October 28, 2005 § 12 Comments
“I think having a blog can often be pretentious. *oh my gosh, I think I just heard something in heavens explode.* …Sometimes I read a person’s blog and I just think, ‘wow, this person comes across as self-involved.’ I guess I just feel that some thoughts are meant to be kept, not shared. Especially in this age of information overload. And frankly, most people (and their thoughts) aren’t as important as they tend to think they are :-)”
The above is an excerpt from a blog I read the other day on Amy‘s site. It is a quote from a non-blogger delivered to her blogging friend about blogging. You can check out the full post here. I’ve been thinking for awhile about writing a blog about blogging, but I haven’t quite been able to piece my thoughts together well enough. I still can’t say that I have, but I’m going to give it a shot.
Yes, in many ways, blogging is a very self-serving practice. In the words of Amy Kannel, “Most bloggers I know (myself included) live for comments on our blogs. We like the affirmation that someone is out there reading. We like it when people connect with what we’ve said.” While this is true, I don’t find myself rushing to my desk each morning, giving the mouse a couple clicks, furiously tapping my keyboard, and opening my blog in hopes that I have suddenly become an overnight internet sensation. I do not harbor hopes that my blog will make me famous. I do not cling to the mad notion that my writings (full of elegance and wit, by the way) may find me a niche of faithful readers who, fueled by undying love and selfless admiration, will elevate me to cult status and by merging into one cohesive throng of rabid devotion, form my international fan club thereby thrusting me onto the world’s stage as a “pulled up by the bootstraps” publishing triumph. These things will not happen…probably. And I’m okay with that…sort of.
So, if my motivations are not fueled by narcissistic dream scenarios and the unquenchable desire for wealth and fame, why am I blogging? Obviously, because my voice needs to be heard. I possess a logic and eloquence that is unparalleled. Clearly, I am on par with the greatest thinkers of our time. I am part theologian, part philosopher, and part mathematic genius. And if you have ever had the honor of meeting me you’d know that I am feeding you a load of crap.
Here’s the truth…
We live in mobile society. For instance, I have moved (meaning, I changed addresses, not…you know, I lifted my leg or something) seven times in the last six years. I now have friends and family in various parts of the country who, despite my best efforts (my best efforts are crap by the way), I have trouble keeping in touch with. These people are fine people, people I am honored to know, people with whom I’ve shared intimate details and moments and had significant connections. These are people whom God has brought into my life for very specific reasons, often teaching me how to be a better man. I desire to be in communication and communion with each of these people, but since I despise the telephone with every fiber of my being, I am not about to spend seven hours a day with a receiver glued to my ear. I am looking for community. I am looking to share a part of myself and have them share a part of themselves with me. That is what friendship is, and that is what blogging has afforded me.
Here, in one forum, I can share my thoughts, my heart, and (of course) the most mundane moments of my life. In those commonplace moments is where friendship lies: in hours spent on the couch, in silence, watching a bad 80’s movie on TBS, in the laughter shared on a trip to the grocery, and in the story they just told you about getting cut off in traffic. Somehow, when you add love to the mundane, it is not so mundane anymore. The dull becomes dynamic. Now, I do not delude myself into thinking that everyone who happens upon my site cares what I do or what I have to say, but I hope that my friends do. And just as they occasionally stop by to check in on me, I do the same for them, and I find myself devouring each and every thought, word, and syllable. In some small way I am able to share a few intimate moments with them and join them in community.
So, yes I do delight in my counter racking up the numbers, and yes, I do relish in the comments of loved ones, but that is because I thrive on my friends. By the way, thanks for stopping by. It’s good to see you. (My gosh I should delete that! But…I guess that’s me, cheese through and through. I might as well have ended this with, “I’ll leave the light on for you.”)
