Monday, April 26, 2010
The Moral Vacuum's Adventures in Internet Journalism
In the course of my day job, I regularly work with the editors of a mostly conservative news and opinion site called PajamasMedia.com. They frequently accept submissions on issues outside of politics and hard news. For example, a recent piece on my favorite TV show, Mad Men. I thought it would be fun to write and submit a piece on one of my passions, mixed martial arts.
MMA is illegal in New York State despite being legal in the vast majority of other states. I wrote a piece in which I explained the sport of mixed martial arts to the uninitiated, and laid out the argument as to why it should be made legal. If you'd like to read it, please do so. And tell a friend! Between the two of us who are involved with this blog, I the writer and you my one reader, we must know upwards of ten people. Anyhow, from what I can tell, my piece did not go over well at all!
The first commenter questioned whether I was employed by any mixed martial arts promotion, or paid to write the piece. No, although I wish! UFC President Dana White, if you're reading this, please call me! A subsequent commenter made the convoluted assertion that the popularity of MMA is evidence that the worker class is growing more discontented and a revolutionary overthrow of capitalism is near. No, I'm pretty sure man has had an apolitical interest in combat sports since the dawn of time.
By about that point, the mixed martial arts superfans started to chime in. These later rounds of commenters chastised me for propagating what is known to superfans as the "Zuffa Myth." I am not even going to explain what that is, but the short version is that no one outside of the devout MMA community would give a damn, so I used commonly accepted shorthand in describing the history of MMA.
I attempted in a response to explain to those superfans that my piece was meant for people who might not have heard of MMA, not those who care about minute historical details. So in summation, my piece was roundly rejected by fellow MMA fans, political radicals, and cynics alike. Also, my own mom, whose response to the piece was "DUDE! Why are you riding the UFC's jock?! Strikeforce is putting on much better matches at much cheaper production costs!12@!11" Geez, I didn't even know my mom watched MMA! I sure took a beating in my first attempt at internet opinion journalism, but hope to write other pieces in the future.