13 June 2006

For the last few years, I have been living a lie. I have maintained a front of interest and participation in one lifestyle, all the while truly being someone else. It's time to come clean and confess to the world: I really hate blogs.
I trust that my limited readership is intelligent enough to find irony in my posting my deploration of these vile creatures at blogspot. I further trust that my limited readers, some of them whom possess their own blogs, will realize that this truism is not a condemnation of them or their blogs necessarily, but is a general comment that I have been struggling to parse over the past year or so.

There have been clues that I hate blogging. My modal posting rate is once per month, and the posts have been more as a preemptive response to anticipated goadings about my lack of public comment. The initiation of this little suppository of the internet that I call my webpage was a response to a particular set of circumstances at the forefront of my psyche at the time. A lot has happened since then, even though now I find myself back in the same geographic and cultural space, complete with similar requirement and routines. I hope that the conditions that prompted me to create this inappropriate outlet for externally-sharing my internalizations never return. Further, if they do return, or manifest in similar forms, I hope to avoid using this proxy for real human interaction.

I feel at this time I must offer a few reasons for hating blogs. First, the very word "blog" provokes an aversive physical response that makes my skin crawl. I hate that weblog has been shortened to such a cacophonous syllable. I hate hearing people who have no idea what a weblog is/how to use one casually drop the nonword. Hearing politicians in the state of Iowa urge their constituency to check their blogs for campaign updates conjures an image of elderly men in overalls sitting on their tractors in the middle of cornfields using an iBook to check on the vital "news for the campaign trail."

I hate blogs that contain inside jokes and information. If one is publicly posting information, the information should at least be germane to the commonalities of the readership. If not, perhaps the blog should be accompanied by a disclaimer. One of my first posts to this website in May 2003 mentioned that I found the idea of sending “thinly-veiled” messages to be unacceptable. Airing dirty laundry or expressing displeasure in the actions of another person is equally unacceptable, especially when the clues in the post lead us to know exactly who the other party is. Please, take a few moments to let your mind calm and clarify. Then, if necessary, write an email, call, or talk to that person directly. Leave me out of it.

Being privy to information related to personal conflicts is closely related to another annoyance of blogs. Most of the time, I think your personal information should remain personal. If blogging is an outlet for personal expression, I hope that the expressive part of the blog would be the design or the page; changes in graphics, fonts, or colors; or the inclusion of separate expressions like poems, stories, personal drawings, etc. Posting your diary is not quite the same thing as artistic expression. Perhaps this view makes me seem insensitive. While I am not a particularly openly and overtly sensitive or emotional person, I am sympathetic to the desire to “let it all out.” What really makes me look insensitive is that, most of the time, I just don’t care what you have to say. There are few people in my world who could post any piece of rubbish on their webpages, and I would express interest. Most of the time, though, it’s not worth my time to read, much like this manifesto is not worth your time.

One thing that you should notice about my postings is I try to keep errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation to a minimum. While I am more than willing to overlook the occasional mistake, if I can’t read/understand what you’ve written, chances are I won’t read it. Again, the effort I’m willing to put into reading what you’ve written is extremely limited, so don’t make me work harder than I’m willing.

A final point for now regards a nasty trend I’ve noticed away from independent website and toward friend network sites like Friendster and MySpace. Do not send messages en masse announcing that you have written a blog. Perhaps if I’m talking or virtually communicating with you through an instant message and you choose to let me know that I might be interested in something you’ve written, let me know. Send me an email. Drawing attention to something that you’ve done and leading me to read what it is as though it is essential when it is, in fact, nothing more than your personal ranking of the Spice Girls, in order of spiciness, pisses me off.

What we should all gather from this rant is a twofold pronouncement. First, I hate blogs. Second, I need to chill out.

07 June 2006

Someone stop the Nazis!
this is an audio post - click to play