Friday, July 08, 2005
Fiction In The Archives
On this the day before my one-year blog anniversary, I've had some time to reflect on blogs and blogging and blog-posting and blog-writing and blog comments and blogs in general. Most of my really deep thinking came last night as I lay sweating and writhing in a fevered semi-conscious state while my body tried desperately to expel yet another viral invasion (two in one week! only no projectile spewage this time, sadly).

In my altered state of heightened consciousness, a couple of things occurred to me. First, if an oversized furry animal of some kind--say a rabbit or a vole--starts talking to you, don't respond. You'll only encourage it and those conversations, however benign they might start, always end with Mr. Bunny telling you to off your family with a machete.

Secondly, if you ever do make the mistake of engaging talking woodland creatures who exist only in your head and then subsequently they tell you to do harm to others, you should under no circumstances blog about it.

I think I got into blogs at just about the right time. I really didn't know anything about blogs in particular as I had spent zero time reading or researching or anything before I decided the world needed to hear my voice on an almost daily basis, but I had learned through cruel experience about internet-based communications, the immediacy of it, the false intimacy of it, the willful personal disconnect we sometimes foster that lets us forget that people are reading what we write and that the things we say sometimes have actual consequences. I learned this lesson in the early days fo the internet on BBSs, through e-mail and chatrooms when some of the things I said led to all sorts of dire and unexpected (and mostly pretty embarrassing) results.

I don't want to get into too much detail as I have no desire to relive my past internet humiliations, but just let me say you don't throw around words like "dead hooker" to total strangers unless you mean it. And while I'm sharing, also: 500 lbs. of ham is harder to get rid of then you think, no matter what kind of discount you got for it. Learn from my mistakes, people.

The thing about blogs, just like any other type of text-only communication on the internet, is that they are so seductive. Since it's just you and your keyboard, there are so many gaps of information about your audience that need to be filled in in order to make the enterprise worthwhile. The first conceit, of course, is that anyone really truly gives a shit about anything you would have to say. As Americans, this is the mildest and most hardwired of fictions. We as a people might not be able to make a decent car anymore, but man can we do some self-importance. The picture of people leaning slightly toward their monitors, straining to drink in every word you post almost paints itself.

Assuming you do build an audience, I think the second mistake would be to assume that everyone reading your blog is sympathetic to you and the positions you take. Again, this is an easy falsehood to construct because, by and large, it's true. Why would anybody bother with the time and energy to read it if they weren't interested, right? But as most of us know, it only takes one the attention of one jackass/griefer/law enforcement officer to completely disrupt your blog life and bring the whole house of cards down.

All of this is further complicated if you are, let's say, completely fucking crazy. Like the guy in Idaho who (allegedly) murdered three people in a family and then kidnapped the two remaining kids, killed one of those and then got arrested in a Denny's with the last surviving child. Turns out caucasian had himself a blog.

See? This is just what I'm talking about. Anyone know what the difference between first degree and second degree murder is? Pre-meditation. If a DA can show you were thinking about and planning shit before it went down, then you get the needle. Sure, he can always play up the "crazy" angle, but his blog can't help his case. Like I said before, it only takes one computer-literate cop to ruin your whole alibi.

To sum up: if you're planning a crime spree of any kind, keep it to yourself. Your blog is for cat pictures and poetry and memes, full stop. If I can say anything about this last year of blogging, I hope it's that I taught you this one thing. You are welcome.

My actual blog anniversary is tomorrow, but as we know, Pops don't post on Saturdays, so you'll all have to hold your breath for late Sunday/early Monday (depending on where you live) for the Pops' Bucket One Year Mega-Spectacularo. Start hydrating like crazy. And it wouldn't hurt to stretch a little. Consider yourself warned.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 6.1



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