Blogs are cool! Blogs are trendy! Blogs are NOW!
It takes honest dedication and courage to maintain a Blog that is revealing and enticing. It takes commitment and a willingness to communicate even the mundane aspects of one’s existence, especially when that little voice in your head is saying “this is not worthy – no one cares to read about this”. It can be posited that some of the most engrossing writing is that which exposes the little struggles, the day to day mucking about, the innocent and wide-eyed discoveries a blogger goes through and then shares with the world.
I’ve followed some great blogs over the years. I’ve also found endeavors that I wish would quietly expire. I’ve got nothing against personal struggles made public. In fact I admire the willful candor it takes to reveal ones passions, beliefs, fears and failings, often while allowing the world to comment. That is what it takes to make a good Blog read. And whether you’re speaking of things grand and mysterious, or simply sharing a story about the night you discovered you could wiggle your ears, it can be worth reading.
Good Blogs often share basic qualities, though. They draw you into the blogger’s life in a way that is affirming and welcoming. Bloggers seek communication and inclusion and even when what they write inspires you to disagree with positions they hold, a good blogger realizes the interactive potential for what it is: another opportunity to explore the many sides of an issue. A good blogger realizes that differences of opinions are potential paths to better understandings of any issue, be it religious, political, social or of whatever ilk.
This is why I have little respect for Blogs like Scattered Words-homosexuality and the ex-gay movement, a journal/blog, for an example. The author of this Blog is certainly religious (for whatever that’s worth) and that isn’t really what bothers me. Even though he is “Turning away from homosexuality and toward God.”, that does not bother me so much either. Sure he’s a “One Note Johnny” and it’s likely only fundamentalist Christians and homophobes will allow the greater value of his narrowly focused efforts, but even that does not bother me as much as this: As I see it, he affords no respect and exhibits outright hostility toward anyone who seeks to debate his small-minded views of religion and sexuality. He whines incessantly about earlier formative events in his life and threatens to ban at the hint of a disagreement. He “preaches” to others then exhibits disdain for those who “preach” back. His struggles are deeply felt, I’m sure, and his dark moments (and he seems to have many) deserve compassion, yet he selectively allows compassion for others. If you agree with him on an issue, a Biblical interpretation, etc, then you “rock”. If you disagree (and lets face it – which subjects will likely engender more discussions and heated disagreements than sexuality and religion?) then you may very well be banned, or at least he’ll be certain that threat is foremost in your mind. He speaks often of Christians being victimized by inexact assumptions and misrepresentations but vehemently discourages discussions other than those he feels are productive and faith (his) affirming. Dialog potential is minimized and the site is often the place to hear the sound of one blogger patting himself on the back and his sniffles as he laments his trials and tribulations. His martyr complex all too often gets in the way and he seems to me to be a fragile, easily panicked thinker who has no real faith but his hope that the world is designed to fit his narrow perspectives. It’s really rather sad and I guess I could sum up my opinion of his Blog by saying he presents important subject matter quite poorly. To be fair, it could be said that since I don’t have “a faith” to pit against his, I have no right to criticize. OK, go ahead and say that if you like. I don’t mind. Scattered Words IS a Blog and Blogs, by definition, represent individual perspectives of reality. It’s author doesn’t need to be good at what he does to qualify as a blogger and I don’t need to be impressed.
Maybe self-important, agenda-specific, deeply wounded bloggers, who put their words on public display then disallow you to challenge their motives and mumblings, give me valid reasons to long for other, less incendiary offerings such as Hulk’s Diary. It isn’t about much and it doesn’t involve a real blogger, at least not as the subject of the Blog, but it’s campy and clever. Even The Incredible Hulk has his struggles and we can read about them. He’s insecure, he’s emotional and he has opinions. Some of The Hulks struggles include looking for a job (constantly) and his views on war and the president.
Hulk thinking about war and have this to say.
HULK PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN
WHERE AT LEAST HULK KNOWS HE’S FREE
BUT HE DON’T THINK WE SHOULD GO TO WAR
Hulk think it sums up his thoughts.
Some people ask Hulk why Hulk not run for president.
Hulk have simple answer.
Hulk not smart enough to be president and Hulk knows it, unlike stupid puny human Bush in office now. Only saving grace of puny human Bush is his face looks like MONKEY.
(Hulk likes monkeys)
Hulk gets email:
Hulk need feminism education. And sensitivity training. And anger
Problem with Hulk is Hulk is Hulk.
Hulk have no problems if puny human women wouldn’t cause problems!
And he’s very likely currently available for employment:
Hulk been really busy – Hulk got job at local toy store and lost it. Hulk got job at local movie theater and lost it. Hulk got job at local Mc Donald’s and lost it. Hulk bad at keeping jobs. Hulk is very good at smashing things though, so you tell Hulk where Hulk can work and not have to obey rules like “Do not stick puny human manager into fryolator” and smash things and HULK WILL HAVE JOB.
HULK HAS NEW JOB.
Hulk working at local candy place (MMM CANDY) and puts choclate candy in boxes.
Hawkeye keeps calling Hulk “fudge packer” and Iron Man laughs. Hulk thinks Iron Man is happy for Hulk having job!
Ok, so now I’m hooked on the pretend struggles of a Marvel Comics character. I really should be celebrating and supporting the real people who represent the blogging world. I should be letting those who publicize their concerns, opinions and activities know that I notice and applaud their efforts. I do and I will! It’s just that sometimes Blogs like The Incredible Hulk’s “diary” show more heart and/or wisdom and are more creative and entertaining than some of the real Blogs I follow. Then, I often become more critical, but I’m not always looking to disagree.
I guess it really just depends on what I’m in the mood for at the time: Simple entertainment or thought-provoking, socially significant subject matter. I can’t help myself sometimes – I still read sites like Scattered Words, but I usually don’t feel good about it when I do and I, more often than not, laugh for the wrong reasons.