Thursday, November 3, 2016

I am

In light of my doubts about publicly sharing our life on the internet--it begs the question: Why even blog at all?

But I really, personally, actually, enjoy blogging.  I enjoy the writing.  I enjoy the thinking through my ideas as I get them on screen and the building of a story as I figure out the best way to tell it.  It is a form of creative expression--and I have always been a person that needs creative expression.

Jeremy and I have been talking about short-term goals lately.  (As in I/we need some.)  My long-term goals are so huge and immeasurable, like "raise my children well."  Well what does that look like today, or any other point along the way? What are any sorts of achievements or checkpoints on that path that I can note?  They don't exist.

Blogging has long offered me a way of setting goals and noting checkpoints, and at times when I have not blogged I have sometimes felt, well. . . maybe this old Supernews video about twitter--which basically applies to blogging as well--can explain how I feel:  [note: Infrequent use of mild language.]

It satires the obsessive ways of social media users, who in a moment of internet failure cry out that "If we aren't connected then we can't twitter, and if we can't twitter then we don't exist!"

Yes, pathetic.

The level-headed guy notes that "friends don't just shout out randomly into the darkness and hope someone is listening!"

It's true, and yet somehow blogging helps me feel more connected to the world, and that I am producing something of value.  And helps me feel more like "I exist"

There is something else as well.  Which actually refers back to Twitter again (what is it--140 characters length limits?"), and Facebook status updates...

Have you ever tried to have a conversation on someone's facebook wall about something that really matters? It doesn't work.  There's no room for a real conversation!

It reminds me of one of my favorite books Fahrenheit 451 and once upon a time I wanted to find a one-liner from it that I could post on Facebook to explain my feelings (and why I wanted to give up Facebook).  But, not surprisingly, the book does not give me a one-liner--the book gives me this:

[Beatty, a future day fire chief of the civil servant book-burners is explaining to Montag, a fireman, why they ever started burning books in the first place--A "dumbing-down" and shortening of good books, followed by a devaluing, followed by a self-censorship of ideas in order to not offend any minority groups, followed by an institutional removal of good books to promote "equality" by keeping them away from the bright kids (who make others feel inferior)--thus the books became the "badguys".  He begins with the dumbing-down.]

"Picture it.  Nineteenth century man with his, horses, dogs, carts, slow motion.  Then, in the twentieth century, speed up your camera.  Books cut shorter. Condenations.  Digests. Tabloids.  Everything boils down to the snap ending[. . .]

Classics cut to fit fifteen-minute radio shows, then cut again to fill a two-minute book column, winding up at last as a ten- or twelve-line dictionary resume.  I exaggerate, of course.  The dictionaries were for reference.  But many were those whose sole knowledge of Hamlet [. . . ] was a one-page digest in a book that claimed: now at last you can read all the classics; keep up with your neighbors.  Do you see?  Out of the nursery into the college and back to the nursery; there's your intellectual pattern for the past five centuries or more."
He even adds a bit in later about politics, "One column, two sentences, a headline!" Obviously this is the current national conversation on politics and everything else that matters in the world--what can I fit in a tweet, what "zinger" or clever phrase that makes me sound like I know what is going on and have meaningful thoughts about it?  Occasionally someone might write a one to two paragraph update on Facebook that no one will "click to continue" reading because that simply isn't the right format for facebook.

So honestly, the other reason I still want to blog is that I want a larger format for saying the things I feel, and not having to condense my ideas into one-liners that rhyme, or have alliteration, or end with the invisible air fist bump for what a good snappy comeback it was!

And maybe that means that no one will be interested in reading what I write.  Some people say that the age of blogging is over. And maybe it is.  But I will continue writing because writing makes me feel alive.  It reminds me--amid so much mindlessness I see and feel and sometimes experience--that I actually think.

And no matter how much it sounds like the pathetic people on the Supernews Twitter satire, it reminds me as Descartes said, that "I think--therefore I am."

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