Though it might seem hard to believe based upon the double ass-load of verbiage I have dumped herebouts onto this pockmarked side street of the Information Superhighway (and yes, I absolutely intend to be the last person still abusing that metaphor), I remain ambivalent about this entire "blogging" thing. Yeah, there are some blogs which have somehow found some sort of rhythm, a sense of purpose and raison d'etre, but on the whole, most blogs remains glorified diaries thrown open for potential reading by any random half-interested passer-by.
I likely stand as guilty as anyone on this charge — I know I've made more than a few (ahem) slightly self-absorbed posts on this thing, commenting about what I was watching or eating or thinking or digging from my toenails, as if somehow there are crowds of people pacing nervously wondering about these issues.
But still... in those odd moments when I force myself to look inward with any degree of objectivity — any glimmer of honest detached brutal honesty — I realize that most of these blog posts are little more that sad lonely cries in the darkness. For the most part we humans are just six billion hairless monkeys trapped on a damp rock, doing our best to not utterly humiliate ourselves with every thought, word and deed as we stumble through the daily grind. Our curse and crowning glory is that we have the capacity (or perhaps just audacity) to dream of possibly being more. Cattle suffer no delusions of grandeur: they are cows, and they are content to remain cows.
Humans, on the other hand, understand their own pathetic nature, they recognize their own personal irrelevancy in The Big Picture, and, like prima donnas everywhere, they plot and scheme at ways to claim a bigger better part in the production. Some found software empires, ruthlessly dominate the world market in operating systems en route to becoming the world's richest hairless monkey, and then hire a PR flack to help improve your image in the eyes of the other monkeys (in teh end, 99% of all human behavior seems to stem from a child-like desire to be liked).
Others don't have the opportunity, insight, and dumb luck to fall into such situations, so our stabs at likeability are limited to such sad little projects as congressional runs and blogsites.
I just spent the morning strolling randomly among three dozen blogs — some of them from folks I know, the majority from strangers — and I was struck by one common trait among the vast majority of those sites: there sure are a lot of people out there who seem desperate to have someone — anyone — pat them on the back and say "that's interesting." Because I think most of us realize — in those dark private moments when we have only the ugly self-loathing voices screaming at us — that we're not as endlessly fascinating and amusing and insightful and enlightened and informed and interesting as we like to imagine.
But when we hide behind a keyboard, we don't have to confront that. Instead, we can focus on the one or two commenters who offer some sort of crumb of validation, rather than those other 6 billion hairless monkeys who couldn't possibly care less.
Somehow, I find that both heartbreaking and hilarious at the same time.
And as I said, I absolutely confess to being as guilty as anyone on this charge.