Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Profile Status on a Stone Wall


So, as one of my first posts on my new blog, I wracked my brain to come up with something that would be worthy of space and words. Something of great social import and significance to mark the occasion. Something that would speak of our specific place in history. Something that would merit the time, effort, and will it takes to contribute to the "great conversation" taking place within the bigger culture today.

Unfortunately, this is all I've got so far...

But the more I thought about what could possibly be important enough to "blog" about, the more I began to consider the whole idea of blogging in the first place. What is it--this incomparable urge to express ourselves, to reach out, and to communicate with someone, anyone else--that drives us to think that the ideas flitting through our minds are worthy of some anonymous reader's delicate attention? It's the Facebook/Twitter syndrome, to be sure, this inherently human impulse to assume that what we have to say is not only 1.) important enough to be put into words, but also 2.) important enough to be shared, and finally 3.) important enough to be read. We are, all of us, members of an incredibly solipsistic culture of navel-gazing. We live as if in a house of mirrors these days, surrounded by images of ourselves that stare back at us and show us what we are most familiar with and also what we most want to see. We are Masters of our Own Universe, in a way, enamored with our own reflection, and with our own voice echoing somewhere deep in our inner ear--our own personal playlist triggered for perpetual repeat, reaffirming that what we like and what we believe is what is most worth liking and believing.

I wonder in some way if this is what our prehistoric grandparents felt as they huddled in the cold and the damp of the caves in what is now Lascaux, France. Peering through the faint light of the flickering torches propped in place, throwing shadows on the nearest wall of the artist's head, and there a shoulder blade, and there an arm, and over there a hand moving the ancient "brush" along the stone canvas, painting his Paleolithic world the only way he knew how. Do I flatter myself that this Computerlithic world I live in is in any way comparable? That the motivations and desires that moved his hand are the same motivations and desires that move my hands now across the keyboard? The same motivations and desires that move us all, whether we are aware of it or not, everytime we log on and update our facebook status, or tweet our current state of mind, or--perhaps--write a blog...

"I am here," we are saying. "I am here. And you are here. And that matters."

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