Friday, May 22, 2015
In search of blog
Marcus, the teen librarian, who shares my love for soccer and has even been an instructor in it, recommended a soccer book called Soccer in Sun and Shadow by Eduardo Galeano. It was a terrific book. It is probably the best sports book I have ever read if we discount, as we should, a treacly, basically dishonest boy's book about the life of Babe Ruth that I read over and over and loved when I was nine.
Soccer in Sun and Shadow is about the history of soccer, but it is not a conventional history of soccer. It is told in vignettes of piercing, elegant prose, and it is full of leftist politics (which are the only kind that have anything to say). Functionally it is a book written in the way I write: short essays that stand on their own and yet constantly progress and interrelate. What I am saying is that Soccer in Sun and Shadow is a book of blog posts.
But, of course, they are not blog posts. The late Eduardo Galeano wrote this book in the nineties and had already been writing enormously respected works of history in exactly this format for decades. When I told Marcus about loving the book and how I especially adore books written in what I think of as the blog post format, he shared the feeling and marveled at Eduardo Galeano doing this long before blogs existed.
Here is where I came to my senses.
Galeano did not anticipate the blog, because the blog itself is a chimera. Yes, the Internet is supposed to be groaning under the weight of them, but what I think of as a proper blog, what I think most people assume is scattered richly across the Internet, does not actually exist. No one reads them. I cannot find them, no one links to them, and there is no stumbling upon them. Perhaps my search skills are deficient, but if these blogs truly exist, where are they? The only ones I have ever seen are ghostly suggestions of long abandoned blogs that I sometimes imagine have been forensically placed on the Internet in the way that deranged Creationists imagine God to have placed Dinosaur bones in the earth.
I write a blog. It is one hundred percent, distilled, exactly what I mean by a blog. I liked the idea of it, went down into my basement, attached a lion and a goat and a serpent and found I loved it. I sent my chimera blog out to play and it came back alone.
Or how about this one? A blog is like if all your life people spoke exactly as they do about moths, you among them, but one day you realized "Hey, I've never actually seen a moth!" So you start looking, you start asking people about them. You have a hard time shaking the idea that they are everywhere, that they circle porch lights at night, that everyone else is seeing them, that soon you will find the right place where they flit thickly in the air. But it never happens, and every moth that is pointed out to you, by someone humoring your ridiculous challenge, is clearly something else, a cicada, a butterfly, a bat, a beetle, a bird.
Prove me wrong. I have a comment section. Yes, my definition of blog is narrow, but I feel it is reasonable.
Until I am proven wrong I say the Emperor is naked. And the Internet, which, in the end, is only all of us, must add another delusion to its rich list.