Monday, May 09, 2005

Huffing and puffing?

I'm sure many of you have heard of Arianna Huffington's newest venture, a group blog called The Huffington Post. (If not, check out this article from Howard Kurtz in today's Washington Post.)

This thing (the new-new-new thing?) probably doesn't need any more publicity, especially from small fish bloggers like me, but it debuts today with a rather impressive roster of contributors. There are too many to list here, but here's a sample:

▪ Celebrities like John Cusack, Ellen DeGeneres, and Russell Simmons.
▪ Directors Mike Nichols and David Mamet.
▪ Humorists Harry Shearer and Peter Mehlman.
▪ Traditional columnists, reporters and analysts, such as Byron York, David Corn, James Pinkerton and David Frum.

On a closer look, the first-day offerings aren't as notable as they hopefully will be in the weeks to come. (Otherwise, this could be an entirely indulgent, gasbag endeavor.) Some of the writers are just letting you know they'll be blogging, while others have fully formed thoughts and opinions to share. Reading through everything would be a delightful exercise in procrastination today, but nothing strikes me as immediately thought-provoking yet (other than this piece by Cable Neuhaus, which questions whether magazines are dead).

Mike Nichols seems to address the white elephant on the computer screen with his post:

"In directing a play or a movie-- whether a farce or a tragedy -- the problem to solve is really the same. There are the same questions. First of all why are we doing this? What's our point? What are we telling? The audience says silently - so, now, why have you called us together? And you have to have an answer. The first thing I think you have to do is make clear that they are in good hands, they mustn't worry, we know what we are doing. The next question the audience asks is: why are you telling me this? And you have to have a good answer for that one."

I'm hoping the answers are pretty good over the next few weeks. This could be something cool if there's some substance and significance to it.