Blogotism

It’s impossible to be objective when it comes to ourselves. Just in the way we can never know what other people see when they look at us, I sometimes wonder what other people must think of my blog.

Self-important-looking selfie

Self-important-looking selfie with painting

“Stand up straight, babe,” my wife will sometimes say to me.

I wonder if there’s a blog equivalent of not standing up straight. Are any of my sentences lazy?

Sometimes I’ll get some snarky visitor who will say, “Oh, well that’s not how I would’ve done it.” It makes me feel insecure. But then I decide their comments are more about them than they are about me. Blogs are like Rorschach tests.

Other times I’ll get compliments that aren’t really compliments.

“You’re very consistent with your blogging,” for example. It’s like telling a woman that her new haircut is interesting.

Like my blog, I wonder that about my food too. I get good compliments, “That’s the best salad I’ve ever had!” and lots of “You should open a restaurant!” But I have no perspective by which to judge if people are just being kind. I can tell the difference between when I’ve made something good or something not good. But it’s not the same as when I go to a restaurant and taste something new for the first time — or something I adore for the gazillionth time — and say, “Oh man, is that good.” All my food tastes like the way I look when I gaze at myself in the mirror.

Contemplative selfie, probably thinking about poetry or the meaning of life

Contemplative selfie, probably thinking about poetry or the meaning of life

What makes everyone think they should have a blog?

Blogs are like selfies — blatant expressions of narcissism.

When you ask people why they have a blog, they will often offer answers such as, “To share my recipes with people” or “To express what I’ve learned about xxx in my career with the public,” etc. And I ask: What makes you think your information is more valuable than the 28,411,309 results I get when I type “How do I make a pie crust?” into Google?

(I don’t really ask that. But I think it.)

One girl with a blog started following my blog the other day. As a courtesy, I clicked over to hers to see what it was all about. Her blog said, “I want this new blog to be about anything that I want it to be about. I want to make this a blog where I can basically just put up anything that I like, have done or want to do.”

I like that. At least it’s honest. In other words: “I don’t really have anything to say. But I still need a blog.”

Lots of people have multiple blogs… Which is almost as bad as having a Twitter account.

We live in a society of shameless self promotion, where people believe their every thought, every image of themselves, is worthy of publication. “Just got back from the gym!” people announce on their Facebook feeds, while the Kim Kardashians of the world carve out careers of fabulous fame and celebrity without possessing so much as the faintest talent, skill or appealing characteristic. Blogotism is simply one manifestation of this alarmingly uninteresting trend.

But wait a minute…

Could it be that I’ve got this all wrong? Maybe — says I like the Grinch at the end of the book when his heart has grown three times — blogging is about a little bit more.

Maybe blogging is a really neat development — a way for people who otherwise wouldn’t have access to publishing their ideas and passions publicly to put themselves out there, to risk, to overcome their fear of being judged.

Maybe it’s a wonderful way of creating community with people who enjoy the same things you do. Sure, there’s lots of empty chatter and faceless visitors popping in and out of my blogging life. But I’ve also made some really great new friends through my blog (y’all know who you are).

Maybe, just maybe, blogging represents the democratization of creativity. Gone from relevance are the gatekeepers that decide who gets to play and who doesn’t — the publishers and agents, the record companies, the networks. Sure, there’s lots more awful stuff out there that you have to wade through. But isn’t it a net positive for society that anyone with an interest can have a go at pursuing their passion and expressing their creativity — most of at least displaying more talent than Kim Kardashian?

Yes. Let’s go with that.

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28 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lisa
    Dec 12, 2014 @ 02:12:19

    I’ll def go with that…although I would never have a blog 😉

    Reply

  2. andreathompson2
    Dec 12, 2014 @ 02:18:23

    Yes, let’s go with that! I LOVE blogging!!
    It’s weird the way you spell y’all like that and I spell it ya’ll. We will never know which is right because now that I live in Texas I’ve learned you NEVER try to apply proper English grammar to Texas slang!!

    Reply

    • Lisa
      Dec 12, 2014 @ 02:20:21

      Hmmm re: the y’all…check with some Texans…I’m curious…

      Reply

      • Dragnfli
        Dec 12, 2014 @ 03:02:10

        Texan checking in here, I’ve always spelled it “y’all” when I write it out but autocorrect always corrects it to “ya’ll” when I’m typing.

      • Lisa
        Dec 12, 2014 @ 03:11:39

        I think auto-correct has been mis-programmed by someone(s) who think they know “southern”

    • scolgin
      Dec 12, 2014 @ 02:35:55

      Well technically, since you are combining “you all,” you would put the apostrophe where the missing letters were. Therefore: “y’all” (with the apostrophe replacing the “ou”). Of course, “technically” wouldn’t explain how you get “won’t” for “will not”… So I’m not gonna mess with Texas.

      Reply

  3. Michelle
    Dec 12, 2014 @ 02:53:44

    I like the moody selfies but I was really disappointed that, even though I scrolled to the very end, there was not a picture of you with a champagne glass balanced on your ass. 😉 No, really, great post. I think you see a bit of all of the things you reference. But (corny thought it may sound), the best part about it is “meeting” like-minded and often incredibly creative people you wouldn’t otherwise have known.

    Reply

  4. J
    Dec 12, 2014 @ 04:16:28

    Sometimes it’s just nice to feel like I have a voice…I think that is what my blog has given me. A voice..regardless if someone is listening or not.

