Publishing a personal blog, however neglected, poses some interesting dilemmas. Whatever you publish is open to everyone on the Internet: this includes those people that know you – potentially those people that like you. You’re writing for people you may interact with, may care about, people you may sometimes have to explain yourself to.
This is problematic, because you are aware of this. This awareness becomes particularly nagging when you’d like to explore wild topics, attack certain ideas, grapple with less accepted points of view. In many ways, you can feel bound to the “safe” discussions. Your awareness has a tendency to manifest itself as censorship.
And, unfortunately, when you “don’t go there” and leave things you’d like to explore untouched – you stagnate. When you’re constantly dealing with ideas and concepts you’re comfortable with or you’ve accepted – you become dull. Life loses all that makes it extraordinary.
Of course, you can still think about the ideas you avoid writing. But that defeats the purpose of a personal blog. You cheat yourself out of too much: a dated record of how your thoughts develop, a searchable cache of ponderances that may otherwise be lost, and the opportunity for feedback from the entire world. You shouldn’t do it.
What I’m really saying is: I shouldn’t do it anymore.
And so, I’m apologizing to you in advance. I’m going to write about things that might, well, piss you off – or make you sad – or embarrassed. I’m going to smash some sacred ideas of yours to pieces, and only occasionally attempt to put them back together. I’m going to put ideas you despise on a pedestal. And I’m not going to worry if you’re reading or not.
Otherwise, I’m not being fair to myself, or to you. After all, you may need to see something that startles you from someone you know, interact with, or care about. The world is more adventurous than most people – and its leaving them behind. I don’t want to be one of them, and I don’t want you to be either.
So, reader beware… nothing is off limits any longer.
3 Replies to “The Problem with a Personal Blog”
Interesting, looks like you are in search of some of that stimulation that people seek. This is of course a gamble. How much of yourself are you willing to wager? This is also something of an aggressive entry, pissing people off, smashing sacred ideas, making people sad. Bad day? Charlie Brown didn’t have a blog but he did have Lucy and her 5 cent psychiatric opinion. But then he too was a gambler or was he an optimist thinking Lucy would really allow him to kick the football? People usually end up doing what it is that they need to do, so don’t worry about being fair to yourself. Oh, the apology before offending people is wasted on those you will offend and doesn’t make you a nice person for having done it. If you are going to do this don’t be apologetic and be willing to accept the consequences. The sword has two edges and cuts both ways. I read an interesting book some time ago, “Illusions – The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah”
by Richard Bach – 1977. It’s a quick read that I found thought provoking. There was also this old guy, Joseph Campbell, who wrote a few books that might be of interest. There is also a video interview, 6 hours worth, he did with Bill Moyers. The university library can probably lay their hands on a copy, probably VHS format. Campbell has this story of a Samurai who must avenge the death of his master at the hands of another. The Samurai corners the assailant and is preparing to kill him when the assailant spits in the Samurai’s face. The Samurai puts his sword away and leaves because at that point killing the man would have been a personal act brought on by anger. Have a good one.
Bad days are very rare for me. This post was brought on by a great discussion with a friend. We were dissecting “love” and its relation to sex… marriage was brought up… the conversation lasted well over an hour, when I decided I needed to abandon it. I felt I needed to reflect more.
So, I pop open this blog of mine: and realize, if I write about these topics – I have some family that’s not going to appreciate it. And on the other hand, I firmly believe in transparency of thought and self.
I’m not sure if I follow the wagering bit, but I do feel that to neglect touchy topics in order to appease others is surely a bad call.
It’s not that I need to write about these ideas, but I feel as if I should. I’d say many people do what they needn’t just as often as they do what they need.
At any rate, thank you for the media suggestions. I’m sincerely enjoying your comments.
Now, where did you say we met?
I didn’t say where we met only that we had. It’s not really important for any of this is it?
About the wager, you mentioned family and their possible lack of appreciation for your coming pursuit. Do you know for sure who they are that you will/might offend? Is offending everyone on the table? Possibly you’ve misjudged and will offend no one. You mentioned love and sex, what about love and family? What about love and transparency in marriage? Need, should? What part do the people in your life contribute to your definition of self? Perhaps I ask too many questions.
Maybe some non-questions would be better.
Joseph Campbell was an authority on comparative religion and mythology. In his discussion with Moyers in the segment Love and the Goddess he discusses the origins of romantic love. For a very long time, romantic love and marriage had little to do with each other. Marriage was for the purposes of procreation and producing heirs, extending power, cementing alliances, extending land holdings. It is in part this lack of romantic love in the marriage agreement that by contrast makes Romeo and Juliet a powerful story.
Even today marriages in some cultures are arranged with no consideration for romance.
It was not long ago that settlers of the American west married mail order brides, women they had never meet. Early colonial settlements under the influence of the Catholic Church might have had nuns bring young girls from Europe to become wives for the colonists, to populate the colony. There too there was no consideration of romance. And then there is the “oldest profession” that speaks loudly about sex without the marriage or love components.
Hows the art class?