Originally posted Saturday December 23, 2006:
So I was stuck in the doctor’s office, and reading Time magazine (I think, it could have been Macleans). But I came across an article talking about Andy Warhol and his “15 minutes of fame,” the proliferation of YouTube, and public blogs. The author made a statement to the effect that you have to be somewhat narcissistic to think the world cares about the moods of your cat…then he went on to say that if you were a solider in the war, then your blogs were alright, it was just the rest of the riff-raff that he had trouble with. I found this statement…arrogant, and cynical. First of all, I think it’s brilliant that soliders can post, because Lord knows (and here’s a cynical statement for you), I don’t think the newspapers give us the full story on any issue. But to say that the solider’s experiences are more valid that X-person’s experience with his cat…that doesn’t seem quite right. Life is life. Experience is experience. Who is this guy to be judge of what is sharable?
I LIKE reading about people’s everyday experiences. It gives me a sense of connection, a feeling that life is beautiful and funny. Some of the best stories I’ve heard concern pets and children. Besides, what of people who suffer from agorophobia? Are they not allowed to reach across digital and fiber-optic boundaries to find meaningful relationships? Are our lives considered inferior just because we’re not fighting a government war? Let me tell you something, Mr. Times Man, we’re all fighting wars. Some of us fight to get through the day. I know people who are fighting to get through the next minute! Some of us fight to hang on to love and happiness, to teach our children that joy and peace are real and tangible, not poppycock philosophy, that honouring ourselves and giving people respect and dignity are the true treasures in life, and not the latest version of i-pod. We fight to maintain our optimism in a world that tells us of nuclear battles about to be waged, fight to hold on to beauty despite a media that says silicon is in and wrinkles are out, we’re clawing and scraping, being polite despite the guy cutting us off on the road, laughing at the spilled coffee, ripped stockings and cellulite. Don’t tell me that I have to have a gun to be a solider.
Maybe it’s a matter of perspective. For him, blogs, my space, these are all monuments to our self-absorption. For me, I see the human spirit reaching out to connect to something higher and better than itself. I have friends in the States, in the UK, and their everyday experiences are like gold to me. I like hearing about the trivial, the mundane. It speaks of life, of the common ties that bind us all, and if that makes those who post and blog narcissistic, then baby, pass the mirror.