Mark Weeks has posted his monthly "blog tripping" column (see "Elsewhere on the Web: Blog Tripping in February" -- he will soon have to add the year!) It is one of the few monthly articles I look forward to reading. As usual, he points us to some interesting stuff we might have missed rather than focusing on the mainstream material (his discussion of Linares-Morelia, for example, only links to the new and excellent Magnus Carlsen blog). However, in doing so I think his coverage is becoming a bit more idiosynchratic than journalistic, which is more typical of blogs than of what we think of journalism, which some call "the first draft of history." Blogs don't generally give us "History," they give us stories and perspectives. Bloggers generally tell us what interested them more than what items might have been broadly important in the world or in that portion of it we call the "chess blogosphere." But, depite that, Weeks always manages to make a very interesting observation about the chessblog zeitgeist which we had not recognized. He catches the trend. Last month he pointed up the rising importance of chess video. This month it is the nearly absolute irrelevance of USCF politics to chessbloggers (or all but one anyway).
Why are chessbloggers so apolitical? It might be better to ask the question of chessplayers in general. How could chessplayers be so disengaged as to allow people like Sam Sloan to influence the USCF, or dictators like Kirsan to run FIDE?
As I wrote in response to "Planet Kirsan," we chessplayers are an apolitical bunch, which may be precisely why the Soviets found chess so useful as a method of improving rational analysis without motivating critical consciousness or civil unrest. Ironically, as chess politics get more ridiculous, the mass of chessplayers become only more disengaged, which allows things to get even more ridiculous. I'm glad Mark Weeks has at least pointed out the problem, though I'm not sure that us chessbloggers are ever going to be particularly motivated to improve the situation.