Friday, April 16, 2004

The Little Blog That Could?

Blogs are wonderful things to have, but sometimes I wonder what they're good for. Like today. It's a beautiful day, and here I'm sitting in the darkness, with just one drowsy snake around my throat, typing away. I should be outside, causing mischief if nothing else. Instead, I'm talking to emptiness, hoping that something exists out there and will hear and even answer back one day. It's a little bit like spirituality, don't you think? Do you exist? Do I exist? Does it matter if we don't?

Some blogs are gigantic business enterprises, run by a proper Organizational Structure. Some blogs have Experts, and several interesting bloggers. But most blogs are these little amateur affairs: a solitary lunatic typing, typing away, hoping to catch some other eccentric person somewhere. Is there life on earth?

So what are blogs for? Other than providing an outlet for all those extraneous thoughts that don't neatly fit into the daily lives of most of us? I'm not sure. Are the blogs taking over important tasks from the mainstream media by providing alternative sources of news and their interpretations? Definitely, and that's probably all positive, especially if you believe in some free competition in the world of ideas. But most blogs aren't trying to take over the newsdesks of New York Times or similar media sources. Most blogs are just voices in the wilderness, attempts to connect to something or someone, or perhaps just a way to hear your own voice echoing back.

My blog is a very little blog, run by one minor goddess, and in that it shares a sisterhood/brotherhood with the majority of blogs. It's not a nice purebred political blogsite with plenty of venom and outrage (though I do my best), and neither is it really a very good feminist blog. I'm too much of a mongrel for keeping my writing clean enough for any one purpose, and I think that many of us bloggers are like that: neither one thing nor the other. But this makes it hard to define blogs or to put them into tidy boxes, and it also makes for difficulties in competitions for honors such as "The Best New Political Blog of the Year".

Though of course everything has politics in it, and politics has all sorts of other things in it. Maybe this is what the little blogs can do? To point out when our love of taxonomies is not at all helpful, to widen the lens a bit in our views of this world? The little blogs certainly help in letting us hear more voices, and often these are voices which are silenced in the mainstream media. Goddesses, for example.

I'm going out now to listen to some nice Blues. Now, Blues are very political. If you read about the history of this branch of music you get quite a good education on the race relationships of the 20th century USA, as well as an interesting example of the way some women performers were made invisible later on. Writing about this clearly would fall under politics and feminism, but it also would fall under the category 'human activity', and that's the category that the little blogs are really good at.

Enjoy the weekend!