    Reply

  5. Jessamine in PDX
    Dec 12, 2014 @ 04:29:48

    Oh man, those pictures made me laugh, the last one has just the right amount of tortured artist happening. I think blogging is a bit ridiculous but I admit i love it. I love the friendships but I also love the vicarious living that is possible — the glimpses into other people’s lives (and kitchens). And for me, as someone who dreamed of writing fiction only to get a degree in journalism only to end up in the culinary industry, it’s a perfect hobby. I don’t have any delusions of grandeur but it’s fun to have something in my life that is wholly mine. That said I sometimes do think, really does the world need one more person writing about food? But then I drink a beer and eat some foie and think to hell with it, why not?

    Reply

  6. pal-O
    Dec 12, 2014 @ 04:52:34

    Tasty morsel of edible words. Have Dan in the house visiting this weekend from Asheville. Bringing his Muses to its new home. Woohoo!

    Reply

    • scolgin
      Dec 12, 2014 @ 14:33:42

      Want details! 🙂

      Reply

      • pal-O
        Dec 12, 2014 @ 16:57:16

        I’ll send you some photos and a summary. Hug, laugh, eat, drink, laugh, talk, eat drink, play some catch, talk, eat, drink, build a backyard fire, drink, drink eat, hug and say goodbye till later! Maybe I should do a blog . . . nah!

      • scolgin
        Dec 12, 2014 @ 17:25:23

        Like I said, EVERYONE should have a blog! Mostly wanna hear about how Lori likes her gift! Cry, smile, hug, cry, smile, cry, cry, kiss, hug, smile, I expect.

      • pal-O
        Dec 12, 2014 @ 17:52:45

        I’m going to film it. She is going to break down just like a little girl. Her big concern right now is how to prepare a free range chicken for Dan when he arrives. She is trying and learning to cook at a higher level and I applaud her efforts. She actually broke from a recipe and called an audible the other night.

  7. aché
    Dec 12, 2014 @ 07:00:32

    I heard Blogs are “so over”. But I am not very hip 😉
    Waiting for the ig gallery. #skinnygirlsandmayo

    Reply

  8. jblondie
    Dec 12, 2014 @ 07:29:49

    This post made me laugh… a lot. …mainly because of the selfies let’s be honest. However…I never thought of Blogs as a Rorschach Test but you’re absolutely right! Wow.

    Reply

  9. timoirish34
    Dec 12, 2014 @ 14:19:54

    It’s odd, but I never thought of SG & M as a blog. Perhaps because the announcement of each installment is delivered to me as an email (I dislike having to look for blogs), but it is more than that. I don’t regard it as a blog because, for one thing, it’s not a burden to read. Also, it often follows conventional story form and it is genuinely (and pleasantly) informative. I have friends (ladies mostly) who write blogs of the Captain’s Log variety, recording in excruciating detail what sort of fashionable shoes they’ve lately bought or which arcane medical conditions they have or think they have. These make difficult reading, even as a courtesy.

    I don’t think your sentences are lazy, SC. I think, when writing in your own voice, you have developed a style. I bet you have your own style of standing too–I know I do. Let your wife know this.

    For years now, I must use a cane when I leave the house. Back when this became inevitable, I bought an assortment of different sticks to use when the mood struck me. Eventually (and less than consciously), I found I’d developed a style of walking with a cane that (I think) made me seem less crippled. I think the ultimate achievement in style is when the author can write in a seemingly casual, first person voice and make it both humorous in manner and serious in import. This takes real work. Raymond Chandler was a master at this; so was Truman Capote.

    Everyone has a right to their own blog, I guess, the way everyone who can afford the cost of a laptop has the right to own one. Blogs–like every other creative endeavor–are mostly worthless. Ninety-eight per-cent of journalism, films, restaurants, TV and visual arts are awful. Take consolation that you’re solidly in the remaining two per-cent.

    Reply

    • scolgin
      Dec 12, 2014 @ 14:36:40

      Very kind of you, Tim. Thank you for taking the time to write. I’m imagining your walking stick collection… I collect walking sticks randomly when I’m walking in the state park and see one that calls out to me.

      Reply

  10. Conor Bofin
    Dec 12, 2014 @ 23:31:46

    Ya’ll should open a restaurant.

    Great post.

    Reply

  11. Benjamin Thompson
    Dec 15, 2014 @ 14:35:48

    As a psychotherapist, there are so many directions to go in with this post that I fill like a cat in a house that’s just been decorated for Christmas. But I will resist all sarcasm and say that I’ve enjoyed your blog over the years for many posts. Keep up the good work. As you know, from time to time, I’ve tried to post a few things but whenever I write, I tend to write 5,000 words or more! Also been very busy these days with the move to Minnesota and getting used to a new job. I’m now the clinical supervisor of an inpatient treatment center with a team of therapists and 12 beds. Only 1 day/week left for private practice. Everyone tells you not to go into management but it’s the siren song that few resist. Hope all is well in Cali!

    Reply

    • scolgin
      Dec 16, 2014 @ 03:15:37

      Always happy to see you commenting on my blog, Ben! Sounds like a busy new life, I hope you’ll still find time to get into the kitchen and get your hands dirty. And I hope you’re discovering all the interesting new places to eat in your new home! All well out west, Happy Holidays!

      Reply

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