Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Straining to See

I feel mentally drained all of a sudden. And to think that I was just bloghopping for a bit.

I wish I could say that I feel tired because I encountered plenty of topical discussions, pseudo-philosophical discourses and just plain creative articles. The problem is, I didn't. I skimmed through three or four interesting-looking blogs in the last hour, and all of them turned out not to be as interesting as I had originally hoped.

That's not to say that they were bad, of course. Theoretically, if you subscribe to the belief that any piece of writing will inevitably have an audience that reads and respects it, then it's simply not possible to develop "bad" works, much less "bad" blogs. These weblogs most likely cater to particular audiences, which happen not to include me.

I would call them "shallow", I suppose, if I subscribed to a more opinionated point of view. But in reality, every bit of writing is insightful to some people and "shallow" to others. And everybody else has as much a right to their own perception as I do to mine. No two people, for that matter, will ever see a single piece of writing in exactly the same light.

You can look upon this article, for example, as the words of an enlightened genius, the ravings of a complete lunatic, the daydreams of a neurotic thinker, or the scribblings of an elitist observer. Whatever the case, you're forming your own opinion about things, and that's probably what's important to begin with.

It strikes me that we still don't have much of an idea as to what makes a "good" blog, much less a "bad" one. The Philippine Blog Awards weren't able to answer the question, last time I checked, and the local blogging community has yet to get organized long enough to point out the distinctions. Sure, each of us probably has an idea as to what they want to see in a blog, but those desires are probably far from universal to begin with.

In short, each of us sees different things. Each of us looks for different things.

I look for a bit of personal insight in the things I read, as opposed to mere narratives for the purpose of summary or entertainment. Everything that doesn't fit the bill, therefore, seems "shallow" and unfulfilling to me.

I could just as easily be sitting on the other side of the fence, though, enjoying idle tales of personal experience that have little or no relevance whatsoever, simply because it's fun. It wouldn't have to be fulfilling as long as the story, the experience, the life is there. Sometimes it's just good not to take things too seriously.

But then I'm the sort of person who does, and thus I already have a particular fence position staked out. The grass looks neither more nor less greener from where I sit, and I'm probably one of those people who can look at the stuff and realize that it's just grass.

Just grass.

Grass, grass, grass, wherever you go.

There are blogs everywhere as well. And most of them aren't trying to be professional or clear-cut or formal or insightful or whatever. They're just blogs.

People just write, and people just read. There's really not much else in it.

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And now you know just what caused the mental strain I'm feeling right now.

Ouch.

7 comments:

kat said...

I have to admit I'm guilty of putting up entries that are no more than just an accounting of what I did in a day or so, but I'm not making excuses for that. :) I'm more a "feel" blogger, I blog when I feel like it, regardless of topic. Sometimes though, I take a look back at what I've written and think, "Eww, that's so high school." In some instances, I can't believe I wrote it because it's so insightful. Rarely do I wonder if people are reading my entries and if they find it interesting. :)

Hey, at least I can be sure that I'm not among the "bad" bloggers ehehe.

Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

It's all grass, but let's face it, with most blogs, more often than not there's more fertilizer than grass.

But me, I like the smell of my own, um, fertilizer. And I don't mind if others think it stinks, as long as the people who matter can stand the stench. :p

Your own patch of grass is so well-manicured, it's practically a PGA putting green. Whenever I get tired of reading LiveJournals filled with teenage angst and trivialities, I take a breather and head on over here. Thanks for providing respite (and thanks to Sel for pointing me this way in the first place). :)

Sean said...

That's the problem, really. I can't help feeling that certain blog posts (mine or otherwise) can be of far better quality or insight... but then the little voice in the back my head speaks up:

"Who do you think you are, Sean? These are blogs. Their authors write them regardless of what their audience thinks. If you don't like it, then you don't have to read it. People have the freedom to write however they darn well want."

And that little voice is right, I think. We can write whatever we want. Darn the audiences and their unsolicited opinions; these are our blogs.


Kat: Even daily summaries can be interesting; They build up an image of who you are and what your life is like. For that matter, I believe that there are no "bad" blogs -- there are simply blogs that we read and blogs that we don't read. The distinction may not necessarily run parallel to "good/bad".

Ailee: I have my own share of fertilizer, but I leave it lying around because it lends credence to further posts. And sometimes the question of exactly what's fertilizer and what's not is a matter of perception that's left to the readers.

With that said, I don't think that this blog holds any less angst than a lot of other blogs out there. Teenage angst is particularly interesting to observe. :)

Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

Oh definitely. It had me captivated for two whole years, and then some. But sometimes I catch myself retrogressing into the angry, whiny teenager I was, and I'm scared-- for public welfare as much as my own-- I might get stuck in that phase all over again. :p

Sean said...

Ailee: I'm fine with retrogression into such a state, I suppose, as long as it comes around in small doses. It's probably a question of control there, although I'm not certain as to how that comes about.

Der Fuhrer said...

hehe, I'm just tamad when it comes to posting an entry. When I make one I feel disappointed since it wasn't what I hoped it would be.

I'm more of a bloghopper than a blogger. heheh

Sean said...

Der Fuhrer: Yeah, that happens sometimes. I know that I spoil a lot of pieces of fiction that way...