Friday, March 13, 2009

An Open Letter to Anti-Bloggers

Dear Anti-Blogger,

March 17 is my 6-year Bloggiversary and with that I decided it was time to let you know how things stand with me.

I guess my first mistake was when I admitted that I blog. You said, “Get a life. Get out of the house. Make some new friends, find some new contacts, or join a club.”

“Come with me,” you said, but what you didn’t say (but still I knew), was you wanted me to compulsively, and almost daily embed myself in clusters of animated individuals.”

And I imagined you might be right. So for three weeks I engaged in dinners, dancing, and your other social events with their ribald conversations and compulsory social rites that accompany the ornamental membership that insulates your life from mine.

Together we whirled and twirled. Out and about. But despite the excellent food, the delightful bouquet of the wine, the brocade cloth, set against symphonic background music, and tables set with fork number one, and fork number two, and fork number three, all seem linked to a gloomy insincerity. I mean, maybe it’s just me, but I find it just a bit unsettling when forks have to line up and vie for time and an appointment?

I find that somewhat representative of the mockery of real life – where society is so bent on individual rights in a world of cloned disposition, designation, and duplication. Despite these thoughts, I remained silent. I promised myself I would not wound your intentions, though you didn’t hesitate to wound mine.

“It’s an ego-thing,” you said, “that blogging business. Like busking on the corner. ‘Look at me! I’m here! Listen to my song and dance and then drop a comment or two into the bucket.’ ”

Okay, okay. I can’t deny that, because that part of it, I’m not too sure about. Maybe that is the case.

But there is more, and for me to explain to you would be asking you to recognize the improbable. How can I defend my position by saying that here I form alliances with individuals for whom I have immense fondness? If I said that, you would laugh, roll your eyes, and say that I either lie or exaggerate.

How can I expect you to absorb my conviction that there is preciseness to be found in my Blog-World of totally diverse, yet collective intelligence? And brightness to each day gleaned from complexity made simple and simplicity made complex?

That here I see stunning world champions of Beauty and Brawn embellished with nothing more than the glow of ideas. Or sincerity in oblique convictions cast from another side of the seas of life. Though separated by vast geographical distances, we express closeted thoughts and analyze only those bits of interchange conveyed by words. But as limited as our exchange is, it is enough to know who is of sound judgment, sweet heart, and sober thought.

Relationships here are not based on superficial visual-perceptions of worthiness that trick us into forming new relationships that progress at such a reckless pace. Relationships formed in one day, fast-ripening by next week, and showing bits of rot and deterioration in three months.

Bloggers form alliances at a much slower rate. But in the end they are relationships that cause us to be touched, ambitious, and mindful of each other in special ways. I know you can’t understand it, but in the end we are linked as soundly by mirror-matter of the soul as gregarious and indiscriminate individuals in real life are linked by hot-spots of the flesh.

So frolic in your pulsing, steaming, social immersions of breath and body, while I frolic with equal delight with dear friends in the rapid transit of word, and phrase—essay, poetry, and composition—letters, quotes, punctuation.

(Written in honor of Blogger Friends who visit, cheer, and comment-comfort me.)


Anonymous said...

Well-said. The magnet and ultimate cohesive force of online friendships are formed via similar interests and values rather than physical proximity.

Congrats on your anniversary and I look forward to many more good years of sharing ahead.

susan @ spinning

WheelDancer said...

Another fine turn of phrases, Roberta, a delight for my eyes and and gentle salve for my spirit. Where else can I find someone who can assemble a thought as nimble and elegant as "...sincerity in oblique convictions cast from another side of the seas of life." dropped in a shimmering pond of self-expression?

It is fascinating how such a diversity of people can come together to savor the succulent thoughts of folks we'll likely never meet but share a kinship as strong as any.

Perhaps an old saying got it almost right but in these circles could be corrected to "Blog is thicker than water."

Happy Bloggiversary!

- Mark

Roberta S said...

Susan, thank you for the lovely greeting card. I found when I checked, that I updated your site address a while ago, so all is good and I'll of course be continuing to visit you.

Roberta S said...

Hi Mark. That saying about 'blog is thicker than water' really appeals to me. I smile at its depth of meaning and chuckle with amusement while thinking of all the blogging relies I have connected to me by blog-blood.

Thanks for visiting, friend.

Pauline said...

I find it interesting in a slightly amusing, slightly annoyed way that we who enjoy blogging are pushed to defend our enjoyment of and continued interest in this means of expression and exchange. It’s an ego thing? A good deal of what we do in life is ego-based. Get a life? I have one, thanks, and I choose to share it in writing and publicly posting same. As one of my delightfully young, big-word-deprived co-workers says, "So, bite me."

The whole here's-what-I've-been-doing-thinking-what-do-you-think-by-commenting exchange is great fun and, as an added bonus (thanks to the computer's off button) one can be highly discerning about with whom one has contact. That privilege is often absent when joining large groups of noisy, riotous non-bloggers bent on imposing their own sense of fun and accomplishment on those of us who choose the quiet and thoughtful written word as an alternative to simple, boisterous, and compulsory animation.

