Monday, October 25, 2010

To Blog Or Not To Blog

Part 1 of ?

It’s a deceptively mundane question. After all, what can a blog accomplish, really? What is its purpose? A time-passer, a soapbox, a means of expression. An occasional receptacle for tirades, streams of consciousness, mindspew, rants (probably outnumbering raves).

Blogs are casual and democratic – any old chucklehead with an internet connection can have one. They are frequently unedited, unplanned, instant, grammatically incorrect. The medium allows flip-flopping, landing all over the map, run-on sentences, long absences while you’re on vacation. It is personal yet public, a diary on a flyer.

You often hear about blogs as a means to an end. Social media, people cry, so often and so loud that it begins to lose its meaning. You gotta promote yourself, you gotta get your jingles into their heads, gotta flog your product on your blog, not to mention tweet and twit and twat and get the handbook on the facebook.

But if I’m here, I’m here as an ends, not a means. Can a blog be an end unto itself? A little internet nugget of whatever it is we look for. These days it’s all about the Search and the engines, those things that power and put structure to your pursuit of all sorts of things… Am I the only one who has googled “the meaning of life” to see what the great white oracle will reveal?

Blogs represent the urge of us squalid, huddled masses toward something greater. A megaphone from which we may broadcast amusing things our cats did, the latest techniques in crochet, gossip from the world of technology, or manga, or book publishing, or the apocalypse, or whatever it is we care enough about to throw some words up on a screen.

For me, it’s this question of happiness, which in my scattered and highly unscientific studies I have learned is not a great question- the better question being the living of a good life, or the good life.

So here I sit, pecking away at the keys for reasons only moderately clear, for a devoted readership of 3 (Hi, guys!).

But also for an audience of one, that is, myself- that is, this nagging part of me that won’t put a sock in it already, no matter how many times competing factions insist that things would go more smoothly if I did.

What about you, Gentle Reader? What blogs do you read that works of art and ends unto themselves?


Oscar said...

I read one always interesting, often profound and touching little blog called The Pursuit of Happy-ish. I would miss it if it stopped appearing. I USED to read another blog, about teaching, but it seems to have screeched to a halt. And I check in occasionally on one called "Middle Aged Women Dating Again" but it is so occasional as to be practically non-existent. You keep on writing, girl. I most emphatically recommend and request that you NOT put a sock in it!

Anonymous said...

Hi Writer! and other reader!

It's like an Anne Lamott-ish thing. You write because you can't stop.