one isn't libeling Dr. Virago as I inadvertantly did in this post. Sorry, Dr. V!


  1. Anonymous10:01 PM

    I just wanted to make sure you knew I wasn't lumping Wordhoard in with the academic life blogging - I recognize what you're doing here is rather different.

    (Which is why I wonder why academic life blogging had to come up in the discussion of what you're doing? Not to harass Steve Muhlberger on his vacation, though!)

    And for the record, I will state that I have NEVER taken pictures of my cats in human clothes (let alone posted them), nor have I seen any such at other academics' blogs. Even though I have my own Mr. Scabies at home. :-)

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  2. Maybe I'm just weird, Dr. Nokes, but I actually like looking at pictures of people's cats (and dogs and rabbits and gerbils...). I'm just a sucker for furry mammals.

  3. I take a certain comfort in those blog posts about cats, knowing that I shall truly rejoice when Mr. Scabies defends his dissertation and finally becomes Dr. Scabies.

  4. No worries, Dr. Nokes. In fact, it all got me thinking about whether one can be "culturally Catholic" or not and I'm in the midst of blogging about it now!

    Meanwhile, I have to agree with Frank -- I like the cat (and dog and hedgehog and rabbit, etc.) pictures. But I love animals and I'm a sucker for good pictures of them and/or writing about them.

  5. I have returned to find the discussion here and on New Kid's blog, and I come away with the impression that some people thought I was criticizing the choices people make in writing blogs. I wasn't. Anyone really interested in the deep reasons behind my account can e-mail me (I'm not hard to find) but let me say here that I'm all for people doing what they want in this wonderful medium.

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