(How do you do it Roberta? Your post seems to flow while my pathetic attempt to duplicate your rhetoric makes me feel as though I've had my fingernails pulled out with hot pincers. Hat off, deep curtsy and a grin of complete agreement to what you've so delightfully expressed here.)

The Old Bag said...

During a recent visit to a see dear friend for the weekend, she inquired: "So what do you DO when you spend all that time on the computer?" her eyes were glued to the TV....

Roberta S said...

Hi pauline. I like the advantages of blogging you outlined in your comments.

I thank you as well for the glowing tribute -- though I redden in the face when compared to your own so beautiful and artful writing skill. Still, as always, you make me smile and feel quite special. Thank you for visiting.

Roberta S said...

Isn't that the truth, OB? I don't blog when I have company - I think it is rude, and I don't watch T.V. either when I have company. But maybe I'm a little weird -- like the rest of my blogging buddies. :)

Thanks for that comment. Well said.

Scotia said...

"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone..." I'm not down on blogging. I do it myself, of course... and I have been since I had my first web site back in 1996 and in order to update the page, I had to do it manually in html. :)

The only thing that gets me is that blogging has been taken from the roots of what it began as and turned into this "monetizing platform" where people have become so-called "professional bloggers."

Mind you (royal you, not you specifically *grin*), if you make money from your site honestly and you also write something worthwhile that other people want to read, more power to you. But the moment someone starts saying, "Well, I'm a /professional blogger/ and I attend all the big conventions and I'm linked on so and so and another A list blog" then something in the room really stinks, and it's not me and it's not you (the blogger that does it for pleasure and enjoyment and doesn't put on airs).

For the so-called "pro-bloggers" out there, if you were that important, you'd be hired by an established publication and/or making a hell of a lot more money than you are right now. And your average Joe wouldn't need to be in the "in crowd" in order to know who you are. Stop hijacking our hobby. :(

Roberta S said...

I'm with you on this, Scotia. And I wholeheartedly agree, when profit is the focus, (unless the author has truly specialty skills and something genuine to offer), I'm generally less interested in content than I might otherwise be. The key word is what you have already said, allowances for those who make their money "HONESTLY". As for me, I get enough commercials on TV that I feel well-saturated without wading through that kind of stuff on blogs.

Joy Des Jardins said...

I have a friend for almost 40 years; and no matter how many times I try to explain my connection and love for this community, she just doesn't seem to get it. She continually asks me how I can share my intimate thoughts and feelings with 'strangers.' She just doesn't understand what we have here. I've told her about the wonderful personalities behind the incredible and talented writing that goes on here. I've told her about the caring nature of this community and how much we all look forward to visiting one another and commenting and getting the same in return. I hasten to tell her that in the short time I've been blogging I have grown so fond of some of my blogging's like I've known them for much longer than my 3 1/2 years in the blogoshere....more like 40 in some cases. I'm not so sure she like that....

Roberta S said...

Hi Joy, thank you for sharing the circumstances of blogging that are so difficult for non-bloggers to understand. It is easier for them to dismiss it as some kind of addiction than see any practicality in it. And in that, they are partly right. It is an addiction to wanting to spend time with people we fondly admire. Thank you again for the comment.

Scotia said...

Maybe try explaining it as 21st century pen pal-ing. :)

Roberta S said...

I do like that simple, rational, and easily understood explanation, Scotia.

Nora said...

I'm glad I'm sharing in the "mirror-matter of the soul" as you wonderfully put it. That is, in my small way. Your posts are well worth waiting for (but I grow impatient in between). I don't think anyone puts it down as distinctively as you what this blogging is all about.

Thanks, Roberta, for sharing your thoughts.

Roberta S said...

nora, I too am glad that you are sharing with me and I with you. I find your observations of everyday life in your zone truly amusing, entertaining, and provocative.
....(and psst..just between us, there's no need to be impatient. With that new 'suitor' of yours, you may not have as much time to read my blog as you had previously). Chuckle

Dick said...

Wow, that's quite a piece of polemic, Roberta! Well said, whether directed to a real-time cynic or offered up as an address to militant ignorance everywhere. Nothing to add here - between you and your commenters, you've pretty much covered the waterfront.

Roberta S said...

Except to add, Dick, (in my list of blogging reasons), the laughter bloggers bestow on each other through fine prose and humor like that proffered at your place about 'school days'. The kind of rant that leaves me delighted by simple antics of real life tucked into a page with tweed-woven wit and humor.

Anonymous said...

I came across your blog today for the first time and am reading through some of the archive. The beauty of blogging for the anonymous reader such as myself is being allowed a glimpse into someone else's life. And when it's written as eloquently as your blog is, it's inspiring for all of us readers out there, whether they be friends or strangers. In reading your blog, I feel connected to my fellow human and humanity in general. Also... you write gewd!

Roberta S said...

Hi anonymous. Thank you for taking the time to chat. And thank you for the kind comment. Like all other fellow humans I have my joys (and my tribulations) and those atta-girls do make me a whole lot more cheerful. I do hope you will visit and chat again some time soon.