• People Talk and My Ear Bleeds


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    Friday, January 18, 2008

    O Muse ...

    Muse make the man thy theme, for shrewdness famed
    And genius versatile, who far and wide
    A Wand’rer, after Ilium overthrown, ...
    [The Odyssey of Homer, trans. William Cowper (1791) Book 1, Page 1]

    Today, after finishing my reading on the pituitary and adrenal medulla, I started blog surfing (blog-urfing? blurfing?) for the first time in many moons. Doug, at Virtual Doug, commented on his attack of the malaise that afflicts us all -- the lack of blogging.

    He writes,
    (It’s a record – a record I am not crazy about. This is easily the longest period of time of not writing s since I began blogging back in June, 2003. In 4 ½ years, I have never gone this long between posts. Even while living in Việt Nam, I usually posted twice each week.

    Then, yesterday, he adds,
    Too busy? No, though I am working 15-20 hours per week in addition to the 2-3 freelance photo shoots I do and in addition to seeing Mom almost every day.

    Sick? Naw – I had a cold for a few days, but not a cold since December 26th.

    No muse? Maybe I can blame her for not visiting me, but the truth is, I seem to have just stopped observing the world. (emphasis added)

    How sad that Lady Muse has left us. I remember turning on my computer each morning and hopping over to Virtual Doug first, looking for -- wanting -- a post. There is something to blogging ... something different than what it used to be. A few short years ago to blog was to be part of a select crowd. It was a brotherhood. I felt a special bond with men I had never met, Vietpundit and Virtual Doug, and grew through reading their insights on this world.

    It is a sad day if the Muse has stopped visiting Doug.

    In their desire to ease the way people pontificate, platforms such as blogger have accelerated a divide among bloggers. Blogging has become mainly two sorts -- those who get paid to do it (the "blogs" on mainstream media news outlets, or those large "A list" blogs that make good money through advertising) and the diaries (those people who post their comings and goings for all to see with pictures).

    Those "A List" blogs, like the Drudge Report, or Instapundit, have become mostly news aggregators. They offer little in the way of true personal insight into the things they post. The "Diaries" provide neat snapshots into the daily lives of people, but also rarely engender discussion and rumination.

    It is a sad day if the Muse has stopped visiting Doug
    The few blogs remaining, as descendants of those "think tanks," are truly a joy to read, and range from the well traversed (Volokh Conspiracy) to the sparsely traveled (Virtual Doug).

    However, these blogs rarely make money, and often require lots of time to write posts. With the demands of life ever buffeting the bulkheads, sadly, tempus fugit and many, like Doug, stop observing life. Others fall into my category. We observe, but cannot write. Numerous blog posts are composed daily in our minds, but the demands of life limit the time we have in front of a computer. When that time comes, either it's not long enough to put the work on paper, or the post has slipped away into the ether from which it formed.

    I will not retreat. Although my posts may be few, and sometimes they may be aggregatory or diary in nature, I will strive to keep this blog one that engenders conversation and debate, and education on life. That is, I hope, a noble cause.

    1 comment:

    xanghe said...

    Very well said. Hopefully in the next few weeks you'll see the new xanghe blog. I need some change...

    thx for articulating.