PREPARE FOR A SERIOUS BLOG
Is there anybody listening?
Is there anyone that sees what's going on?
Read between the lines,
criticize the words they're selling.
Think for yourself and feel the walls
become sand beneath your feet
Or at least that's what Queensryche wrote in their 1990 album Empire. (Yes I did just cite Queensryche, and yes I was a hair band rocker in my early teens. Stop making fun. You'll notice I'm not giving you a link to their site though, that's how ashamed of myself I am.) With everyone and their mother, literally, blogging I can't help but wonder who's out there reading. I know that there are a core 10-20 of you friends and family that read this site on a regular basis, and I'm ecstatic on those posts that elicit double digit comments (even if I have to up the tally by commenting on your comments). Still, I can't help but wonder if anything I have to say is really worth your time.
That doesn't mean that I'm going to stop blogging. In fact I think blogging is more cathartic in a lot of ways than therapy would be. But I wonder what ultimate end these posts serve. Am I a vehicle to help you de-stress after/during work? Do I really communicate any uplifting message? Am I using my bully pulpit to actively proselyte for my faith or political party? Or am I just another cog in the machine that moves us toward a Cardian future (after the science fiction author Orson Scott Card)?
Speaking of Card, in his opus Ender's Game, the Earth is threatened with alien destruction, yadayadayada...if you've read a sci fi novel or seen any of the Alien movies you get the idea. One of the more interesting subplots of his sci fi world is that on Earth, people have taken to using the net as a true public forum. Instead of a space consisting entirely of geeks and porno, the Web in Card's future is dominated by debates where citizens argue and debate about the state of the earth. So much so that by the end of the novel citizens have effectively used the Net to bring peace and global domination.
Well certainly there is some of this style debate going on in the digital universe, but for the most part the Web has become a place where cordiality and debate are mutually exclusive. Political junkies go to those sites that reinforce their identity. Religious apologists stay within their community. Religious antagonists feed on one another's vitriolic rants on their boards. A broader community is absent because the Web does not demand it; it demands instead that you set aside decorum and rant, rave, and disparage. This is our great future where community is defined by an insular self-congratulating group, and your neighbors are only those individuals that agree with you.
How frightening. So what is the role of UsAndCats? Is anyone listening to our mindless posts? All I can say is that in seven years of marriage one of our greatest strength as a couple has been our common sense of humor. It is the joy of life, humor, and self-disparaging wit that we hope to bring to you for a couple minutes every couple weeks. We just hope you join the fight against the cynicism and rage of the day and joy in by laughing at our social betters. That is after all why America was founded; the Brits obviously have no sense of humor otherwise their version of the Office wouldn't be so boring.
Speaking of Brits, we'd like to welcome our dear friend Coops to our blogging family. Welcome and don't make us de-link you.
Also I found this report after I finished the above rant and thought it was timely. Enjoy.