Funny thing about blogging – you just never know who might stop by. Right JA?
I find blogging to be an immense help creatively. It’s a great brain dump at the end of the day, a great way to sort through things that have been pinging off the inside of my skull, interrupting important thoughts, and basically getting in the way of what I really need to be doing. Blogging does me a great service that way.
I like surfing around and reading other blogs. There are some that are extraordinarily funny, some that are extreme, and some that make me wonder if we ought to enact laws about which people can write blogs and which should be discouraged or even prevented. The amount of crap out there is astonishing. And the thing about blogs is, anyone can tell you anything about anyone or anything, and you really have no means of measuring the truth behind what they write. You have to take it on face value and use your best critical thinking skills to discern reality from fiction.
And just because someone is a good writer, or thinks themselves to be so, doesn’t mean they are being truthful. I could tell you that my husband’s ex-wife weighs 400 lbs., dyes her hair the color of eggplants, and speaks in tongues, and you’d have no way of knowing how much – if any – of what I’d said was true. By the way, none of that is true.
Blogs serve a variety of purposes, even to the same writer. Sometimes I just need to vent. Sometimes, I offer something I think might be useful. Sometimes I just need to clear my head. There are clearly, however, bloggers who feel it is their personal mission to attack whatever they disagree with, making sure that anyone who reads the blog will know EXACTLY how the writer feels about a situation, a person, a job, a political issue, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all in favor of good debate and alternate opinions, it’s the sites that do nothing more than spew venom that I disagree with. Thus my belief in the need for regulation. Okay – not really – I fully support the concept of free speech. But sometimes I think a few bloggers should support the concept of “a little self-restraint” before they exercise the free speech thing.
Truthfully, I think that blogging is one the coolest parts of the internet – both writing- and reading-wise. More times than not I stumble upon something that really makes me pause and think. My nephew Joseph is a fine example, my darling friend Sirahj writes some of the most amazing poetry I’ve ever read on his blog (and I teach this stuff, so trust me, it rocks!) on MySpace, and my friend Julie Olson (www.jujubee.com) quite frequently makes me laugh out loud.
I guess, as I think through this, you sort of have to take the good with the bad – that’s the price of freedom in general. Some sites – like Raj’s – I read religiously; others, I drop in on from time to time. Since we clearly can’t regulate others, we have to regulate ourselves. Thank the heavens for bloggers like Raj and Julie O.