State of the Blog
Yes, it’s a new post. Stow your disappointment with me and enjoy.
The state of the blog is muddled, my friends. I’m having a bit of an identity crisis lately. I’m not sure what I want this blog to be. But maybe it’s deeper than that. Maybe it’s more about what I want to be spending my time on. What should I be about? What’s my brand, as a friend in marketing would say.
Am I a ranter for liberal political causes?
Am I a stewing crock pot of progressive Christian thoughts?
Am I a social activist?
Am I a music/film/tv/sports/pop culture buff, riffing about the latest trend?
Am I a Pittsburgh yinzer griping about the Pirates or why the city has torn up our street three different times to fix the same spot in a water main?
The answer, at various times and in various posts, has been yes.
And what about tone? It’s pretty hard for me to do anything without adding humor. I’d put jokes in a eulogy, for God sakes. And I like to have a slant on things. I don’t just want to regurgitate the news. Sometimes, however, my slant just seems like an angry old man rant. A few weeks ago, I heard an interview with the guy who does the Pittsburgh Dad videos on You Tube. He said that originally, they put that canned laugh track under the videos because without it, they just seemed to be an angry guy doing a crazed rant. The laugh track softened it. I don’t have a laugh track.
I don’t want to be angry. That’s not me. I’m really an easy-going, let-bygones-be-bygones dude. I’m the Big Lebowski with a job and a wife. Yet, I abide.
So what sets me on edge? I’ve sort of narrowed it down to social media, especially Facebook. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do with that. You know how Facebook is. Part of it is people you are close to now; part is people you knew 20 years ago (or more); part is people you can hardly remember but they friended you and why not? I’ve been pretty successful at keeping coworkers out of my Facebook. One slipped through, though. When you work as a manager at a Christian company that is more conservative than you are, I find it best not to cross those streams. Many of my old-acquaintance Facebook friends are people from a church where I used to work in the 90-percent “Red State” enclave that is DuPage County, Illinois. I love these people. But I now find many of their beliefs – and their Facebook posts — to be depressing and offensive.
This is a spoof, but in many ways, it feels all too real.
It would be funny if it weren’t so true. These are good Christian people, but their posts are filled with a love of guns, contempt for the poor (and the programs that serve them), judgment of homosexuals, vile loathing of Obama, and a impetuous buy-in of all things Fox News and Ayn Rand. They seem angry, fearful, and full of resentment for things that are different, and ways in which the world is changing. And these are my friends!
I’m so grateful for my current church and my many friends there who are open-minded, radically accepting of others, and just crazy enough to think that they can change the world. They have kept my hope and faith alive when it was waning. My friend Jim says that his Facebook stream is pretty much just me at this point. He exaggerates, but he says that he has blocked almost everybody else. Is that what I should do? Something in me resists blocking the thoughts of people I disagree with. It seems like a cop-out. But Facebook does not promote rational discussion and interchange. It’s more of a bullhorn, or maybe a super-soaker, of opinionated shouting.
Then, of course, I realize that, most likely, I am the same thing to many of them: an obnoxious, ignorant, and often offensive radical who has lost their faith and gone astray.
Guilty as charged. I know what I should do. I should be able to read their little posts and move on without feeling the need to disagree, refute, or otherwise engage. I should let it go. Write it off. Water off a duck’s back.
But it upsets me when Christians are Pro-Life for fetuses, but care very little about childhood poverty, hunger, and trafficking.
They are incensed about the death of the unborn, but the death of living people to gun violence is simply the cost of living with the freedom of the 2nd Amendment. Toughen up, buttercup.
That’s really an amazing chart. Remember, we started a war against terrorism because of all the people it killed?
Then, my blogging friend Cassie sent me this chart.
But I’m not sure it would have an effect on my right wing friends. Another thing they fully support is war. You won’t see them out protesting for peace, that’s for sure. And that’s the difference between us: I’m offended by both bars on this chart; many of them would probably just shrug their shoulders. Whatever. It sucks to be a statistic. Just don’t raise my taxes or take my guns.
Those are just few examples. There are so many more. So, I get mad and I come to this blog to vent.
Or, I go the other way by choosing to talk about inane things like a movie I saw, a song I heard, or a game I went to.
I’m just not sure it connects with my real life. Maybe it doesn’t have to because real life can be sweet but boring.
Lately, the result of all this has been blockage… the dreaded empty screen. A lack of passion in anything that I haven’t already written about nine times over.
I’m not quitting. Not yet. Although the thought has crossed my mind. I just think I’d miss the outlet.
So help me out. Until my recent lull, I was getting around 250 hits a day. Most, I’m pretty sure, are errant Google searches, but still, it’s been consistent. This week it’s down to about 75. I don’t care at all whether its 50 people or 5,000. Doesn’t make a whit of difference to me. I get paid the same — bupkis. But if you’re out there, why do you stop by? What do you enjoy reading here? What makes you come back? What would you like to read more about here? More local flavor? More political commentary? More musings on faith and such? More pop culture? (Did you hear that O. J. Simpson hosted a Super Bowl party in the Big House?) Or keep it a schizophrenic mix of all the above?
Thanks for the help.
God bless you. And God bless the Internet.