October 15, 2005 § 3 Comments
1) activities within an organization that are aimed at improving someone’s status or position
2) that supplementary function of government that causes me to fancy jamming sharpened pencils in my ears
3) a subject of which I have little to no comprehension
4) an uncomfortable topic at social events (and socialist events too, I would imagine)
And so begins a foray into the realm of politics, from which I have carefully averted my attention for quite some time. I’ve never held the realm of politics very near to my heart simply because I don’t appreciate being lied to.
I’m tired of watching television commercials and getting angry, silently seething, knowing that the thirty second message I’ve just witnessed is a heated, pointed, and carefully crafted bit of media meant to “manage” me rather than inform me. This sound-byte-driven propaganda, full of half-truths and thinly disguised innuendoes, is an assault on my intelligence. But I have not the information to combat these insidious claims. Understand the distinction I just made… I did not say that I have not the intelligence to decipher the truth from the lies, only that I lack the necessary information to do so. So, that is where I’m beginning as I construct my new political philosophy. I want information because I’m tired of the watered-down messages pandered to us by the mouthpieces of the political hierarchy. (I sound like a whacko! Seriously I just read this through again and I had this image of me as some kind of conspiracy theorist outside some nondescript federal building with an eye patch, a bullhorn, and a big red sign that says… I don’t know, something anarchist I guess. The vision wasn’t that specific.)
Anyway…I’m tired of labels. In politics it seems stereotypes are so redundant and obtrusive that they are handled like the weapons of barbarians. Left/right, conservative/liberal, republican/democrat, these are brazen oversimplifications of social theories and ideals that only serve to confuse the genuine issues at hand.
So, I’ve been a bit lackadaisical in my approach to politics thus far, but God has impressed upon me lately that as a Christian, I am to be a political activist of sorts. But not the deranged kind, I don’t think. In our personal lives God calls upon us each to care for the poor, feed the hungry, have compassion on the lost, and so on and so forth. Certainly, a similar charge is placed upon our society and our role within that society. And so, I embark on a new endeavor in which I will strive to be socially aware and politically active.
So, here’s what I have so far: I am a follower of Christ who desires to see the ideals of justice, equality, compassion, and freedom exemplified within my own life, my nation, and my world. (Yep, I just claimed the whole world so back off!)
Tall order. Intellectually, I’ve got those down, my heart is getting there as I learn more and more about my Heavenly Father and whom he has asked and sacrificed for me to be.
Now that my head is in the game and my heart is catching up, where do I start?
I need your input. Where do I begin to find information? I want to get the facts and not have to wade, waist high through the muck of “spin.” What have you learned, and where? Scripture? Publications? Web? I could use your help. Resources? Comments? Ideas? Theories? Criticism? A few more single words with question marks? Maybe?
October 12, 2005 § 4 Comments
Folks, the people at Apple have done it again, they have released the iPod video. And with today’s release I again return to the lower ranks of coolness. No longer am I the envied owner of the latest techno-gadget… I am… obsolete. I am “behind the times.” I am… there aren’t words. No words to describe my sudden fall from the upper echelons of of the “haves” to the dismal depths of the “have-nots.” Only tears.
What is it about gadgets that gets me? Why am I so enamored with technology? (long pause) No really, I’m asking. It wasn’t a rhetorical question. Obviously, with my sinful nature comes a certain lusting (and yes, I used the word lusting) after the “things of this world.” But… I mean, come on! Money…I’ve got enough. Clothes…whatever. But gadgets…bring ‘em on!
I try not to rationalize things. I think I am at least as self-controlled as the next guy, but when it comes to technology I am a sucker. I can fashion any sort of reason or excuse to make it “clear” why I am in desperate need of any item that requires electricity. Now, pair my want for all things electronic with my obsessive distaste for carrying ANYTHING around in my pockets and you see that my conflicting desires render my obsession with gadgets completely ludicrous. In order to horde the coveted wealth of all of these items I would be forced to carry a “man purse,” thus destroying all edge I’ve achieved by possessing said items. Oh, the vicious cycle!
Anyway, needless to say, I am thrilled by Apple’s genius and crushed by my own weakness.