I have always thought of myself as a slower gazelle. You know the one? He always gets devoured on the Discovery Channel because he can’t run as fast as the older ones or he forgets to watch for predators as he slumps to drink. Yeah, that’s me.
But please don’t pity me. I am not like a water buffalo or pygmy or something; even a slower gazelle is quicker than the average animal grazing the African savannah. I am still a wily thing; I am just shaky on my feet and often forgetful.
Now I am not alone out there. There are a lot of us. We don’t have clubs or cliques, but if we did it would be a near-median between MENSA and the short bus, with only a slight lean towards the MENSA side. We are slower gazelles, and we are the ones with the blogs.
That is one reason why a blog is such a turnoff to me. Because the big, majestic, pack-leading, skyscraper-leaping gazelles don’t have these things, they have websites. They don’t take time to write blogs, they write books… that people buy. So having a blog is a written admission that one is above average- but not by much.
Maybe you haven’t read that many blogs. You don’t understand what the big deal is. Well, let me challenge you to read a dozen or so blogs today, and then you can see first-hand why I hate them so much. See, a blog is really a nebulous thing. Its definition will vary depending on who is writing the blog, what type of blog it is and what the blogger is trying to accomplish by blogging on the blog. Confused yet?
There are blogs on religion, gardening, sports, scrapbooking, parenting, politics. You can have a blog if you are an insurance salesman, laboratory monkey or college student - especially if you’re a college student. (Something about the educational process emboldens us to believe that what we say is worth listening to.) Some are legitimate, intimate and insightful while most are amateur, unfounded, and borderline illiterate. Thanks to the blog phenomenon, you can now peek into the dusty recesses of any boring fool’s mind and peruse their thoughts with the ease of Microsoft Windows (XP not ME).
The most harmless blog is the public journal. It just shares what is going on in that person’s life with insights and maybe a picture or two. This isn’t going to bother anyone. But blogs drop a country mile after this one.
The average blog is a viral infection of autobiographical filler, written by someone who thinks people actually want to read their autobiography. Funny thing is, their posts are almost always meaningless. Their ideas are not usually original, but sad regurgitations of once-read ideas. (Reading a book doesn’t make you smart anymore than skimming a flight manual makes you an airplane pilot.) No wonder their ideas are often as empty, overused, and stupid-sounding as the word “blog” itself.
I just can’t figure out why they do it. The simple answer seems to be that they crave the attention. So by blogging, they massage their ego to the cathartic clicking of their laptop’s keyboard. It is like a child who writes their callow, awkward secrets in a dollar-store diary, but instead of placing it under lock and key beneath a mattress, they post it on the internet for the whole world to see. Almost voyeuristically, they want someone to spy on them and see them for who they really are. These are sick people.
The blogger’s illness is only matched by his or her brazenness. They may be wrong, but are never in doubt; they always have an opinion, even if they do not. Armed with the equivalent of a mail-order Bachelor’s degree from a local college, they meaninglessly muse about controversial subjects, picking the side that will get the most attention and make the most people notice them.
For example, Southern Baptist bloggers abound, each with their own brand of denominational ideology. Most boil down to little more than gutless gossip. I had a telling experience with one of these bloggers. A man we’ll call “Joe” attempted to tear my dad a new corn shoot on a blog recently. When Joe was challenged to confront dad in the Biblical way ( pretty close to “growing up and being a man” except more inclusive), we received a 3-page letter instructing a pastor of roughly 30-years how he should do ministry. After some address checking, I found out that Joe was only a first-year seminary student with no ministry experience. I have concluded that many of these blogging Baptist pastors, if they are actually in ministry, are throwing up a smoke-screen to hide the fact that their church is not growing, their baptisms are down, and they couldn’t preach themselves out of a well with a Charles Spurgeon manuscript and the vocal chords of Adrian Rogers. Instead of spending 13 hours a day hitting “Refresh” and wolfishly devouring gossip, they should be out desperately building relationships with one of the 3 billion people in this world who would go to hell if they died right now.
What is most annoying is that many of them foolishly think that by doing it, they gain street cred. Yet they are not anti-establishment fringe-writers, not the voice of “the people.” The July 9, 2007 Newsweek says that by the end of this year, there will be over 100-million bloggers! That means when you blog, you are no more anti-establishment than Coca-Cola or Walmart. You are the neo-establishment, which is a lot like the old establishment except with worse marketing.
Now, I know what you may be thinking: "This all sounds a bit ridiculous, ironic, perhaps even hypocritical. You are down on bloggers because you want people to read all YOUR thoughts." Maybe. Or maybe I have surrendered to the cold, hard fact that people are going to read blogs anyway, so I can at least bring you a meaningful alternative.
This blog will never be used for silly gossip or filled with all the tedious minutia from my uneventful day. This blog will not be peppered with dozens of mid-sentence links. This blog is not a blogger's attempt to break into the blogosphere and create a blogstorm or blogumentary in hopes of becoming a blogebrity (all considered real words). Instead, I want to do exactly what the tagline suggests: create meaningful conversation with potential to positively change minds. After all, isn’t that what we are supposed to all be about?
A blog can be a place of thought and discussion with the intent to create meaningful conversation. We should be approaching Christlikeness through transforming our minds, so that we are better prepared to share an amazing message with a needy world. Why not do it together in a place like this?
Wow. That all sounds pretty insightful. Perhaps I am faster on my feet than I think. I guess you’ll have to keep reading and let me know.