How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb.
At this task, I have failed miserably. Thus the lovely background to this post. Entirely too many colored rectangles around here lately, which means that either I’d better start exercising a little self-restraint, or I’d better start thinking about moving the goddamn goalposts. I put ’em up in the first place, after all.
So my little screed for today came to me whilst I was doing my almost daily rounds. There’s a list of blogs (over there to the right, you see ’em? The ones labelled ‘Voices sweet to my eye’ are the ones I’m talking about here, although there are also a goodly number amongst the Metafilter gang and the Blogrolling list further down) that, after I finish reading, I’ve either had a good laugh, or feel like a marginally better person, or feel like ‘Damn – there’s what I oughta be shooting for here’, or some combination of the three.
The rare ones are the ones that give me the Full Treatment. And this is the point of my little sermon today. You see, I’ve found that I most enjoy reading people, at least in blogland, that I feel like I could be friends with. This is hardly a world-shattering revelation, I know, but bear with me. Some of the Voices Sweet To My Eye are serious. Urbane. Frighteningly intelligent. They give the impression that they will brook no silliness, not from a wonderchicken, not from nobody! I come away from their blogs feeling like a better person. I’ve learned something. Spent some time with someone who knows a helluva lot more than me about quite a few things, and can synthesize entirely new ways of looking at those things while having a crap. There are others in the list who make me laugh, make me smile, make me feel that I’m having a virtual drink or two with them, and the cares of the day pale to insignificance. There are still others that, through their elegance and light touch, through the way they deftly and apparently effortlessly turn a phrase, make me want to work harder at this writing thing, or at design, or coding, or whatever. I love all these folks, and I am grateful each and every day for the existence of this medium that has allowed me to share in their creativity and passion.
But there are very few, and this is the crux of my point, that combine those qualities. What I mean to say is that I am a firm believer in both the value of granular analysis of semantics, for example, and in the ineluctable modality of the fart joke, for another. Preferably simultaneously. And I find that the people I enjoy most in real life are able to exist, and in fact revel in living on both of these planes simultaneously. It’s these madcap philosophers to which I am most drawn. This may be in large part because I try to be that very thing, and of course we often love that in our friends which most closely mirrors what we perceive ourselves to be. Which is why most of my pals are inveterate boozers and reprobates.
I’m not going to list the few voices I’ve found in my travels that give me that ‘Here’s a person I wish I knew in real life’ feeling, which at the end of the day, all the crap I was talking above is about. People who challenge me, educate me, make me laugh until I involuntarily pee – who can do all of those things. I can’t and won’t list them, because you always end up leaving someone out, and besides, there are more out there I haven’t found yet. There are a lot out there, though, and one of the great joys of recent months for me is that some of them, even in this rarefied bloggy air, are talking back to me.
Although it’s slightly embarrassing to do so, I offer you this obvious snippet of good ol’ Jack Kerouac as a coda of sorts :
Afterthought : You can infer how impressed I am by the idea that the most important thing about a weblog is the links. Pfft. They merely add torque to the engine of the brain behind the words.