Blogging Like It's 1999
Posted by Dave
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For 2021 I want (am?) to experiment blogging as if it were 1999. That means, blog "stream of consciousness", and without the usual barriers or filters.
I've pointed out repeatedly over the years how people first discovered self-expression online, then, rapidly chilled as they came to realize how much of what we would now call "over sharing", might grind up against their interests in the real world.
Chilling factors are why plates of food and videos of attractive women dancing, flow abundantly online but not stuff that would persistently and effectively offend a corporation or an entrenched political body, or any entity of power and profit. Nobody, including yours truly (let's be clear), wants to take the chance they'll figuratively or literally be left dead in a ditch like Carmine Pecorelli because of what they write and expose.
What the corporate-consumer oriented web wants from you is your money, not your revolutions. And this is fine with most people. Revolutionaries have to eventually appreciate that an overwhelming number of people just want to respectably live in the world, not rock it. At least too violently. They and the "money world wide web" comprise the biggest stakeholder in our digital culture for better or for worse.
Intimates might be offended, career chains might be shaken, local personalities so commented upon outside their usual control they might seek to "fix a wagon", and so on and so on.
So I'd like 2021 to be an expose' of sorts on where exactly the interests of the real world and the idealism of a single unimportant person collide. I'd like to blog in the uncomfortable space that existed in that era of "why would anyone care about what I write" nativity, somewhere in the late 90s and mid-2000s.
In doing so, I consider a number of different spaces I have to really be careful to achieve that balance.
The worst thing that can happen to someone who craves blabbing and being the overall "information maverick" is to be employed by anything even remotely touching a Microsoft Excel quarterly report. What you do and say is of vital interest to the employing agency because, especially now with advanced social media platforms, you represent a possible apologetic PR campaign to the media in the event that you screw it up by such examples as preaching proudly the tenets of racist principles or becoming a highly regarded online BSDM expert. You wouldn't want a racist out there representing you, after all, and neither does your company or employer in general.
I of course am not a "racist" -- and know nothing about "BSDM", but nowadays it seems, simply being brave enough to carry an esteemed (if not idiotic) principle of any sort is, alone, enough to represent risk. Strong opinions and thought leadership beyond such matters as earning your paycheck or football games are sedation targets for their veracity, not necessarily their content.
In blogging, people today are more jolted and alarmed by the fact that a person has one, than what a person says on one.
Vice: Porn and Boozing
If I really want to get down to the nitty-gritty and detail everything that I do, as an example, does that mean talking about my digital love life or the copious amounts of whisky I might drink? Or all the other troubles that a perfectly well-adjusted and happy person might otherwise find easy to avoid.
How to tastefully and acceptably write about "just being human" is a real stickler because to skip vice and pretend it isn't there deflates the authenticity of the entire genre. I don't want a blog that just highlights my donations to the United Way or "plates of food" pictures ala Instagram. But at the same time I don't want to amplify myself as a creep merely for having the honesty to suggest that, at some level, I might be a creep, however non-exceptionally.
The biggest fear I have with this is not some condemnation of my character, which, were I actually engaging of any of vice activity (none of this should be construed as an admission to anything!), would certainly be shameful and uncomfortable. Rather, it's the envy of the audacity that I claim for respect while concurrently dumping my dirty laundry over the heads of my subscribers. What sort of narcissistic ego-driven ass admits to their stink so freely and is offended then by blowback? We can't do that, some audience members would say. And rest assured, accordingly, they could become angry and resentful.
It's no secret to anyone that I have very few "relationships" outside of work -- and even there I tend to be "greyrocked" or I merely interact as a customer service rep to the higher IT process. There's nothing substantial enough to deem personal.
Growing up to the point I am at now I simply did not invest enough in personal relationship development or, perhaps more crucially, negotiation, though there may or may not be good reasons for that - let's not assume that this is not just and right. Weakness and fear are maybe just two reasons, but I'm also just pretty good at weeding out "deep nonsense" in order for me to survive, progress, and be happy.
While most may hold me to some deficiency for this stance, I feel some people are just born this way and feel stronger and more empowered by social solitude. My favorite fantasies involve manning an arctic science lab for years, or, doing a stint on the space station. Go figure. Were it not for my need and willingness to help people and mean something to their happiness and development - not to mention repair a .PST for them or two as needed, things that require I stay on the grid, I really would be a woodsy hermit.
As such, as incredible as it sounds, this is one area likely immune from potential damage. There will be little that I post that will offend anyone or push them away more than they already are. The open expression might only improve my personal relationships in fact.
Non-Digital 2021 Goals
I have some other ideas for 2021. I am seriously contemplating a new car, and, for sure, am finally getting some damn artwork on the walls of my apartment. As the COVID vaccine begins to reinvigorate the world again, I'll do what I can to support some of these local art studios as a patron. The neighborhood I live in is renowned for these but my enrollment has been seriously hampered by the pandemic.