Sunday, February 03, 2008

Narrative In The Modern World

I have frequently thought about what the purpose of blogging is. For me, anyway. I mean, I'm not famous; I'm not doing anything earth shattering (or even interesting, for that matter); I'm not living abroad; I don't have kids; I'm not an artist; my opinions are often prosaic; and I've been told no one wants to hear about my dreams. (I blog about them anyway. Ha! Take that, People Who Aren't Interested In My Dreams!) I kind of think blogging is great. I love getting to hear what my friends are thinking about, where they're going, what they're cooking, what their kids are up to... It's like being plugged in without having to spend hours on the phone. All the stories, none of the greetings or awkward transitions. Actually, I used to love the phone. Until everyone had a cell. Now with delays, echos and quiet zones (where you can't hear someone, for no known reason), I dread the phone.

I have asked myself the same questions about journaling. What is the point? Who am I doing it for? Does anyone really care about my thoughts on politics or media or whether or not it's weird for Julian Lennon to hear Hey Jude as muzak in an elevator? More importantly: does it matter? Maybe it's worth it just to put something out there. Therapy for therapy's sake. Experiential recording for posterity's sake. I don't know. My journals are weird, weird books. Usually only the first quarter ever gets filled, and yet that can represent three or four years of entries. And there's lots of (probably) unnecessary exposition. One even has a family tree. You know - just in case. Just in case what?? What could I possibly be anticipating?

I've noticed a lot of commercials are appealing to the modern American's desire to leave a narrative mark. "It's your story. Citi Bank helps you write it." That's the one I saw most recently. But this idea that everyone has something to say... No, scratch that. That everyone has something interesting to say. Or worth saying. "Log on now and chat with your favorite characters!" I mean, does that make any sense? They're not real! It's a writer, or an intern, who drew the short straw and has to answer your retarded questions. "What's your favorite color?" "What inspired you to become a detective?" "Are your parents proud of you?" Some of it is cool, like the CNN iReporters. Every time there's a flood or an ice storm, you get awesome pictures of the bizarre shit that happens in Ruralville, Kansabraska. But even then... I have learned to never read the comments posted on CNN. They're all like, "I will pray for him. That man needs all our prayers!" And that is for everyone, from the President, to Obama, to the father of a dead child, to a serial killer. It doesn't matter; all CNN commenters ever do is pray and exhort others to pray.

Anyway. These are my thoughts. Read them. Also, I have been hittin' the lolcats again. Sry. But it's Ben's fault. He IMed me this link.

1 comment:

Sam said...

yay for lolcats!

They always make me laugh, it never fails.

Hmmm... I cannot say that I ever have a purpose in blogging unless I just need to put down my thoughts in or on some sort of medium. Usually, though; they end up being rather obligatory blogs to let my mother know that I'm still alive because I have hated the phone since... my first year in university (she called three times a day every day for that first yet *twitch*). Aside from that, they tend to be rants that end up becoming highly entertaining to most of my friends and are usually about the most pointless things known to the universe.