But it is the underwhelming response to Snakes that reveals the real peril in relying on bloggers to take the nation's pulse.
Vilken ängslig man. Vilken ängslig text. Bah.
"There were a lot of inflated expectations on this picture, with the Internet buzz," New Line's David Tuckerman told The New York Times after Snakes' lukewarm bow. "But it basically performed like a normal horror movie."
Tuckerman hits the problem squarely on its blogging noggin. Ever since the first smarty-pants posted his first unsolicited opinion on the Internet, Americans have become captivated by blog-o-mania — for good reason. For once, we own and operate our own public medium. Power to the people. Vox populi. Yadda-yadda.
And yet, as the scrambling suits at Lamont headquarters and New Line Cinema now know, it's easy to be seduced by one's own hype, especially when that hype is preceded by a "www." Now it's time to play catch-up ball. Lamont's handlers will have to face a candidate who will surely try to have it both ways on the campaign trail; New Line will have to sell a boatload of popcorn. That's the way the blog bounces.
As an occasional blogger myself, I'm still wary of the phenomenon. On one hand, it can be liberating to log on and spout off, unencumbered by editorial oversight.
On the other hand, as August 2006 clearly demonstrates, bloggers can just as easily get it wrong. That's worth remembering.
The whole thing reminds me of child-rearing. As the parent of any toddler can tell you, the younger the child, the louder the screams for attention — and quite often, the degree of the crisis is in reverse proportion to the decibels of the bellows.
To that end, it's important to remember that the blogosphere is still in its infancy, and like any kid, it needs to be watched very carefully.