Ask any blogger and they’ll tell you the reason they take time out of each day to deliver hundreds of words for people to read is because there’s stuff inside their head that has to come out so they can achieve something that resembles sanity. Before posting on the internets started happening somewhere around 1995 (2005 for me) people picked up ink pens or pencils and wrote in diaries. In between diaries and blogs, was Eddie Vedder and his left arm. Pay attention to the 2:30 mark of this 6:20 YouTube video.
What was that? It was Ed proclaiming his support for women’s choice over their own bodies during an instrumental break of Porch, the 8th track off their legendary “Ten” album during a 1992 MTV Unplugged Performance. Since the lead singer of Pearl Jam didn’t have a blog, he spent thirty seconds doing something some us would take an thirty minutes or more to type on a computer. The message was powerful. Elvis Presley, Jim Morrison or Diamond David Lee Roth never supported women’s rights while rockin’ out.
If you pay close attention to social media, talk show hosts (specifically right wing ones), and “traditional” news outlets, bloggers get a very bad rap. To be fair, President Barack Obama even took a shot at us recently, although I think he was referring to people who post things with a political point of view opposite of his. I find it interesting that as I write this piece, he’s blogging for Huffington Post about gay rights legislation http://news.yahoo.com/obama-turns-blogger-to-make-pitch-for-gay-rights-bill-063547333.html , I think his bill is major league important and I’m pleased he decided to go to writing on the internet to stress it’s need for passage. See, Mr. President posting stuff on the web isn’t so bad is it?
Bloggers are important. We matter.
There is a lot of misinformed people in the world. If you want to call them stupid, go ahead. I prefer “dumb”. Dumb can be corrected. Dumb just means they haven’t been provided smart. Stupid people can be handed smart then reject it and thus be more than dumb. This is what makes what Eddie Vedder’s arm so impactful. Twenty-one years ago we learned that rock stars, formerly thought to be mindless hedonists with nothing more to say than “sex, drugs and rock and roll”, had meaningful voices. Some of them in the early 1990s - Vedder, Kurt Cobain, Chris Cornell, Zack De la Rocha, and others- had great things to add to the culture. They just needed a way.
If you google “blogging” or “bloggers” there are dozens of entries about how this forum is dead and we should all go get real lives, whatever those are. Instead of paying attention to the message and or the messenger, anti-bloggers (I refuse to use the word “haters”) always point to how it’s rendered. Because it comes from someone’s computer and not filtered through a new agency or pulpit or government, then it must be wrong. I’ve personally never posted anything on My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog or my other blogs, the defunct Sprocket Ink, or the current Raised On The Radio ( www.raisedontheradio.com) without hours of research, reading, planning, and editing. Can I say the same for some other corners of the innerwebz? Of course not.
From 1988 till 1994 I worked in the news business. I found employment and training through five different radio stations, one newspaper, and one television station. By the end of my six and a half years I learned one basic thing that I use now.
This means don’t:
reveal sources who request anonymity
fill in blanks with stuff that doesn’t exist
present yourself as something or someone you are not
worry about what other people think as long as you’re telling the truth and or what’s in your heart.
With the demise of Sprocket Ink, my outlet for political and pop culture opinion is stunted, but I’m going to try to quench that thirst for the next couple of months until my new opportunity becomes a reality.
What I do here, every day, whether fiction or non-fiction, is climb up on my stool and draw on my arm with a magic marker.
Porch isn’t a song about issues or the news. It was originally written by Eddie Vedder as a tune of regret for not having a relationship with his birth father. Most people use it as a break-up song. But when I play that video, I always think about walking out on my porch and watching my daughters, aged 17, 10, and 9, playing in the front yard or arriving home after being out in the world. Suddenly Porch is about protecting them and showing them an example of someone who isn’t afraid to express their opinion.
This is what makes blogging bad ass and I’m proud to do it.
Are you looking for something interesting and music driven to read? I have two for you. My books, The Ballad of Helene Troy, an underdog story about a female musician in New York City, and Soul To Body, about an ex-1990s guitar player trying to raise his teenage daughter after the death of his wife, her mother, are available, digitally, on Amazon.com for your kindles, and in paperback from Lulu.com