06 June 2006

Ed. vs. Schwimmer

On the BBC America cable channel, the wife and I enjoy a wonderfully unreal reality program, Ed vs. Spencer. While they continue to coexist happily under the same roof, friends Ed and Spencer compete ruthlessly and publicly with one another. While it is neither as ferocious nor as morbidly entertaining as an Ed vs. Spencer smackdown, Blawg Review's own editor, Ed., has taken a very public stance against Marty Schwimmer's Blawg Review #60 (to which I linked yesterday) by posting an "Avignon" edition of Blawg Review #60. As his/her/its anonymity naturally precludes on-camera appearances by Ed., the Avignon edition will likely end this dustup between two blawgosphere luminaries; I for one doubt that Ed. vs. Schwimmer will continue for more than this one episode.

The Avignon edition was first noted by Blawgfather Kevin Heller at the Tech Law Advisor blog. For those not familiar with the term, "Avignon" refers to a situation where the current host's issue of a blog carnival is deemed to be such a departure from the carnival's norms that an alternative edition is published. Several Avignon editions of the long-running Carnival of the Vanities have been posted, but this is the first such edition of Blawg Review. I think it's warranted in this case and might have been appropriate also for the recent Blawg Review #48 hosted by the RethinkIP blog, which garnered its fair share of criticism.

Although it wasn't really appropriate for an entire issue of Blawg Review, I at least preferred Schwimmer's "you're all ignoring the single most important legal issue of the day" approach to the Rethinkers' "you all sucked this week" approach in No. 48. As I wrote yesterday, I don't really share Marty's frustration -- I think that the amount and level of discourse on War on Terror-related topics is appropriate, and that the variety of topics discussed is a strength rather than a weakness in the blawgosphere -- but I think his criticisms will probably prompt more worthwhile discussion on his preferred topics.

There are relatively few rules for hosts of Blawg Review to follow, and as a past host I can attest that Ed. applies those few rules pretty lightly; still, even lightly-applied rules must be enforced. I think it would do a disservice to the carnival's readership to send them unprepared to what is essentially one guy's diatribe. I agree with what Ed. appended to the Avignon edition:

Regular participants in Blawg Review make their submissions and recommendations expecting that the host will, within the bounds of individual creativity, prepare a Blawg Review. It is essential to our project that we live up to those expectations, and not use the privilege of hosting Blawg Review for some other presentation, however interesting that might be.

Links to both Schwimmer's Blawg Review #60 and Ed.'s Avignon edition are available on the main Blawg Review page, which is as it should be.

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