Friday, October 31, 2008

The audacity of it all...

Let's be honest - blogging has changed in the past three years. People used to give me weird looks when I told them I had a blog. Usually followed with questions like, "What do you do with a blog? Who would read it?" Now it would be more usual to hear, "oh, cool, I'll have to link to you". It was a funny transition. Three years and such a dramatic change.

Of course, it didn't quite evolve as I saw it panning out, either. I thought it would be a little more eclectic. I guess I expected more shopping lists, insane ranting, and haiku about Gandolfo's Deli. I didn't quite expect that most people were willing to put up an actual journal of events of their lives online for the world to read. I guess I didn't realize that the world just wouldn't care enough to read a random somebody's journal. I know, how naive of me. Of course, allowing access just to certain readers has changed things a little, I think. But not too many people bother to do that.

I'm not disappointed that more people grabbed onto the idea. I particularly enjoyed a recent XKCD comic that highlighted one of the benefits of everyone blogging. I certainly enjoy catching up with people and hearing about Ashley getting engaged (whoa - congratulations!). I guess the major drawback as I see it is that people ask me if I blog, and I have to kinda do a clause statement, "Yeah, I blog, just not the way you blog". Not that I'm like some esoteric writer that wouldn't deal with the swill of the amateurish world. I just like posting pictures of penguins and checkmark memes and posts comparing life to overdosing on Mentos. I indulge in posting Europe trip picture and writing about how finals suck just as much as the next guy, but I think 4.5 reasons about why I'm not going to buy a guitar speaks more about me than posting about the play I just went to see.

I'll make a note here: I've made my point, anything past this line is just further rambling on to the same end. In other words, if you stopped reading here, that would be fine with me.

Again, I'm not trying to discourage anyone from blogging, but could I just go a little more in depth as to why I have chosen to blog? From a post of mine on 09/13/06:

Perspicacity relinquishes its vibrancy in resuscitation through recitation. Experience is never secret, as it always has company in its participants; conversely not public when shared, as its participants were not in company. The infection of recitation still burns the hands of its recipients, but an obligatory dissipation abates potency. Not that I prefer the callousness of sterility (of environment, not self), but by choice I see wisdom in the inanimate, unfeeling surgical gloves. Immunization is formed not only in inoculation, but in indication (relating the foreseeable). Self, not story, is the perquisition of my perusal, whether it be found in writing or in purpose. Sweet sickness is the joy of those who isolate esoteric plagues, with reliable potency, and foreseen results. Bland, monochromatic immunity the fate of the eclectic vagabond, whether he receives it or writes it to be so.

I hate to belabor the point, but I want to make sure this is understood (I was trying to be convoluted so as to make sure people were thinking about what they were reading). I mention an infection in this post - the infection is an experience someone has. When someone shares an experience, they're hoping that whoever they're sharing it with has the same reaction (symptoms, if you will) that they had when it occurred to them. However, each time the 'infection' is shared, it loses its potency (through dissipation). I love this line (I know, I'm pretty proud of myself for this one. Almost to the point that I just about sprained my arm trying to pat myself on the back): Sweet sickness is the joy of those who isolate esoteric plagues, with reliable potency, and foreseen results. When you find a writer who is able to convey their being (thoughts, ideas, feelings - more than just 'this happened') through an experience, you enjoy reading about someone's experience. They have a reliable potency. You can trust that the story they're about to tell you is good. Why? Because their human. And the funny thing about us humans is that we like reading about other people being human (Catcher in the Rye, A Separate Peace, Hamlet, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - I mean, just about anything). And someone that writes about their being human, not the story of what happens to them as a human, but what goes on in that very human brain of theirs as they're going through it, is relatable. And readable. That's why I wrote, "Self, not story" was what I am searching for in someone's blogs, whether they mean to write it in what they're saying, or if it shines through in the purpose of their writing.

So on this, the third anniversary of my bloggedness, I resubmit the same plea I gave at the end of my September 2006 posting. I doubt that I can change the world. But then again, everyone gave me weird looks for blogging just three years ago:

Find that motivating power that drives you to blog, and utilize it for every post. Behind the writing lies the fingerprints of the author, which is what I think makes a good post. When you can strike your own scales that measure effective expression, then validation becomes the nectarous byproduct. I know, this makes the post seem somewhat preachy, but it’s what I’ve been thinking about.