Mailvox: When the short answer isn’t enough

Craig is alarmed:

What drives you? If you are “just doing this for fun” I kind of feel betrayed. I first heard about this site from a friend who told me some guy is challenging AL Franken to a fight which to me was freaking awesome. There is nothing better than a bright fearless Christian that is tuned in to pop culture. The mainstream media could really use someone like you. Too bad “that is not what you want” There is a battle going on between good and evil and it has many fronts, media being a huge front. Sometimes it sounds like you want in on this battle, other times you seem to just want to thumb your nose at the battle and talk about how amusing it all is to you.

Two things. First, “for fun” was simply shorthand for explaining that I am not a journalist, have no interest in being a journalist and have no serious desire to pursue a media career. I’ve twice been asked to apply for the editorship of magazines, once a magazine that I truly love, and both times turned it down. I don’t have any burning desire to see myself on TV, to listen to my sibilant “s” on the radio or to see my name on a masthead. I just don’t. In running my own business, I’ve earned more money in a year than any ego-driven camera-hungry media whore except the biggest of the big dogs, the Limbaughs, O’Reillys and Coulters.

I’m a libertarian. While I see little difference between the sale of principle required to be embraced by the mainstream media and the sale of one’s body, I fully support an individual’s legal (not moral) right to do either. But I have known call girls for whom I have more respect and regard than many a talking head.

The media battle does call to me at times, Craig, but the problem is that the battle, for the most part, is a fraud. For example, the studio will feature two talking heads, one “conservative” and one “liberal” arguing about the administration’s proper policy response to an unexpectedly high CPI number. Meanwhile, I know: a) the CPI number is completely fake, since it is manipulated to exclude inflationary elements and overcount deflationary elements, b) the cause of the real, higher inflation, and c) that inflation is necessarily an inherent part of the current system. This is only one of dozens of possible examples.

Most people don’t know that I could have been writing columns for WND three years before I started. Mr. Farah and I discussed it, but I didn’t feel as if I had enough to say to write two columns a week. Now, of course, I’m blogging daily, so in retrospect that wasn’t a problem. It’s possible to think that things might have been different if I had established myself sooner. But any student of economics understands opportunity cost, and now the cost of throwing myself into what I know to be a largely superficial conflict is much too high.

Potentially more significant is the apparent fact that the media does not appear to want much to do with me. My column is out there, every single week, and this blog is updated every single day. I can’t force the newspapers to run my column any more than I can force people to read my blog. 1,600 daily hits here compared to 61,000 at Wonkette would seem to indicte that people have a strong preference for snappy one-liners about anal sex over what I have on offer. Does it annoy me when so much column space goes to inferior thinkers who repeatedly demonstrate their cluelessness? Of course! But it doesn’t surprise me at all; the market for mediocrity has always been a large one. Money and fame is not the only measure of quality, if they are, Britney Spears and Jenna Jameson rate more highly than Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin.

I am always open-minded with regards to the future. But unlike most, I have seen up close the costs of both fame and great fortune, and so I am considerably more ambivalent about such things than most. And I think, Craig, that perhaps you failed to consider one possibility. Sometimes one laughs because the only alternative is to scream.