Robosapien Spares Bloggers

Over the past few months since I’ve developed an interest in blogging, I’ve begun to notice other’s reactions to the idea of blogging in general. Several weeks ago, someone mentioned to me that “blog” is one of the “most annoying words” connected with the Internet. I get it. The word is annoying, hence, bloggers are annoying. I’ve encountered a person here or there who will inquire at a get together,”What exactly is a ‘blog?’” hesitantly, trying to feign interest after they’ve learned that “blogging” is what I have been doing since leaving my job. The conversation goes like this…

“Hey, how have you been?

“Great, thanks. Good to see you,” I reply.

“How is work going? What school are you at again?”

“I don’t work any longer. I quit a few months ago.”

“Is everything okay? What are you doing instead?” the person inquires because no one sane would give up their job for no reason.

“I write quite a bit each day.”

“Really. What do you write?”

“Personal essays and other pieces. I’m just getting back into the habit of it after several years of not being able to find time the time. I’m really enjoying it.”

“Oh,” blink, blink…

Another person approaches us. “She has a blog. You know. On the Internet.”

“Oh,” the first person repeats, and looks uncomfortable, like I might grab my wallet and throw a photo accordion of my 13 children at her. I’m tempted, but I wouldn’t do that to my kids even if I had 13.

She and others are most likely thinking, how sad that she has come to this, wasting her time on the Internet all day. Doing nothing. One individual reacted to my writing, struggling to read what I’d written, and succumbed to muttering the words aloud as one might tackle a treatise on an Analysis of Glucose Cycles in Mammals Indigenous to the North American Piedmont and uttered in confusion, “What kind of writing….is…this? Exactly…?” I completely understoond her reaction and was sure it must be the very stylized syntax of sentences. like. this. Or, btw—wtf, yanno? Perhaps a Bwahahahahaha or a snort. Or two. Huh? = )

Ahh, the frustration of one’s writing being in the hands of an audience it wasn’t intended for. Not exactly a novel dilemma, is it? I say this knowing that writers have always struggled with how their work is received. Anything that requires another’s interpretation is subject to the same risk. I do believe, however, that a person should have an idea about a piece of writing well before getting involved with it. But maybe that’s just me. I’ve lost the source, but I remember reading a particular author who believed his readers “write his books.” Said differently, any reader brings a massive amount of information, experience, and of course, at times, ignorance to a particular reading. With that, a book is understood in an infinite number of unique ways. That perspective either allows the reader to enjoy the book, or to question why it was even considered as something which might be enjoyed. Not everyone will appreciate every type of writing. I certainly don’t.

I believe it is important to note that those of us who choose to write in this very public way, do so for a variety of reasons. I also believe that as much as it is enjoyable to have others read what I write, not everyone will appreciate all of it. Some may not like any of it. Is audience appreciation always the reason for our writing?

I write because I want to. Because I need to. Because I can. Although my mother has kept personal journals for more than 25 years, to my knowledge, no one else in my family has been interested in writing. Just more proof that I must have fallen off the turnip truck. I can’t say that a teacher in my past had anything to do with motivating me to write because very few of them assigned writing — let alone taught the craft of writing. No, I was never even forced to write the venerable Five Paragraph Essay. Ahem. And we know how many of those are published annually.

Most likely, reading has influenced my need to write, as well as a well-developed ability to observe and remember nearly everything I see. Each author has a new perspective, a different voice, a way of allowing me to see through their thoughts. With that information, words and stories of my own evolve. As much as I enjoy writing my thoughts and observations, that is all they are. The way I choose to write them is exactly that: a choice. One that I value.

Yesterday while I was perusing others’ blogs, I came across one that featured a book review. The point of the review was clear: People like myself are amateurs. The business of writing is not something we are good at. In fact, people like myself are to blame for destroying the foundations of society, and card-carrying readers of “drivel” who will hardly be lining up “to read Shakespeare.” It was stated quite plainly that writers such as myself are only about “monkey business” and that all those who count themselves as “professionals” should work to find solutions allowing “those with talent to flourish.” I do have a suggestion: Write something others would enjoy reading. Fairly basic. Writing a few sentences about writer’s block doesn’t quite cut it, though.

So let me get this straight. I’m a professional if I write about education because I was employed as an educator. But if I choose to write about my life, my observations, my opinions, my ideas—which all belong to me, are connected to me, and referenced with that which is relevant to said life, observations, opinions, and ideas—I’m an amateur? And I need to stop this “monkey business” so the “professionals” can get a word in edgewise? Interesting.

