Friday, 6 August 2004

Stating one's truth

A friend from my college days who shares my disdain for the policies of the Bush administration emailed me recently expressing general vexation with blogs ("I'm sick of blogs. Really, really sick of them.") He even went so far as to advise me to shut mine down. I suppose it's easy enough to see the whole phenomenon as a fad, in which blowhards of every description jump in to blow their horn, promote their opinion, and often develop a sense of obligation to stay current, offer opinions on every major issue, and compete to scoop others on the latest development. It also can be seen as an insular activity, in which we bloggers build our own castles in lieu of actively seeking relation with the larger world. Indeed the vast majority of blogs never attain any kind of significant readership, so what's the point really?

Personally I've always been disinclined to dismiss any particular medium a priori, preferring to judge particular instances on their own merit. Simply put, this blog offered me a way to "state my truth" at essentially no cost other than the investment of time. If proselytization is my primary goal, I would do better to write letters to the editor or my representatives, become involved in local politics and issue groups, and make contributions to the causes of my choice. None of those avenues are closed to me, though, just because I'm 'blogging'; so for the moment anyway, I will keep publishing, albeit in fits and starts as life's other demands compete for my time.

Since it is important to me to capture my beliefs, perspectives, and opinions, even if only for my own sake, then I don't see this as a waste of time. I'm simply following through on something I've long intended to do, since way before the first web log had ever been written. Exposing this to public scrutiny helps to keep me honest and think things through, allows for the possibility of benefiting from the perspectives of others who read what I write, and there is always the hope, vainglorious as it may be, that I've got ideas of worth to offer the world, and that someone, somewhere, someday may be inspired by me to act in a powerful new way. Maybe it will be me, and at that time I will shut down this blog. As David Bowie sang, "Time may change me, but you can't trace time."

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