How do you begin again? It seems strange to write (or blog) after such a long absence, yet it is oddly familiar.
Today I read, or at least I was read to, a new post by my fubro (future brother) Stephen Oliver. He too hasn't written in a while, albeit a much shorter while than I, but his article got me thinking about many things. I'll try and link to it here (did it work?) but as a short recap for this post let me say this about the article....it speaks volumes.
In a nutshell Stephen was writing about nothing. Absolutely nothing. Of course there were a few snippets of information concerning things like how he spends his time in Guatemala, but overall the point of the piece seemed to be asking the question (and then answering it sort of) what should I write about and why should I write about it? People seem to ask him a lot to keep his blog updated more, but he fails to do so because he has no inspiration and nothing that he would consider interesting to write about. It dawned on me that the last part could apply to a greater portion of writing in general.
And so for the last hour or two I've been looking at news columns online: The New York Times, Boston Globe, Dallas Morning News and others to get a sense of what people were writing and why. Most news articles made sense because there is a significant portion of the population that cares about the happenings of the White House, Wall Street, and the group that decides who gets nominated for a Grammy. Then I moved on to television news sites like CNN, Fox, and MSNBC. They too had their place along with the paper groups, even though I could do with a bit less of their writer's personality, and it still seemed relevant. Then I got here and didn't know what to think. Websites like "Blogger" and "Wordpress" are free for anyone to publish their inane drivel on to and no one can stop them. No one really has to read them either. What is the point of writing about things if you have no expertise or knowledge of the subject?
"Obama is the greatest President ever."
I would probably get a ton of pats on the back and good comments from the people I know up in Oregon with a statement like that. The question is does it matter to anyone that I think that and if so why?
"The government is an entity who's purpose is to protect and serve it's people not trample on their rights and liberties through coercion and legalized aggression. The Obama administration is no better than Stalin's of Russia."
That statement would get a ton of hateful comments from those same people (and probably some really awesome comments from my friends in Texas including my brother Andy), but again do I have any credibility saying that?
When someone writes something on one of these sites it instantly loses all credibility if only because it hasn't gone through a filter of some major corporation news source. That's fine because most of the people on these sites are not experts in the fields that they are talking about because those people would be writing for reputable sources. Thinking about this I took another look at true news articles and websites.
With the exception of (ironically) Fox news, they all seemed cold and dishonest. Every article has been run through a machine that makes each piece factual and without personality (except Fox that pretty much made their voice clear). So then I went back to Blogger.
There is something to be said for the writings of the masses, it's honest. Listening to an NPR discussion about WikiLeaks a professor from UCLA said this about internet news and the movement from elite journalist teams to a mass gathering and sharing of information, "News has moved now from a 'lecture' as it was in the beginning to a 'dialogue' that can be interpreted by the community at large instantaneously".
Now this is a far stretch for a connection to the beginning of my post, but I'll just say that each writing is important even if there isn't much information or interesting events to be had.
....oh, and I also found five dollars.