I have to confess that reading the post, some of the comments, and comments made at amazon got the best of me. I haven’t been that worked up about anything for months. Embarrassing, actually when I consider all of the very important issues I should be worked up about. But I recognized what was causing my irritation. It all seemed so like the junior high students I had worked with for many years. Smug, egocentric, cliqueish. Very much a case of, “Hello? I’ve done the seat time required for the label I’m applying to myself, and while I’m at it, I’m going to pass judgment on you, on your admirers, and hell, our quickly disintegrating society in general because:

  1. Bloggers exist.
  2. Bloggers attract attention.
  3. The attention is distracting others from noticing those who are more deserving.
  4. Like me (The Professional).
  5. Society is falling apart because no one reads Shakespeare.
  6. Or gets in line to buy Shakespeare.
  7. Because they’re bloggers.
  8. Or readers of blogs.
  9. Bottom dwellers.
  10. Destroyers of the English Language.

William Faulkner said,

“Read, read, read. Read everything— trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the masters. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write.”

Well said, Bill, even though I never really enjoyed reading your writing when I was in college. Mind you, I know you’re called one of our best writers, and that you were A Professional, but I just didn’t “get” your style. Maybe I was too young to truly understand considering the experience I approached your writing with—or lack thereof. Did you actually write Sanctuary for college sophomores? You’re in good company, because Will Shakespeare isn’t my cuppa tea either. Was he A Professional? If I remember correctly, he had some issues with written English. But who am I to bring that to anyone’s attention. I’m only an amateur.

One who is contributing to the downfall of society one post at a time.

What will become of us all? Will we drown in technobabble? I doubt it. We’ve continued to survive legalese and eduspeak. We are engaged in trying to survive Dub-Yah.

But Monkey Business still abounds. Damn technology.

Robosapien & Roboraptor Professional Smackdown

Weak-Assed Whining Professional Gives Self Away

Robosapien Smells a Snob

In the End, Amateur Minions Lack Seasoning; Save Society





13 responses to “Robosapien Spares Bloggers”

  1. i know exactly what you mean.. i hear it all the time from my boss… when i am leaving work he will say,,, “off to your domain????” like it is a joke… whatever…

    i haven’t felt so alive, in the last ten years.. i haven’t been this close to myself and a group of people i really thought had anything close to intellectual potential… ever…

    and i am happy and i love doing it and i am hooked… hey… i’ve been addicted to something my whole life… this is the first time i feel as if my addiction is enhancing my life instead of detracting from it… what could be better than that????

  2. Paisley, what do you suppose it is about people that when they aren’t interested or don’t understand someone else’s interests, instead of learning from them, disregard them, or beat them down.

    Unfortunately, it’s rampant these days. Even those who are built up, are then torn down.

    I’m enjoying myself as well and am amazed at how much I feel like I know those I “converse” with here and there.

  3. I am the creative type working in a highly engineered manufacturing company. Yes, surrounded by engineers who don’t live in anything remotely resembling the analogous world I live in. I think I’m so far off the deep end in their eyes that running a blog just fits my personae. It’s really easier that way. Once you get far enough out to sea folks start calling you a fisherman, or maybe a fish, or a piece of wood adrift. I don’t know, maybe they are right, but at least I feel no tinge of temptation to normalize my life or my pursuits.

    At what point did it become so very righteous to make earning money the highest objective in our efforts? Hey, not that I mind economic return, but what about the great return, the intrinsic value of writing and creating new works of art and literature towards the end of our own enjoyment and the edification of others? How wonderful your pursuit. I imagine that some of those looks, comments and raised eyebrows are derived from a tinge of jealousy.

  4. I think it is the Tall Poppy Syndrome.

    If somebody likes something and is good at it what right do others have to pass judgment?

    I agree that jealousy and ignorance have a lot to do with people’s snide remarks.

    Ignore them…as long as YOU are enjoying what you are writing , because I for 1 enjoy reading it! 🙂

  5. Phil, I am ever amazed at your writing. Truly. And I can’t imagine being in the environment you describe as an “only one.” Engineers make an interesting group…

    “Once you get far enough out to sea folks start calling you a fisherman, or maybe a fish, or a piece of wood adrift.” What a classic statement. I say fisherman, because you’d be out to catch something. That’s what this is all about.

    As far as the jealously goes, I think when someone makes a decision that is so far and away from what nearly everyone else is doing, they have to wonder what it must be like. I like being the example.

  6. Hey MGL, I’m liking the “Tall Poppy” image. It’s a happy, fluttering kind of flower that stands out with no conformity. Thanks for that. And thanks always for reading!

