Please forgive me for not writing much today. I’ve been here the whole time, but I seem to have the flu or something. I just don’t feel up to reading or writing. In fact, I spent the last two and a half hours watching Harakiri, which is an incredibly powerful film. Even still, I don’t feel up to writing about it.
Last week, Infidel753 wrote, Catacombs of the Blogosphere. It is sort of a celebration and remembrance of blogs that have stopped running (or slowed to a trickle). Blogs are, by their nature, ephemeral. And in a fundamental way, I think that political blogs are unhealthy. They force us to consume a lot of politics and then they attract (in my case) conservatives who, nine out of ten times, add nothing to the conversation. They spout talking points that I have usually addressed many times before. It’s exhausting. (Of course, they also attract more interesting and informed people, which is a big part of why I continue to do it. So I’m not surprised that people cut back and even stop.
There’s another issue, I think. Blogging forces you to see just how many great and thoughtful writers there are out there. It’s great for developing your skills. But it isn’t going anywhere. It is hobby writing. I figure I could do this for another decade and I would still be getting the same few hundred actual (not spam) visitors per day. To a large extent, this is simply a result of the structure of the internet. I have another website that I started in early 2000. I haven’t done anything on it in years. Yet it still gets ten times the traffic that Frankly Curious gets.
A better question than “Why have they stopped?” is “Why did they take it seriously for so long?” And I think the answer to this is extremely positive. It shows self-actualization; it shows commitment; it shows passion. Bloggers really are the best of what we are. (Well, they are; I’m just a narcissist.) And they are extremely idiosyncratic. Infidel753 mentioned this, “If a blogger is dedicated to liberal politics but also has a passionate interest in, say, gardening and jazz music, then there will be some posts about liberal politics and others about gardening or jazz music.” Exactly.
Still, why do I post five or so articles every day? Part of it is fear. I see it as a kind of work of anti-art. It will go on as long as I do it and then it will be no more—very much like life itself. We spin our webs as a reflection of who we are. William Buckley famously wrote, “A conservative is someone who stands athwart history, yelling Stop…” We liberals run ahead of history yelling, “Full steam ahead!” It’s a noble, if futile endeavor. But what else am I going to do?
It is very possible I will repudiate this all tomorrow. I feel like my head is swimming. But I had to get this out. It’s been over a year since I only published one article in a day…
Update (29 April 2014 8:52 am)
Infidel753 wrote a followup: