Saturday, February 14, 2009

On Blogging

I decided to give theology and history a break for the weekend and do a post about the act of blogging itself. This week, in my State and Local Government class, my professor (of a more liberal bent) criticized the phenomenon of blogging and suggested scornfully that (and I quote) "no valuable ideas were exchanged" on blogs. I had to chuckle at this because I find that almost the only valuable ideas are exchanged on blogs. Of course liberals tend to dislike blogs because it gives those who don't go along with their worldview an opportunity to get around the establishment media and get to the truth of things without media help. That is what is so offensive to liberals about blogging and talk radio: it breaks their monopoly on information.

But this led me to reflect on the purpose blogging serves in modern communication. While the technology of the blog is new, the function is not. There have always been in society forums for discussion and debate outside (and sometimes opposed to) the mainstream. The blog is the modern version of the ancient Greek symposium, or the medieval quod libets, or perhaps the best analogy is to the French salons, at least with regards to their purpose though certainly not their content. When I was growing up, groups or persons who wanted to publish their un-mainstream views had to resort to publishing hard copies of newsletter or "zines." Blogging has given any schmuck who wants to complain about anything an equal forum with CNN and Fox News.

Since this blog has grown tremendously in the past year (average visits per day in 2008 were about 90; now we are getting between 190 and 300 per day), I thought I'd give just a little explication of the guidelines I try to go by on this blog and what readers can expect.

First and foremost, this is a BLOG, and it is MY blog (and Anselm's). That means that it is essentially a personal enterprise, as contrasted with a scholarly publication where there is supposed to be no hint of subjectivism or prejudice. The point of a blog is to be an online journal of sorts (hence the original name, web log). I try to give my readers scholarly writings, and if i can that is great, but I am under no obligation to put scholarly stuff up here - indeed I, and many other bloggers, use theier blogs as forums to "rant" about whatever strikes their fancy. I have posted on a lot of important stuff in the past two years, but I've also run clips of funny scenes from movies I like, complained about not being able to buy cheap pot pies, shown pictures of the bookshelves and patio I built, whined that nobody picked me up hitch-hiking and in general posted whatever came into my head. One reader once complained to me that I could post about more worthy topics than the ones I do. I think I do post about some worthy topics, but the bottom line is that on my own blog I can post about whatever I want. I planning an upcoming post on how I hate roundabouts.

Also, this blog is meant primarily for orthodox Catholics who happen to adhere to a Traditional understanding of the Faith. I welcome any readers to this blog who happen to saunter in, but please understand who the readership is intended for. If you are not a Christian, or if you are some kind of progressive Catholic who disbelieves in the authority of the Church and the inspiration of Scripture, then I am willing to listen to your comments but I'm not going to spend a lot of time debating with you. I simply don't have the time for that, especially when this blog presumes a readership who already believe in all these things. I like to think that here we try to get to the bottom of things and explore things with a critical eye, but ultimately I am staying inside the firm ark of orthodoxy, and if you want to venture outside that ark into the raging waters of the world, then be my guest, but don't expect me to follow you. So don't expect me to respond to comments like, "Boniface, you don't seriously believe that Jesus really rose from the dead, do you?" Nobody asked me that, but that is just an example of the type of thing I don't have the time to respond to - this blog presumes my readers already believe the tenets of the faith and is dedicated to expounding and exploring that truth.

Finally, please feel free to contact me if you'd like me to do a post or series on a certain topic. This blog has been around for almost two years and has featured 582 posts, some by Anselm but most by me. It is hard to always come up with something! Therefore, feel free to suggest to me anything you'd like to see a post on and I'll try to accomodate you.

That's enough for now...back to work on Genocide in Joshua part 3!


Anonymous said...

I think your blog is a healthy mix of education and entertainment; it is always a pleasure to read. Keep up the excellent work, God bless!

Bobby Bambino said...

"Also, this blog is meant primarily for orthodox Catholics who happen to adhere to a Traditional understanding of the Faith."

Oh yeah! That's why I like this blog. Keep up the good work. God love you.