Miss Mabrouk of Egypt

Check the archives too - a lot of good stuff to enjoy. Me myself? Off to new adventures in the blogosphere, if time permits.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Journalists, Bloggers, Men

Journalists are like men: they raise you to the skies and then suddenly they take you down. We are left alone. Hugging our tear-soaked pillows. They don’t love us. Hearts are picked at, egos are deflated. It hurts. Then one day we wake up and everything is colored again. We are back in our usual gears. It was a phase. And sometimes an experience we wish we never had to experience.

That is why we perhaps ought to be concerned about Baheyya’s blog who everybody are impressed by; not at least the editors at the local weekly Cairo Magazine. Well served. A lot of work has gone into her writing. Please keep her in the skies, permanently. Sandmonkey was mentioned as well; this time he was not pleased. For a site that is describing its writer as “an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled Sandmonkey” and is asking everybody who doesn’t like it to “sod off,” I think the review portrayed what’s going on at the site fairly accurately. But I also understand why Sandmonkey is outraged (to the point where he is calling names): if you don’t share his kind of humor (I mostly do), you will not be entertained; might even call it bitchy.

Damned truthsayers! When you can send off an opinion in an instant, it is too easy that your blog is filling up with comments on everything you disapprove of. I am guilty of that crime too. As one of my favorite bloggers The Anchoress reminded us a few weeks ago: I wish those who are just complaining about everything would actually do something. The blogsphere eventually did; raising money for victims of the Katrina disaster, for example. So there is a good side to bloggers as well. Riding Sun’s “What is being done in our name” and Chrenkoff’s “Good News from Iraq, Afghanistan” are other examples of good-casting. Here in Egypt, bloggers raised money to families of the victims in Sharm El-Sheikh. Alaa and Manal are providing technology and know-how to bloggers. In addition, they use the Internet to rally people for their political cause.

Sandmonkey has of course a lot of positive things to say as well. And I love him for it. But by the end of the day, it was a review by a fellow writer; a person with an intellect, tastes, preferences and opinions. Reviews are supposed to reflect opinions. So that is not the problem. If reviews are unfair, discriminating, poorly researched, un-intelligent, biased, misses the target, lack substance – etc., that is another story. This review wasn’t any of that as far as I can tell. It reflected Sandmonkey’s blog ambience quite well. It didn’t tell of the excellent writing or positive spins or God-loving good-doing. But that’s not what the site is about. It says so in the masthead. And I like it for what it is: sometimes refreshing, at other times annoying. Just the way Sandmonkey wanted it to be.

Damn the truthsayers! And yes, we bloggers can be like journalists and men as well.

Finally, Sandmonkey is concerned about his security as an anonymous blogger and he has every right to be. Although, Cairo, in the last piece of this blogger-feature, says that compared to the situation in other Arab countries, Egyptian bloggers can count their lucky stars.

Update: It appears that Sandmonkey has removed his blogentry http://egyptiansandmonkey.blogspot.com/2005/10/i-have-been-reviewed.html

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