A dialog between myself, Barrie, and Katy, my girlfriend who I’m living with.
K: But why, Barrie, why do you think I should care about this whole blogging phenomenon?
B: Katy, you love writing and you think that it’s important for people to communicate. I don’t understand why there are so many folks like you who think that blogging is either a waste of time or somehow…immoral. Is it because we were born well before desktop computers came along, is it a female vs. male thing—what?
K: Do you always have to bring up th fact that you’re two years younger than I am? I think it’s very cruel. And you also have no visible wrinkles—which you can’t see from this blog, but Reader, it is so.
B: First of all, you’re not answering the question. What people don’t know about you is that you’ve written features and news articles for the local paper for years. This is part of the reason why I don’t understand that you aren’t more excited about the blogging. And as for me being two years younger, admit it, you love it. It’s like I’m a trophy boyfriend or something. Embarrassing.
K: Here’s the thing that bugs me in plain sight: In a blog format where is the composting time? Where is the settling time for the bad ideas and dopey lines and flakey parts to blow away? What would “The Blog of Anne Frank” have been? Not possible. If I had any real news to give the world –Help! I’m being hidden in an attic from Nazis who want to kill me—then this blog would have a meaning and somebody could come and rescue me. As it is … what do I have to say? Anything that would not be improved by the passage of time? I doubt it.
B: OK, I think those are all good points. As for letting things “compost” or “settle” I think that there’s already a tradition of personal essay—the newspaper editorial—which shares the same flaw. However, I think that we all get better as we have more practice at writing the form. As I was researching starting a blog I read that the average length of blog entries varied from 250 to 500 words. That’s not a lot of space to develop a thought but not too difficult of an expectation for the writer to maintain a theme or idea, either. And if Anne Frank would have had a blog the Nazis would have found her even more quickly by tracking her IP address, unfortunately. But her diary is an argument FOR blogging, not against it. She was an ordinary person writing honestly about her extraordinary circumstances.
K: Do we have any extraordinary circumstances here? I don’t think we do. But we may have something to offer. We are surrounded by children in all states of thriving, suffering and in between. [Through your job as a therapist] You have an amazing window into how society can make kids into victims and perpetrators of sexual misbehaviors. I am back in college learning about the experiences kids have in Minnesota schools when English is their second language. We have seven children between us from ages 4 to 18 going through everything life in America in the 21st century has to delight and confuse them.
As we serve these children as parents, counselors, teachers, mentors the biggest part of our time and energy goes toward them and I’d like to see you, Barrie take on a higher mission in your writing than simply narrating our not-so-extraordinary lives. When we think about it, we can be pretty wise guys about what is really happening to kids around us and we have good ideas about how to help them and change the world to be more helpful. The core values we share—of patience, loving-kindness and compassion—bring light to everything we do. Blogging about this might not be so bad. Especially if you could still get to bed by midnight, trophy-boy. You know, for that male-female thing.
B: Alright, that last bit may be a bit off the topic but I think I hear what you’re saying. I’ll get this posted, brush my teeth and get to bed. OK with you?
K: That’s OK with me.