Speaking For Whom

Great minds discuss ideas;
Average minds discuss events;
Small minds discuss people.

-Eleanor Roosevelt

Maybe, just maybe, we could classify blogs in this manner. Even blog traffic and the aggregation towards the subjects that reflect the lowest common denominator.

People

Not to say that I haven’t had my qualms with celebrities in past posts. And not to say that I don’t do my share of guilty gossip reading (The Superficial and Go Fug Yourself) from time to time. So yeah. Maybe I should just shut up.

But I swear there’s a larger issue in here somewhere. Something like my peeve with needing to speak for or about other people in a manner which makes the judger seem able to qualify the worth of another. Yeah, celebrities included–even if they are easier targets because they put themselves out there. I cannot stand this and it amazes me to no end how some do not see how blatantly they do not really know a person yet are so quick to think their own insight is so special. That they themselves are such perceptive people to definitively be worth more than those they’ve judged and–quite honestly–are envious of.

Naturally, we fear what is unknown and rely on what little we do know, or think we know. Nobody can qualify entire ideas–or maybe it’s just too much work–definitively and so we deduce things about and blame those who personify our fears. As you have probably read, 1,000 Sudanese protesters actually call for this British teacher to be executed for letting her 7-year-old students name a teddy bear “Mohammed.” Fear and hate is surely alive and well in this world–and it has to be displaced somewhere.

For comparison’s sake, talking about others allow us to elevate ourselves, because too often aren’t we the ones who are front and center? It’s ironic that in reality we are damaging our own character as we do so.

Events

Well, I wouldn’t necessarily call journalists “average.” It’s their way of living and their chosen craft. Contrary to what many think, I don’t believe a career defines us–though it certainly is a big part of who we are. The best example I can think of references what Edrei of Kamigoroshi.net calls “noodle posts” amongst bloggers.

FYI, this is what I did Wednesday:

  1. Walked to work,

  2. Worked my 9-5,

  3. Walked home,

  4. Got my in car,

  5. Went to PetCo,

  6. When I bent down to squat while looking at teething cat toys, my work pants split right in the crotch,

  7. Went home thanking god I was wearing my longer-than-my-butt coat.

Seriously. C’mon, you have to admit it was worth reading 1-5 to get to Number 6.

You get the idea. And at my own admission, I used to be an event blogger on a network called Xanga once upon a time. I blogged practically every day. And as Kamigoroshi says in his post, there was no freedom. No incentive to write only kick-arse content–just as long as it was better than most. I was a slave to my own traffic and comment count to get on “Featured Content”–which topped at 1,000 and 50+ per day on the high end, respectively. (Lack of freedom as far as URL, network peers–some-of-which-were-good-you-know-who-you-are, design customization, ads and feeds is an entirely other issue.) What did these Xanga posts consist of? Stuff like the 1-7 you see above with 1 little quirky psychological twist compliments of my conscience.

Ideas

So it follows that this is where I try to maintain the essence of this blog. There’s simply more risk involved when it comes to ideas. People get emotional and heated–which is why it’s often said to not discuss religion or politics. But there is so much more freedom in developing and expressing ideas. It is the fulfillment of our humanity to exchange ideas in our interaction or even further, make ideas come to fruition. With more risk comes more potential for reward.

Of course, there are so many instances in which the three cannot (and should not) be separated, which makes the quote first mentioned a bit oversimplified. But a lot of it is discussing what we don’t necessarily know, probably will never know and being okay with that–at the demise of those who need to decide. Just the process of discussing it and moving towards an end unforeseen is the human condition. Ideas are also the enemy of the most oppressive governments known in history.

Someone close to me genetically yet so afar once asked me, “So why do you blog then? Why don’t you just shut it down?”

Because I wouldn’t be free to be me. *e.