Blog blame

My stomach still churns. It’s been nearly a year since I began this blog and I still have mixed feelings about the medium. (I’m equally chagrined that the word “blog” – from the start a horrid hybrid of web and log — has gone from simple noun to clunky verb.)

I’m not stuck in the past, grousing about the good ol’ days. I’ve got dirty laundry: 68 “friends” on Facebook, a dozen bookmarked blogs, and an embarrassing fascination with the self-absorbed women of Real Housewives: New York.

That said, I continue to feel queasy about the ‘look-at-me’ quality that our social media — Facebook, Twitter, staged reality and such — encourages. Public positioning is now standard fare. Like a sugar binge that at first feels reckless and fun, the splurge leaves me ashamed and fatigued.

All of which leads me to Allison Glock, a journalist and poet who recently wrote the spot-on essay “I Blame Blogs.”

“Problem is, most of us are insignificant,” she writes. “We are not all undiscovered talents, stars awaiting illumination, unrecognized geniuses, gifted children. Most of us are average folks, getting by or not, in love or not, happy or not, and the opportunity to catalog these daily ups and downs (or snark about someone else’s) is not one that should necessarily be taken.”

Along with the harangue, Glock, thankfully, offers redemption. The cure comes in poetry. She writes:

"Poetry is about nothing if not empathy, generosity that can sneak up on you, that you didn’t know you needed until you found it and felt the release, like a long-forgotten thorn plucked from the pad of your foot. Ah, that feels better."

Read the full essay here.