Thursday, October 28, 2004

Why we read blogs
In the novel Checkpoint, Jay, the exasperated former teacher who plots to assassinate President Bush, says that he spends hours reading blogs. A would-be assassin reading blogs—stretching our credulity? Nah. Blogs are so ubiquitous and popular now that a would-be assassin reading blogs is just as natural and plausible as a pimply fourteen-year-old writing one.

Why do we bother reading blogs? There are far too many books to read and too little time to read them before we die, why spend precious time reading, much less commenting on, blogs?

I myself mostly read informational blogs with links to articles/essays I would otherwise have missed, but from time to time I chance to find interesting blogs that are online journals of anonymous bloggers. Most of these blogs are uninteresting and juvenile, but some are as engrossing as any other good pulp fiction. Sometimes, the anonymous blogger’s personality would so pique my interest that I would begin clicking the archives beginning from day one. On this day in September, this particular blogger tells us, she and her boyfriend broke up on account of a singularly slutty girl from the neighboring College of Arts and Letters, who inexplicably dazzled her boyfriend with Shakespeare and Dostoevsky. Another blogger writes that on such and such night, while clubbing at Eastwood, he was suddenly confronted by the cosmic insufficiency of his physical looks upon sharing a table with Cogie Domingo. Yet another blogger writes about the dilemma he faced when he met Imelda Marcos in the living room of a friend’s house: should he harangue Mrs. Marcos on the human rights abuses of the conjugal dictatorship? Or would a stiff upper lip suffice to protest?

For readers with more voyeuristic inclinations, there are also bloggers who chronicle their sexual activities a la Xerex or Anais Nin. But as far as I know, no Filipino blog yet corresponds with the now defunct British Belle de jour, the, er, vivid blog of a high-class call girl.

I have friends who write blogs, but, no matter how I prod them, they never deign to give me their web addresses. And I understand. They pour out their deepest sentiments onto their blogs and to let someone they actually know get access to those sentiments can be, well, frightening. They are, in their writing, exposing vulnerabilities, telling their blog readers things about themselves they would normally be ashamed or diffident to tell people they actually know.

In the secular and godless world of our country’s youth, the blogosphere has taken the place of the confessional, each comment triggered by each post an absolution. Through these confessional blogs, we meet people without the civilizational affectations they put on in the outside world, offering us a view of pure undistilled humanity.

Reading all those blogs, what have I learned? That bloggers are just like normal people we meet during the course of our lives. They are either:
1) happily in love ; 2) has fallen out of love and; 3) desperately wanting to fall in love. All of us, of course, think we’re just in a transition, that the youthful exuberance of our days can somehow deny the inevitable possibility that we could be stuck for good.


R. O. said...

Interesting and nicely said, but is it really all about love?

Ronnel said...

Probably not about romantic love all the time, but love nonetheless. Besides, you can always have a circus even without elephants. I like to think that bloggers are people heeding E.M. Forster's imperative: "Only connect...."