Monday, March 09, 2009

Some recent stuff concerning the nature of blogging has got the mouse wheel a-turnin' in my brain.

Taylor pooh-poohs the notion that blogging is nonsense. And aaaa-men to that!

Pistolette is thinking of going for more of a shiny happy blog, leaving the heavier topics for another.

Perhaps I’ll contribute opinion pieces to another blog, or start a new one, but I DO know that I don’t want to discuss politics or social issues here anymore. There is something disharmonious about having a whimsical cooking post backed up to a long rant about the mayor or city council. It just doesn’t feel right to me. So Pistolette will stick to personal and lifestyle posts. As I’ve mentioned many times, part of staying happy and sane in a place like Nola requires you to simultaneously face and tackle the destruction and corruption around you while remembering why you’re doing it – the good things – that familiar home culture of people, food, history, imagery, fests, family, architecture - a cocktail of physical and emotional beauty not found anywhere else. Too much of the good stuff and you’re in denial, too much of the bad stuff and you’re wallowing. You need to keep that balance going, and it’s not always easy. Yet another mental fee to pay if you want the privilege, not the right, to live here. So I’ll do both, but I’ll do them separately so I, and anyone else, can go to whichever we’re in the mood for at that particular moment.

I personally go back and forth on this.

Some days, I wonder if I should have stuck strictly to countless musings on the little guy, or the past, present, and future of New Orleans' educational landscape, or loads of book reviews, or about life as a Southern Jew (which reminds me...I need to dig up my "I Am A Southern Jewish Experience" T-shirt), or know, keep things compartmentalized.

The problem for me is twofold, however:
  • I am a lazy freaking bum. For me to start on another website at this point and maintain it much as this one has been maintained, I'd have to have some sort of figurative sword of Damocles over my head, like, say, a paycheck, or some issue that absolutely BEGS that I maintain something separate from my personal musings and interests. It's enough that I occasionally contribute to a certain other forum for blogging NOLAns from time to time for right now. But that may change in the future. I just don't know.
  • Perhaps it's 'cause there aren't many people standing up and waiting in line to castigate me for anything I express concerning current events (or, if there are, they are lurking or they just haven't found me here), or I just don't have that much of a sense of filtration concerning topics I'm interested in, but I don't quite feel the need to stop doing what I'm doing.
I guess it's the difference between seeing a blog as a diary in the sense that one is chronicling life as it happens - and life happenings themselves don't have categories; it truly is one damn thing happening after another - and seeing a blog as a means of expression akin to magazines, or newspapers, or other publications in which the words and topics up for publication are carefully considered and edited. What I do lies somewhere in-between, and is really more a reflection on my approach to this whole blogging thing more than anything else.

The heat-packing mama can certainly do what she likes, and I wish her well on that. Her blogs, her rules.

However, I think it is more jarring to split these parts of her interests in two. Pistolette, lady, don't let a bunch of commenters dissuade you from exploring the dark side from time to time in your own virtual house. The local (loco?) blogosphere needs more of what you've got.

Just my two cents.

I do think we need to go do this with Maitri sometime soon, though.


jeffrey said...

First of all Taylor is wrong. Blogging is nonsense. If it were anything like a worthwhile activity, I wouldn't be allowed within 20 miles of it.

Second, something funny has happened to me in the past few months. I only started blogging because I needed a more efficient way of sharing news links with friends than vie email.

And then, through the blog I met more people with whom to share the news and links.

And then, I started emailing them more frequently.

So now I don't blog quite as much stuff because I've already emailed people.

The life-cycle of internet nonsense.

Leigh C. said...

Well, in SOME instances, blogging hasn't helped your spelling much. That's pretty nonsensical.


Pistolette said...

Lazy!?! You blog more than most people on my feed (and relevant stuff too, actual content - not just video links :-P)!

On the blogging in general, I don’t think you can build even a small regular readership if your writing is too diverse. Unfortunately, if you want to reach more than just your friends/family you have to maintain a theme or focus of some kind. I don't particularly need to reach more people with my personal posts, but I would like to reach as many as possible with my 'issues' posts, so the goals are different too.

As for reacting to the negativity thing... I think the way I explained it to my husband is – when I’m on the football field I expect to get knocked around, but when I’m walking back to my car and they chase after and tackle me in the parking lot, I’m NOT ok with that. When I make a political post I expect things to get dirty and I’m ok with anyone attacking me, but when I make a light post about playing in the park with my kid - I really don’t want to hear sh*t about how I’m a terrible mother because of my political beliefs regarding blah blah... I looooove talking about politics, however, there are lines even I do not cross, and the most important is that I never call people names or personally attack them when debating (ie: “you’re f*cking stupid if you believe that”). I feel like what humanity was left in US discourse only further degenerated in the last election. If I’m going to fight my way through such a heartless scene, then I want my personal life involved as little as possible. *sigh*

Leigh C. said...

I gotcha there. Never really thought about it that way. And it ought to have occurred to me...I see the vitriol that parents can dish out by the 55-gallon barrels full on the parenting blogs and I haven't been all that happy with that sort of absolutism, which is probably one of the reasons why I ended up leaning towards the local and the political after a certain point.

One of my friends in NYC who checks in on the blog occasionally commented on this, and after I thought about it some, I realized that being informed about those kinds of issues goes hand-in-hand with living here. My rabbi has said repeatedly that the same dynamic exists in Jerusalem, which is one of the reasons why this city already feels like home to her even though she's only been here a few months.

Guess that's my long-winded way of saying that my own life and my own experience is kind of a blind spot sometimes when it comes to narrowing my content down to a few topics.

Somebody edit me!!!!!

Charlotte said...

It's a complete mystery to me how you blog as much as you do, comment on other's blogs as much as you do, comment on the list serve, read, teach,take care of a kid, house & hussband and have a life.
I think you have a clone chained to a computer in your attic.

Leigh C. said...

1) I love to read. Picture the sandworms on Dune, or the creatures in the Tremors movies in terms of how big a bookworm I am. Just MASSIVE.

2) With the exception of my great husband and of my in-laws, I am surrounded by family members who are concerned that I do something at this point that is supporting my family monetarily AND getting me out of the house. I love blogging, reading others' blogs, and commenting and all, but there is some subtle leaning on me to quit with it and take care of the home and the fam as for my conceptions of my being lazy and somewhat unmotivated in some ways, understand that it is seen through this lens, which is kinda how I was raised and which has been difficult to completely shake.

Balance - that need never really goes away.

D-BB said...

Prior to most bloggers, there was no depression since 1929, no 9/11, no Katrina, no Ray Nagin, no "W", no "The View".........

Need I say more?

(Anyone who says "no D-BB" will get their ass kicked. Also, Pistolette........u r so hot!)