(even if that life consists of playing Madden alone for hours at a time)
Today I need to write a short post now to be able to go to football on time, because I’ll be too tired to come up with anything coherent if I try to write after I play (and I’ve tried). As a result, I was scrolling down my iPod note in which I keep my ideas for posts, and realised that while I had lots of ideas I could write about, none of them were ‘short’ posts: ones I could bang out in 30 minutes with no research required.
This selection of posts, based not on quality but on feasibility to produce within my life, reinforced the importance that I place on blogging: I’ll do it if I have time. Often, I do have time, partly because my life is now sorrily similar to this post’s subtitle, but occasionally, I won’t; when I went on a DofE expedition for a week, I posted nothing, because real life came first.
It was the same on Christmas Day, where the real-world obligations of Christmas eating and socialising meant I could only write for about five minutes on the individuality of Christmas, a much less sophisticated post than my original idea of explaining the Pagan origins of the holiday.
But perhaps this prioritisation isn’t based on practicality, but the nature of the relationship between living and blogging itself; or, more broadly, the relationship between living one’s life, and commenting on it. Ultimately, blogs are a means of commenting on the apparently random and often confusing series of events we call life: some try to codify these events by causation and political unions, and that is the study of history; some use fictional characters as representatives of these events and reactions to them, and this is the discipline of literature; some break down natural actions and reactions, placing the cause of biological need over conscious desire, and this is the study of biology.
And while blogging is, on the whole, less sophisticated and deep as these means of explaining human existence, they are a means of recording and explaining it nonetheless: I need to live first to blog about it, just as a scientist needs to conduct an experiment in reality before drawing universal conclusions about it.
This applies to all of my posts, not just the more explicitly ‘reactionary’ ones; getting annoyed at people shouting at me as I run is a reaction to life, but so are some more thoughtful ideas about the role of gender or the purpose of authority.
Equally, this doesn’t mean I consider this measly corner of the internet a breeding ground for philosophy and social commentary; I’m not particularly knowledgable in these areas. But this doesn’t really matter to me; I feel in a position to write about life because I have lived, and am living, my life. Anyone who remembers their existence should, logically, be in a position to comment on their own existence.
Furthermore, I feel comfortable in commenting on the lives of others in a fairly broad sense; obviously I don’t know about everyone individually, and generalising people on more than objectively accurate observations about them is an inherently flawed practice, but I am of the opinion that we are all the same species, and so we all think in broadly similar ways.
There will always be differences in opinion and the means we express our opinions, but these differences are superficial; the fact that a society has developed in which the freedom of thought and discussion (North Korea and China excluded) would suggest that our brains are hard-wired into experiencing life, thinking about it,a n discussing it with others, be it in a blog, or in a book.
It’s natural selection in action: just as short-necked giraffes are bred out of a species, humans who do not encourage cooperation and debate die out too: first we got rid of monarchies, then empires, then the totalitarian states of Russia and Germany in the twentieth Century. Animals adapt over time to suit their environment better and, for better or worse, human society on Earth is shifting towards one of debate, difference and equality.
Look at this very website; you could argue that a century ago, this could never have taken place without technology, which is a valid point, but here is a place in which anyone, regardless of qualification or prestige, can come and write about things they like, as equals; see, we are all different, but these differences do not change the validity of our opinions, or the respect we must pay to each other. Hell, I don’t even have one University degree, but I’m writing on here with people with multiple degrees.
Sorry that this was probably heavier to read than I was anticipating, but I got on a roll a bit there. Ultimately, blogging is just another way of codifying and expressing the events of our lives to others, and this need to discuss our lives stems perhaps not from some intellectual goal of enlightenment and societal omniscience for all people, but the fact that the world is becoming more communicative and more of a collective, so sit back and enjoy the ride.
And then snapchat it, or whatever it is you kids do these days.