Is there such a thing as a blog doctor? A blogdoc? I may need the services of one. My blog seems sick.
Were I to take my blog to a blogdoc, what would he or she diagnose? You don’t blog enough. You don’t blog well. It’s not exciting. Your paint never dries. Where’s the core you started with? What’s your point? Who’s your audience? Why aren’t there people in your blogs? Why is it just hiking and buses? Who really cares about hiking and buses? You’re so stodgy, out of touch and out of tune with the rest of the blogosphere. You have no media intelligence, the sense of property, mobility, economy and transparency thatAttentiontrust.org promotes. You’re an anachronism, buddy, a quaint Victorian doily on the outer rim of the blogosphere, one post away from falling into an alternate universe of oblivion.
Am I becoming a Hypoblogdriac, one who is convinced his blog is sick and is always worrying about it? No, it’s just some time for maintenance. Google says “Hypoblogdriac” doesn’t exist. So I lay claim to coining it.
But yes, looking back over the last year and some, Mondaugenslaw has evolved in a strange direction, away from family and thoughts about travel to hiking and bus stories, largely devoid of people, or much interest.
The trouble is I’ve let responsibilities get in the way of composition. I can’t write about the students at the school where I work as they’re minors and I am one of their trusted guardians. I wish to keep my kids and wife’s involvement to a minimum for a wide range of reasons.
Occasionally I get “requests to meet” from total strangers. Perhaps this is a common occurrence in the blogosphere, but it’s new to me. I have no interest in a physical meeting with a perfect stranger. I see enough perfect strangers every day on the street.
I assume such desired meetings are based on one of two things, sex or anger. If I was posting pictures of my dong, I’d expect a huge number of “requests to meet.” As I am not posting such pictures, I can only guess that I’ve deeply offended someone, and they wish to cave in my brains with an adjustable wrench over the matter.
I look back over my blogs and wonder what could have caused offense? Are the Indian Railways after me? I did comment on the lavatory’s lack of hygiene. Perhaps its Sharma bus company—the one that sold us tickets (bus suspension not-included). Or maybe some eco-nut is horrified that I hike, which brings human presence into forests, where cute furry animals would live otherwise idyllic lives if not for the intrusion of a pair of Keen sandals, unaesthetic pants-shirt combos and bad breath on their territory.
On this theme, I’m reminded of a tale told me by an ardent conservationist friend who loved to hike. One time, somewhere in the woods of New Hampshire, he was hiking with a friend. They were talking about this and that as they went along, in normal conversational tone voices, neither loud nor whispers. Out of the blue, a very stoned hippie confronted them and demanded they shut up and walk in silence, that their voices were noise pollution, that they were intruders who were not respecting the forest, so on and so on.
On the one hand, it is easy to find self-shame here. Yes, we’re “intruders” in the forest. We’re “disturbing” the animals. But a nano-moment of reflection will reveal that we too are living creatures and our natural home is the planet earth. As we are very versatile creatures, there is not a continent where we have not made a home (I love double negatives). Our “voices” are just as “natural” as birdsongs.
What was really annoying the stoned hippie (which he could not articulate to himself or others) was that he, personally, was seeking solitude, distance from other people. His demand for silence was a purely selfish demand, and a very modern one. The hippie wanted to experience the woods as he imagined woods should be: devoid of human presence as they are in a picture or a TV nature program. In these, the human is the observer or consumer, not an interactive part of the forest, as we have been for many thousands of years. The further we separate ourselves from our habitat, the more concerned we become about preserving it. But I digress. And now I’m sure to angry replies accusing me of somehow wanting to litter the woods with plastic turds, kill all life on the planet and refuse to watch Al Gore’s movie. Or maybe not.
Funny. I circumscribe the topics of my blogs to avoid giving offense. The school, friends and fellow faculty are a rich feeding ground for humor, but the politics are treacherous. Two or three read the blog. So I tell stories about trees, mountains and buses—which are easy targets, since they generally don’t reply. But I do get offended replies, which makes me realize that anger and sex are the two biggest attractions on the web. If my blog was read by enough people, someone would be offended by the phrase: “I love life.” In fact, I can already think of many people who would be offended by that phrase.
Conflict and sex, I think, both make us feel more alive. Perhaps it’s the adrenaline involved in both, so maybe there’s a convergence available. But it’s too depressing to conflate the two (totally).
So there. This is a promise to heal myself, and blog better in the new year. I don't really want to blog about sex, so I'll just have to start offending people (but in a nice way, as I really mean no offense, not even to the silent trees of the forest).