Sunday, July 23, 2006

Various, sundry

I've been reading more blogs than usual the past couple of days. The game server I usually play on is being shipped to a new location, so I am without the familiar comforts of my virtual pastime. So I surf from blog to blog, looking for anything that grabs my attention . . .

. . . only to find that blogging, really, is kinda boring when you get right down to it.

Reading through a hundred blogs, what really stands out is how little of importance anyone has to say. We're all just attitude, most of it a pretty standard blend of anti-whatever-is-au-courant. If we mention a celebrity, we're sure to diss them (we probably all scan People at the checkstand anyway, to see the latest gossip, but only to be able to mock the celebs later, right?) Politics is a distant concern, and when it does come up, it is usually mentioned as a sort of shorthand substitute for expressing a real informed opinion (for example, saying mockingly that one is a bleeding heart liberal or a staid conservative serves to reassure readers that they're in the right place while avoiding any actual messy political nuances.)

Most blogs are just . . . blathering. Mine's no different. I wonder sometimes if I should just password it and be done with it, admitting openly that I only ramble online because I am too lazy to write a proper journal. I've been at this for seven years. That's an amazing number. Seven years of posting my ill-informed opinions and arrogant screeds to a (largely) uncaring universe. Thousands of posts, hundreds of them written in the days before there WAS a Blogger, each of them hand-coded and uploaded to my personal webspace.

As I read through the blogs, I'm reading someone's personal account of a tragedy, a joy, a boring day at the office, or a terrifying scare. And really, since I don't know these people, it doesn't really connect. It does them a disservice, in a way, to read something so personal without really caring about them personally.

I start thinking that I really should study more about the current world political situation, check out a few more history books from the library, take the time to get up-to-speed on local politics, check into the local water district's budget, write my congressman about whatever issue is currently problematic, pull my head out of the sand and look at the real world around me instead of blowing my time reading about another typical day in some stranger's life, written in a carefully ironic style which is much the same as any other post composed in a carefully ironic style by any one of a million other strangers.

I guess the breaking point, for me, was surfing through some website where a woman was talking about her miscarriage in one of those carefully ironic styles. I know firsthand about madness due to mine-- I can't read my posts from September to April, because they're not written by ME. They're written by that crazy wench who took over my brain. But anyway. I'm reading this complete stranger's blog only to stumble upon some witty little paragraph where she describes how she and her family call the dead baby "SpongeBob." And how, gee, she's going to always think of you, "SpongeBob," when she sees that little yellow fellow.

I sat there for a moment, thinking to myself. I don't really want an intimate look into people's minds. People, quite frankly, are usually idiots. Scratch that--people are usually people, complete with a set of behaviors that make me completely infuriated. And I'm tired of the whole mess. People write books about how to come up with interesting blog topics. People go to conventions to talk to other people that blog, about blogging. Everyone is searching for some way to be special, to be heard, to be different, to make connections, to reach out and find an audience.

I was reading through "David Copperfield" today and I wondered if I was, indeed, the hero of my own life story or just a minor character. Maybe I'm the villian.

Blogging, in a way, gives people a chance to write their own life stories out. The real tragedy of it, I suppose, is that, 156 years from now, blogging will be a few pages in a book about the history of the internet. But even then, there will still be someone curled up in a corner, reading a copy of "David Copperfield" and immersing themselves in the story. A novel, in many ways, is more honest than what we do blogging. It examines life, instead of merely regurgitating it. It weaves pattern in what is usually patternless. A spilled cup of milk, in a novel, means something. In daily life, it is just one more in a series of events, another reason to reach for a sponge.

I don't know what I am doing here.

I don't know where I'll go.