Let me start off by being honest with you for a sec’. I hate blogs. You may have already guessed that from the title of this post, but it bore repeating. I even hate the word “blog.” It sounds like someone throwing up:
“Ugh. I think I had one too many Slippery Nipp – BLAAAAAAAAHG!!! Oh man, those were new shoes….”
At one time, I held out hope that blogs would either fade away as all silly/annoying fads eventually do—pet rocks, Uggs, Justin Bieber—or at least get a nicer name, like “Wirey” (web diary) or my favorite, “Uronal” (your online journal). Neither of these happened nor will they happen. And so, while “blog” is an indisputably ugly word, it’s not going anywhere. “Blog” is here, it’s a little queer, and I better get used to it.
Over and apart from the name, though, I have a serious socio-philosophical issue with the entire concept of blogs. It’s similar to my objection to Facebook and Twitter. And this issue is that they foster the beliefs that everyone’s opinion is equally valid and should be exposed to the widest possible audience (They’re not and they shouldn’t.) and that I should care about the everyday mundanities of Joe Blow’s life and should want to read about them (I don’t and I won’t.).
The crux of my first problem, that they make everyone believe they should be listened to, can be summarized thusly: You don’t know crap. I don’t know crap. We, collectively, don’t know crap. Stop writing like you do. I have a middling interest in politics, but I know that I don’t know enough to act like I know enough to write a blog about how a.) Obama’s secretly a Muslim, or b.) all Tea Party members are racists. Both opinions are retarded, yet how many blogs have parroted back those conservative and liberal talking points with no higher logical scrutiny by the blogger? Reading TownHall.com or The Huffington Post doesn’t make you a political expert: please stop telling me how to vote. Similarly, to my fellow writers who blog, I would say that getting published in The Diddly Squat Review doesn’t make you Hemmingway: please stop telling me how to write. For the sports bloggers, being star athlete on the high school football team doesn’t make you…hmmm..who’s a sports guy?…um…Jimmy the Greek? Sure. Whatever. Being star athlete on the high school football team doesn’t make you Jimmy the Greek: stop pretending that if you ran the Cowboys/Stars/Mavericks, you’d have them straightened out in no time. (I leave the Rangers off this list because they’re actually doing all right. Go Rangers!) So let’s all just take a step back from the keyboard, take a deep breath, and admit our opinions aren’t really worth the paper they’re not printed on.
My second objection is, I believe, part of a bigger problem: the “You’re So Special” problem. Kids have been raised for a couple of decades now to believe that they’re the center of the universe and the rest of us are just actors waiting in the wings for our cue to come out, cater to one of their whims, then slip backstage until the opportunity arises for us to do something else for them. Teachers aren’t there to instruct them, they’re there to build their self-esteem and avoid making them feel like they’re stupid, which a goodly percentage of them are. Mom and dad aren’t there to discipline them, they’re there to drive them to practice and pay for the phone they use to send inappropriate pictures of themselves to the social networking site du jour. And now their friends aren’t there to provide camaraderie and shared experiences, they’re there to comment on how good your new profile picture is or how awesome it is you got the 100,000 point medal in whatever timesuck of a game you’re playing this month. Well, kids, let me let you in on a little secret: no one really cares. For example, if you have a really good ham sandwich for lunch, that’s great. Your friends and I are sincerely happy for you that you sat down and enjoyed a yummy meal that left you satisfied. We honestly don’t need to see a picture of it lying on your plate, half eaten, with the 140-character-or-less update “Yum! Ham sandwich from Jason’s Deli is awesome! Ham!” And we don’t give two dropped deuces about how your Farmville is progressing, who you’ve whacked in Mafia Wars, or whatever ten-item list of randomly selected trivia about you that no one knows (usually with good reason) is going around this month. “But all my friends leave comments and “Thumbs Up” thingies on my posts! They care!”
No. No, they don’t. They do that so you’ll read and comment and hit the “Thumbs Up” thingy on their posts. To quote Fight Club, one of the most philosophically astute movies of the last decade and a half, “Listen up, maggots! You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else.” We all hate work, we all hate our jobs, we all get frustrated with family, and we all (our Jewish friends aside) enjoy a really good ham sandwich from time to time. These experiences and feelings aren’t unique to you and really don’t merit sharing with the estimated 1 ½ b-b-b-billion internet users in the world today.
So now you’re saying, “OK, Mr. I-Hate-Blogs, what the heck are you doing writing one? Three reasons: 1.) my editor thinks it’s a good idea; 2.) my agent thinks it’s a good idea; and 3.) my wife thinks it’s a good idea. Really, the only point that matters is #3. Pretty much everything my wife has considered a good idea has indeed turned out to be so. “Let’s get married!” Good idea. “Let’s have kids!” Good idea. “You should try to get that superhero book thingy you’re writing published.” Good idea.
And so, in the end, I’m here because I was politely instructed to be here. And, in a complete about-face from what I’ve spent the last few thousand words professing, I’m totally going to tell you how to vote, how to write, what’s wrong with various sports teams (OK, not that last one. I really, honestly know zero about sports), and will fill page upon page with cleverly presented yet mundane details about my day-to-day life. That, with a few book & movie reviews and updates about my own writing (I, Superhero comes out November 1st!) and the occasional short story that, let’s be honest, I couldn’t sell to anyone. Because I’m the center of the universe.
Because you are all extras, waiting in the wings for your cue to come out and fulfill one of my whims.
Because I am a special.
Because I am a beautiful and unique snowflake.
And, ultimately, because what the hell else is there to write about?