Show me your context. I already know the world you live in, tell me only how you see it.
I am among the most demanding readers of blogs, or Web logs, or on-line journals, or whatever you choose to call the daily missives individuals post on the Web. I want the whole story: the profane, the sacred and the essential facts.
The complexity of what blogs and their reactionary, perfectly contemporary, accessible prose could mean to the future of sustainable story-telling, to truth in journalism and to the survival of democracy is too great to call literature.
It is reductionist, but I still see Marx, Postman and McLuhan shining like a stained-glass mediamenschen trinity over you, possibly, or all the other bloggers in the world. All things in all media interplay in the meaning of blogs. Charisma and the anti-charisma, the distractions from and the attention paid to political concerns, and the electronic nervous system interconnecting human emotions and emotional response.
The personalities that create blogs are not charismatic. They do not court demographic audiences or inspire desire for something almost completely unattainable, with the almost sitting in the psyche's centre in all its tantalising glory. Bloggers are not like news anchors or newspaper columnists. They do not tie the world up in a bow after a three minute segment or 750 words perfectly chosen for our sort of people.
Charisma is easily manufactured through wardrobe, trained accents and cosmetic surgeries. It increases the distances between us and reinforces the boundaries between what is foreign and frightening and what is safe because it is known. The personality obscures the content by overshadowing it. The personality makes us feel too insecure to question the illusion of it all, making us once again ignore the stirring for revolution.
In lieu of charisma, bloggers possess a magnetism that would repel in any other medium. Bloggers are the smart and difficult students who interrupted every lesson with sarcastic commentary and passed their exams with audacity and contempt for their schools, their subjects, their teachers and the exams themselves. They do not write for audiences or according to deadline. They comment because they have something to say.
And when they have something to say, you do not know if it will be their personal or their political. I have read through the woes of weight loss, of heartbreak, the celebration of parenthood and of university acceptance. I have followed adventurers on their trips around the world. I have read through the trivial and the mundane and I have often been rewarded for it through two-sentence missives that exposed contradictions, hypocrisy and the art of anti-information.
When Neil Postman insisted that we were entertaining ourselves to death by watching instead of participating, I did not want to believe that democracy was as fragile as an advertisement. The misinformation campaigns are funded by billionaires with more to gain and the means of confronting them are limited to words from individuals who believe that nothing is more powerful than the dual forces of bias declared and bullshit exposed. Only blogs retain the livid democracy of text in a world consumed by the tyranny of image.
Through blogs I have found another conduit into the awesome responsibility of being human. McLuhan's electronic nervous system of interconnected thoughts highlights the individuals in the masses while strengthening the ties that bind us. In the tales of your cancer treatments, in your accounts of trips home, in your assertions that your fathers are all assholes, I have found fresh understanding.
You are, like me, mostly a powerless human with only your perspective to save you from feelings of helplessness. These are times when you can declare that the universe is not unfolding as it should. These are times when you know exactly who to blame and you should demand other voices join your plea for sanity.
This is when you blog and I read you.