Friday, October 19, 2007

Of Blogs and Bloggers

I was recently sent a link to someone who offered to increase the readership of my blogging site if I would but paste on my site some hyperlinked information, which, if clicked onto by visitors to my site, would cause the address of my blogging site to appear on the blogging sites of others who have also posted the aforementioned hyperlinked information onto their own sites.

The result would be that my blogging site address would appear on more and more of other blogging sites in an exponentially upward curve. On first ingesting this information I felt as if transported into the heavens, as I saw a glorious future for this blog, with a readership numbering in the millions. And I, as the blogger, would as a consequence – like Glen Campbell’s Rhinestone Cowboy - get cards and letters from people I don’t even know, and offers coming over the phone.

Then the windmills of my mind began to whir, like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel on an ever spinning reel. And what my mind said, was that the appearance of my blogging site’s address on the blogging sites of fellow bloggers, wouldn’t mean my blog would be read any more than it now is, for the reason that bloggers signing up to get their blogs onto the sites of fellow bloggers, will only do this, so their blogs will be read by the other bloggers, who, in turn, are getting their own blogs posted on the sites of yet other bloggers, so their blogs will be read by those other bloggers, who won’t read them because they are interested only in getting their own blogs read, rather than reading the blogs of others.

I thus concluded that for me to sign up to get my blog on to the sites of other bloggers, so that they read my blog, would be a waste of valuable time.

That bloggers tend not to read the blogs of their fellows might be taken as incuriosity. But we might better call it discernment, because, if truth be told, most blogs aren’t worth reading. For starters, most sites are confusing because they have so much incongruous stuff on them, one doesn’t know where to start. They have photos, drawings, advertisements, and all manner of other irrelevant information which obscures the writings of the blogger. And isn’t writing the raison d’etre of blogging?

As to the writings on blogs, most are bilge because they are badly written and boring, borne of the monumental ignorance, illiteracy, self-absorption, narcissism, and solipsism of the bloggers. “Ranting” is a favourite word among bloggers, who, proudly proclaiming that they “rant”, don’t consider that to read these seemingly interminable “rants” is, for the reader, to suffer a torture only slightly below water-boarding and the other ingenious methods used to extract secrets from the unfortunates incarcerated at Guantanamo.

While most blogs aren’t worth reading, there are some which are. These usually are blogs written by professional journalists or novelists, who therefore know how to write. But even these readable blogs tend to become repetitive and boring after a while, since, regularly to churn out pieces every day or so for the delectation of the hoi-polloi waiting impatiently for their morsel, will be to descend inevitably into hackwork and redundancy. I mean, if your predilection is American politics, there’s only so much you can say about George Bush which others haven’t already said. So what else can you unboringly write of, if all you know about is American politics?

Readers comments left on blogging sites, particularly political ones, resemble nothing so much as the bleeting of sheep, or the wimperings of subordinate wolves before the dominant alpha male. To leave a comment which doesn’t follow the ideology of the blogger or his acolytes, invites as much venom and abuse from them, as anyone professing homosexuality at a Hell’s Angel’s convention.

I’ve heard that the increase in the numbers of new bloggers has now levelled off after the mercurial rise during blogging’s first halcyon years. This could reflect either that internet surfers recognise bilge when they read it; or they would rather watch videos on YouTube or My Space, than read blogs, because, being products of an increasingly illiterate culture, they find the written word too difficult for them.

I suspect it’s a bit of both.

And Now For Something Completely Different:

Round, like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel.
Never ending or beginning,
On an ever spinning wheel
Like a snowball down a mountain
Or a carnaval balloon
Like a carousell that's turning
Running rings around the moon
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes on it's face
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind

Like a tunnel that you follow
To a tunnel of it's own
Down a hollow to a cavern
Where the sun has never shone
Like a door that keeps revolving
In a half forgotten dream
Or the ripples from a pebble
Someone tosses in a stream.
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes on it's face
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind

Keys that jingle in your pocket
Words that jangle your head
Why did summer go so quickly
Was it something that I said
Lovers walk along the shore,
Leave their footprints in the sand
Was the sound of distant drumming
Just the fingers of your hand

Pictures hanging in a hallway
And a fragment of this song
Half remembered names and faces
But to whom do they belong
When you knew that it was over
Were you suddenly aware
That the autumn leaves were turning
To the color of her hair

Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning,
On an ever spinning wheel
As the images unwind
Like the circle that you find
In the windmills of your mind