Why Blog?

Weblogs (OK, OK, blogs) are usually uninformed, close-minded, snarky, and kind of dumb. So what’s up with Grover Cleveland and Friends? Good question.

First of all, Grover’s been awfully bored since losing the Democratic nomination to William Jennings Brian in 1896 (it's a little known historical fact that Cleveland actually first lost the vote to this otherwise forgettable politician, who himself was defeated by William Jennings Bryan, after it was discovered that he had previously been convicted in the Commonwealth of Virginia of male fraud - yes, male fraud). Other than dying a few years later, things have been pretty dull for the Grovester. Rumor has is that he was into doing the Charleston for a while, but I’m pretty sure that it was just a phase. Second, he has a lot of friends. I don’t like to bring up old clichés or anything, but we all know that Grover + Friends = blog (except after vowels and coffee breaks). Enough said.

No wait, there appears to be another paragraph here. Yup, there definitely is. It’s fun to have a personal printing press. It’s now, apparently, virtually free to the average citizen (and, in Grover’s case, the very, very fat and slightly dead citizen). This is a chance to participate in civic discussion. This blog may have started too late to make fun of the fact that Tom Brokaw is a blowhard, or that Monica Lewinsky is not slim, or that “Cool Runnings” was, in retrospect, not a compelling premise for a movie. But it is definitely not too late to participate in lots of ongoing discussion. For example, there’s the burning issue in public discourse over who will win American Idol, and the ever-present controversy of why people are really dumb (I’m working on theory that these two issues are actually very related).

Participation in civic life, I’ve realized, is more than reading and watching. It’s not that those activities aren’t important. They are, in fact, vital. But every real discussion should include both listening and talking. Everyone has an opinion, and some of these opinions aren’t stupid. Watching C-SPAN and reading the newspaper are important, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that your participation in public discourse is fulfilled. Say something. It will be stupid at first (like this blog), and maybe always (like . . . me), but it’s actually pretty important.

So make your own arguments. You have access to virtually all of the same information – newspapers, transcripts, reruns of “Family Guy,” etc. You’ll find that you have to think a lot harder, and that’s not necessarily bad thing. I know that’s how Grover feels and, say it with me now, “Where there’s Grover, there’s friends.”


Post a Comment

<< Home