Monday, September 15, 2008


How to reply to a writer like so, and not seem like an ass? I am supposed to reply to this post.

If I try my best, I will come off looking just like an ass. Or a gorilla. Or, a baboon, like my dear sister kindly reports of me. And she does have a good insight into the workings of my poor mind. So, I will try my level best NOT to confirm her opinion of me, as well as make the ‘World’s like best humourist’ [according to 27th] look like a fool.

I am the Devil’s Advocate. And, it is just my self elected job to punch a few holes in the arguments presented, and then, of course, ask any and sundry to hold the two of us to your ridicule or praise.

First, Baz, that is a beautiful article.

Well written, well researched, well presented. I thought you would be taking a different point of view, that is why I accused you of lying. Well, I am quick like that. [by the way, Princess tells me that you have put me up for an award. I hope it is complimentary. But, well, I don’t expect it to be so!]

As I said, I am very quick at judgement.

And slow to anger, and with a low boiling and melting point.

That is with praising me.

You do love your work, don’t you Baz? You trained for it, and put in hours, and go on to get do it to the best of your ability. You know where it falls short. But like a child of yours, you love it nevertheless.

So, it seems so natural to you to compare blogging to journalism. ‘Citizen journalism’ you call it. And that is where I get you, my dear.

Diamonds and charcoal, they are made of the same thing.

It is true. They are both made of carbon. Yet, Baz, you will pay through the nose to get a diamond to put on your lover’s hand. Common charcoal, the one that you get from the roadside vendor to cook your supper, it is made of the same thing. Baz, would you dare compare the two?

Can you compare blogging and journalism?

Surely yes? Because both things are writing. That is what you seem to imply.

That, of course, it the problem with the Monitor article which set this thing off. Someone decided to state a false thesis. And, because it seemed superficially true, he built a castle of reason around it.

Unfortunately, the bloggers who felt insulted, never even thought of attacking the central thesis. By being on the defensive, they validated it. And held themselves to the problematic comparison.

Due to un-popular demand, this article has been shortened.

Sometimes one finds a level of meanness in one's self that transcends all desires and demands to the contrary.

Sigh, even I, the devils advocate, sometimes falls for that kind of thing.

Gug, Devil's Advocate

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Anonymous Kobayashu said...

I get the feeling you read his (Baz) post with some pre-formed prejudice and that you're trying to down play it with some praise here and there.

September 16, 2008 at 3:46 AM  
Blogger gayuganda said...

Of course, of course.

I admit that. I am the devil's advocate. I was supposed to read it with lots and lots of prejudice.

That was the intention.

But I was swamped with admiration, and had to think up the prejudice to come up with the post. Which, I, again, admit!

September 16, 2008 at 1:25 PM  
Blogger gayuganda said...

And, kobayashu

you are also very cleverly ducking the points being raised. ha ha ha!

September 16, 2008 at 1:26 PM  
Blogger Baz said...

I understand the source of your confusion. I think it is because I had said something about replying to your earlier post.

Well, I thought about it and decided that the Kampalan wasn't the proper venue for posting debates that are of interest to only a handful of people so instead of responding to your devil's advocate post, I wrote an article for general readership on Citizen Journalism in Uganda.

My post was not about you or your blog or your post. Now you know and can adjust your opinions accordingly.

September 16, 2008 at 2:28 PM  
Blogger gayuganda said...

Ha Baz,

source of my confusion?

Well, a debate is a debate, and where better than on a site that we share and both have posting rights?

I do believe we can manage to push up the Kampalan as a must read blog with some, err, cheeky blogging dont you?

September 17, 2008 at 12:07 AM  
Blogger Baz said...

Very well. If you must, then please address the article I wrote and not the one you imagined.

Start by looking up the term Citizen Journalism and understanding that it is not synonymous with blogs. It refers to – and you really should have googled a bit before you wrote that condescending article — people who are not affiliated with traditional media organisations who take on the role of newsgathering through, for example, dedicated blogs.

I will reiterate my position. Citizen Journalism has advantages over the traditional press, but it has disadvantages as well, which, in the Ugandan situation, render it incapable at the present of usurping the role of the traditional media.

If you disagree, argue on.

And watch your tone. Address me with respect.

September 17, 2008 at 5:14 PM  
Blogger gayuganda said...

Ha Baz!


thanks. I mean, that was the aim...

Respect is not supposed to be what i am supposed to do. I am the devils advocate.


Oh well.

Are you realy miffed by the post? Then I will remove it... Give me time!

And of course I will count it one up, wont I?


September 19, 2008 at 1:57 AM  
Blogger Kenyanchick said...


The thing is, this could have been a really interesting discussion.

Read this and see what I mean:

The questions of citizen journalism, blogging, and, indeed what constitutes journalism is an unexplored one, from an African perspective.

Check out the link, and let's try to have a coherent discussion about it.

September 19, 2008 at 1:14 PM  
Blogger Kenyanchick said...

Here's another link:

(Sorry, can't remember how to embed them.)

It's a fascinating topic. Maybe this isn't the right place to have this discussion? Let me know. But I think it's too important an issue to ignore.

September 19, 2008 at 2:55 PM  
Blogger Princess said...

It rather seems to me an issue of misunderstanding.
GUG, you misunderstood Baz's intent, or perhaps it is me who misunderstands?
The way I see it-Baz's article on citizen journalism, and his references to blogging (complimentary or no)did not exclude him from the estimate. He stated truths about blogging, but did not intimate that he despised other bloggers for 'issueless' posts or that he held himself as better than most. You, GUG, seem to be attacking him from the premise that he has postured himself on a pedestal as flawless. He has not. Or maybe he has, in the way that we all do. After-all, we-none of us, read every blog indiscriminately.We select the blogs that we do read. We do not read that which we are in contempt of. We each hold to our own standards, wouldn't you agree?

September 19, 2008 at 7:11 PM  
Blogger Princess said...

One more question, GUG.
Would you have attacked as vigorously if this article had been written by a writer other than Baz?
Is it because of his popularity and generally acknowledged skill with the pen, that you accuse him of contempt of other bloggers?
*I do not agree with the spirit in which this post was written.It is underscored with a certain prejudice. I can see how he article could be perceived as deragatory of bloggers when taken in merely the context that you quote in your post.
Read the article again, though. Read the whole, and not just the part.

September 19, 2008 at 7:20 PM  
Blogger Baz said...

This was a waste of time. I am embarrassed to have been a part of it. I saw it coming but I felt I should give this man the benefit of the doubt. Which was wasted. Gayuganda clearly has nothing to bring to the debate. Gayuganda, I should have ignored you. And from now on, I will.

Princess, I should clear this up: I was not speaking of all blogs-- only the ones that DELIBERATELY take on the job of functioning as newsgathering agents. The rest of us -- you, and me as well-- don't have to do anything except what we want to do. After all, with seam-less, my blog, and many other magnificent sites out there, we are not journalists, we are artists, and artists don't have to be anything but beautiful.

September 19, 2008 at 7:57 PM  

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