(shifting uncomfortably in chair) Well, I came off a flight early this morning. I'm pretty well rested because I slept well on the plane. I've had a great day with the little guy and my sister-in-law and her fiance. My in-laws seem to be all right, though I'm a tad worried about the health of my mother-in-law. Aside from that, things are fine. (excessive nodding) Things are good.
-You don't sound too confident in your assessment.
The problem is (shifting again in the chair) the blogging thing. Maybe I should just go back to blogging in a vacuum, like I did for more than eight months last year. (thinking) Quit checking out all these other people's work. Just live life and write.
- Why would you want to do that? You get a charge out of what these others have been writing. It feeds your sociable nature. Getting and giving feedback seems to be a good thing for you. It has gotten you involved in something outside yourself and your child-centered world again.
Weeeelllll, I read this. And now, I'm disgusted. Not for the same reasons as David, of course. Not the exact same ones, anyhow. Yeah, it's disgusting having the Walking Id stonewalling the public as to what the heck is really up with things like the mass surprise demolitions and properties up on the chopping block that should not be there by any stretch of the rebuilding imagination. It just has me wondering...
- ...what has all of your blogging turned into?
Yeah. (straightening up in the seat) Yeah. What am I doing? I'm getting more involved, sure, but in what way? In some ways, being mom is hard for me. It's all I can do at times to get through a day as a mom. I think about taking on more work for myself with a job out of the house, or an activist role in the community, not unlike what this strong, brazen woman does, and then I've gotta wonder: what happens if the little guy gets sick or seriously hurt, or exhibits signs of serious emotional disturbance? Dan is usually in Baton Rouge. I'm the only one that can be called on. Yeah, I wanna save a city, but...
- ...you have a responsibility to your child.
Exactly! Which is why comments such as these:
Around the time that I started blogging, Bob Somerby offered some suggestions for liberal bloggers that every blogger should consider -- they're valid regardless of ideology. I'd add a couple that I think are especially valid in a one newspaper town. We can ask questions that are going largely unasked and point out facts that are being largely ignored. Also, in a one newspaper town, the fact checking role of bloggers is vital, who else is going to point it out when the local media answers questions incorrectly or incompletely? If enough bloggers did the first, citizen journalists would occasionally become citizen assignment editors. If one Houma-based blogger can get the Picayune to ask whether Mitch Landrieu was wearing make-up, over 100 New Orleans bloggers should be able to get the Picayune to ask why Nagin is more secretive about his rebuilding policies than chickenhawk presidents tend to be about their foreign policies.
can really cut me in particular. I already feel guilty in some nebulous way that I haven't been doing all that I could. Then I read something like this, and it makes me feel worse...then defensive...then thoroughly disgusted.
- Well, it sounds like you've outlined your reactions right off. Care to elaborate?
I feel bad because I guess, according to this criteria, I'm a bit of a lesser blogger because I don't quite have a journalist's instincts. And it's true, I don't. Maybe I have been looking at this blogging thing all wrong, investing too much emotionally into it, likening the people I've met through blogging as one crazy family, when all we are are a bunch of people who happen to like loosely communing with the help of our keyboards and writing what we think. We all surf in our own ways, our synapses may happen to connect in the same manner on occasion pop-culture wise, but we are all distinct beings. And then, I think about Agnes Denes:
- What the hell is that?
It's an illustration. Duh.
-Oh, come on...
I tried to magnify this as much as I could, but Pascal's Perfect Probability Pyramid and the People Paradox—The Predicament can only be magnified so much, I guess. Look closely at the pyramid, and there are teeny weeny individual people that make up its structure. It is an illustration of the "glass half-empty"assessment that human beings, though they may all think and act as individuals, are simply small units that make up a larger structure. If any one of us individuals becomes too conscious of his/her individuality, the structure collapses. Can't have that, now, can we?
-So, what are you getting at?
Upsetting the balance. We become too wrapped up in ourselves, in our ideologies, in our points of view, and we aren't serving the structure. We aren't serving humanity as a whole. We become desperate in our need to foist our view on the world, to reshape it as it should be, and equilibrium is upset. Sometimes, that's good. Sometimes, it's awful.
- And it's awful...?
(irritated) Would you quit interrupting? Yeesh...
I'm not sure if going whole-hog into the citizen journalism route is best for me, personally. I'm calling attention to David's post for the valid point on our FOIA-dodging, perpetually idiot-talking excuse for a mayor, but I'm uncomfortable with the rest, because it implies that a blog is for one thing and one thing only. From what I've seen, the blogosphere and the characters within it are much more faceted than the axes they sometimes have to grind. From what I've seen, the rest of the NOLA blogpocheh will be jumping on this information at some point in the near future. I think the great thing about all of these crazy NOLAns I've come across in my surfin' travels is that they aren't always pushing the "this is what the MSM is missing" line - at least, not in a standard, journalistic way. They are emphasizing the fact that New Orleanians are humans, citizens of these here United States, and that they most decidedly do not deserve the scorn and derision being heaped upon them by two-thirds of the rest of our own country. I think that most of those hypothetical Midwestern cabbies David cites would appreciate that.
-Uhh, you're not linking to a Midwestern cabbie's blog, there...
Technically speaking, Hawaii's to the west of New Orleans, and in the middle of an ocean. (exasperated) All right, so I'm stretching the definition. Big whoop.
-Couldn't find a Detroit cabbie's blog, now, could you?
(guiltily) No, I couldn't. Yet another thing for me to be guilty about.
Urrrrgggghhh...I'll keep looking...