OK, so of course I am a blogger, insofar as I write here at C and C, and this is a blog.
But I've never thought of this as a "weblog," -- as a diary, or a running commentary on my life, or a running commentary on anything, really. I just figured I had a few thoughts I wanted to set down occasionally, that I'd like other people to read, and that this would be an appropriate and simple format in which to make that happen.
So I didn't start out thinking of anything as "timely" or even time-sensitive, or current.
But I'm struck by the way the format imposes its own rules. I mean, when I read things in blog format, I always want to read what's "today," and not what's "yesterday." There's no real reason for this; I mean, a lot of what people are thinking on Feb 23 is just as interesting on May 6 as it is in February. Not everything, but a lot.
At first I thought this was a kind of news-obsession: people want what's new. But then I started to see it as more akin to "Doing today's crossword" than "Reading today's news." The February Times crossword isn't any less inherently interesting in May than it is in February, and yet, darn it, I want to do today's puzzle.
A big part of that pleasure, for me, is doing the puzzle of today: doing the puzzle everyone else is doing. It's the same thing that makes TV and radio more fun than video. At least to me. I like the feeling of watching what's on.
Reading current blog posts is like reading what's on.
But see, then, if you're writing a blog, you get sucked in by that, to producing in a what's-on, what's-the-news, what's-happening-now sort of way.
But as with most people's lives, my life doesn't have a lot that's new. One day is pretty much like the previous day.
Ideally, I guess a blogger would have a stock of ideas, and present them in conjunction with current events and news and opinions related to those ideas. Like if you have something you want to say about sex, and it turns out to be the 10th anniversary of Viagra, that's perfect.
But that requires a lot of mental energy and outward attentiveness. Like, you gotta pay attention to what's going on. Out there in the world.
I'm not interested enough in the outside world to pay that kind of attention. I read the New York Times pretty regularly, and usually some local paper wherever I am. On the internet, there are like five sites I like to visit regularly. Otherwise I get bored. In fact, I am really easily bored, which is what I was going to write about today before I got distracted thinking about how not-timely, not-current, and, well, boring that was as a topic.
So in spite of everything, I wish there was some format on the internet that was less blog-like. Like a page, with categories, where stuff gets added, and a person visiting for the first time would see a topical arrangement of things rather than a chronological one. I guess this is sort of what social networking is about, but I don't want the social networking part, just the page part.
Sort of like a Myspace page without the Myspace.
Which reminds me, I was visiting Connecticut recently and there was a giant sign on a church: Come visit myspace! My space being the church, I'm guessing the author was Himself. Wouldn't that be awesome if there really were supernatural beings with webpages?
I can see it now: God's page on Facebook, with injunctions to love one another and live a good life, and the comments section with people complaining, "Dude, you're so self-absorbed!" "You suck!" "And you're fat!" "Get a life!"
People. They're kind of awesome but they're also kind of a pain-in-the-ass.