  7. One day, while in a conference room at work with a couple of bosses during a pre-meeting wait for someone who was late, I began scribbling a bizarre, near-stream-of-consciousness few paragraphs I entitled “The Fortunate Few”.

    It was one of the most odd things I’d ever written, peppered with mentions of gazebos, nice shoes and barbecues. So odd was it, in fact, that I felt irrestibly compelled to share it with my colleagues/bosses.

    So, with my most robust “Speech and Drama” voice (taught to me by The Birmingham Theatre School in England’s West Midlands), I read out my newly-crafted creation.

    Silence. OK, thought I, it was weird.

    But then my boss then said, ‘That was brilliant. You should start a blog.’

    Although he’s Swedish, and thus has questionable credentials as an English literary critic, I started one anyway.

    I blog because I enjoy blogging; sharing little snippets of idiosyncrasies about life in Sweden, but without giving too much away about my moods or true feelings, or my immediate circumstances. I do a “limitedly personal” blog.

    I prefer to use the word “amateur” in its pure form: “lover of”.

    In that sense, I’m proud to be an amateur blogger.

    That is all.

  8. Nice Boss, Mark. And good point about the “lover of.” I must be rolling in “lover of-ness.” I’m certainly not making any money doing this. Maybe that’s what I like about it most.

  9. “I write because I want to. Because I need to. Because I can.”


    I for one am glad you write “like this” …personal essays. I have laughed, cried, and learned a few things over here. I always find a turn of phrase that will linger in my head for the rest of the day.

    I used to get that sort of reaction from my family… “You are going to write about WHAT? WHERE? … thats too dangerous, there are evil people on the internet, WHY? would you be so personal with strangers?”

    A year later they read my blog everyday and get it.

    It is hard to explain, but, best stated described as you said “”I write because I want to. Because I need to. Because I can.”

  10. Funny isn’t it? The way people react when confronted with the awareness that there is no longer a box from which to step out of. First it was gender based. The literary canon was chosen for males, by males. Unless your name was Emily or Virginia, there was slim hope that you would be read by anyone. As that gradually changed we saw the disappearance of gender biased publishing, but still, unless you conformed to a certain writing model (or could publish yourself) you were not in circulation.

    What a beautiful age we find ourselves in today. The only thing limiting us now is our own imagination, and willingness to speak out. Sure, circulation and readership might be a concern, but with blogging, properly linked, it’s out there for the seeking, readily consumed by the hungry.

    If ever there was a concern for the future of literature, it would most certainly have to do with its inability as a communication medium / genre to adapt to this ever evolving information age! And you’re right, there are those who just get it, and then there’s everyone else.

    I am also not a big Faulkner or Shakespeare fan, but I am willing to agree that they possessed brilliance in their own way, in their own time. Right now though, it feels like apples and oranges as we move forward into our time.

  11. I have always loved your written words. There is a book in all of us and I know you will be unable to write yours when it presents itself.

    I began my little blog out of sadness and anger. Now that I am no longer feeling sad or angry, I am wondering whether I should continue my bitchfest.

  12. BWAHAHahahaha!

    What an awesome post.

    Wait, isn’t that what I said the last time I was here? Carp!

    Maybe not. I can’t remember. But that’s mostly because it’s been over a week.


    What I really mean is, long live/blog amateurs engaging in non-Shakespearean monkey business. Especially if said engagement involves gratuitous Robosapienage.

  13. Thanks, Meleah. I definitely know you understand. And my family has been my biggest support from the start, so that’s a lot of fun. We’re a strange sort of bunch, and have fun with it all. Sometimes others don’t get us, but that makes it even more fun. It’s a bit like speaking a language that no one else understands.

    Dave, Can I be in your English class? With respect to literature’s ability to compete with the information age, I just read something yesterday that pointed out there is much to be learned from the dilemmas characters in fiction work through. That fiction is still a place for us to mull over that which troubles us, or experience something we might not otherwise have the opportunity to. I believe that. I believe that good works of literature teach. And that’s important when so much doesn’t at times.

    Yes, I’ll agree with you as well, that no matter whether I enjoy reading a particular writer, I can and do appreciate their accomplishment. Art, design…same.

    Mom, I do believe you meant to say that I would be ABLE to write the book when it’s time. A-B-L-E. No Freudian slip there, right? Thanks for being my biggest fan. Smooches.

    Radioactive Jam -OMG I LOOOOOOOOVVVVVEEEEEE it! “Non-Shakespearean monkey business” involving “gratitutious Robosapienage.” Completely Perfect and soooooooo tah-rue!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.