August 23, 2004

Meandering through blogdom

I have spent the past couple of days taking advantage of the new Blogger toolbar. Clicking on "Next Blog" can land a person almost anywhere. For some reason, it has a habit of throwing me onto Asian blogs, probably because I am using a Japanese web browser. Every now and then though, I land on an Arabic blog. Arabic has a beautiful script. I wish I could read it.

Blogs are online journals, so it is no surprise that the vast majority of them are egocentric, after all, we write a journal to ourselves, not to the whole world. I still don't really understand what compels me to make these entries, and I won't even try to guess what drives someone else. Of all the blogs I've visited the past few days, this one deserves special notice: Hi to Me!

I have been told by many people that I have no sense of humor. It may be true. Hi to Me!, however, is far and away the funniest blog I have ever encountered! Now there's a person who knows how to tell a joke!

I have run across a dozen blogs lately talking about the United States dropping a nuclear bomb on China at the end of WWII and thinking that this idea is somehow "funny", or worse yet, "satire". Did George Bush say something really stupid recently related to this idea? All of these blogs are attempting to poke fun at G.B., who is certainly enough of a ham to deserve to be satirized, but to my mind that does not excuse perpetuating a historical falsehood. This is exactly how cultures become indocrinated to accept error as fact and to regard history as being irrelevant. If these "commentators" really want to take the wind out of George's sails they need to find a way to satirize him while restoring the historical accuracy, thus dealing him a double whammy. I don't know that G.B. said something, all I do know is that some 12 year-old kid is going to read those blogs and come away convinced that American bombed China. An entire future conspiracy theory is being given birth by a group of people who do not understand that the first rule of satire is to replace an error with the truth, not perpetuate the error.

For the record: The United States has dropped two nuclear bombs on populated targets, Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Both of those cities are in Japan, not China. If you see someone claiming otherwise (even as a joke), then please take advantage of their comment box to correct them. These two attacks were horrific enough, there is no need to make up a third one.

On another front, some writers simply have no respect for their audience. Why are so many blogs written in purposely bad English? I'm not talking about honest mistakes by people who are still learning, I'm refering to people who write things like, "ne1 kin sey dat, bud the pplz alys lrn da rl dl inda nd."

Good grief! What is this garbage? Is this some kind of hip modern code? English is not a brutal enough language already, now they have to throw out the rules altogether and attempt to write it phonetically? Have a little respect for your readers, people. Like it or not, publishing live on the internet means that real people are going to be stopping by trying to decipher what you have to say. Readers who come across your blog are trying to learn your unique view of the world. They want to see the world the way you do. How can they understand your perspective on life if you throw up a cryptic wall and transform one of the most exception-laden languages in the world into a chaotic tempest of random characters? If you don't want people to read it, why post it?

If you can write clearly, please make an effort to do so. Potentially millions of people will be reading your humble words, especially now that Blogger has made you so easy to find. Give them a chance to understand you before you shut them all away.