4/21/03 Columbia County, NY I always

4/21/03 Columbia County, NY

I always find myself starting these blogs at about 3:28 in the morning, not because I’m procrastinating, but because I always take a stroll through the other folks in the blog world to get my mind limbered up for the experience. Some of these strolls turn into parched marathon walks, however, and now I sit having given three of my hours to some of the most mind-numbing people on earth.

Let’s start by understanding this stat: 42% of Americans are not online, and plan on staying that way. That’s 109 million Americans who don’t even have an email address. Of those online, maybe 10% know what a blog is, and .01% actually have one. I understand fully that I’m bitching about something that the majority of Americans don’t even know exists.

But in order to have a meaningful experience on here, you’ve got to assume that the medium has a standard, or at least a few accepted masters by which a benchmark can be measured, and though everyone has their favorite, there is no Master Blogger, no Walter Cronkite, no Michael Jordan, no Jane Austen. There is only taste. I love this guy, but you no doubt want to see this chick take her shirt off. Hell, most of the time I want to see her take her shirt off too.

But there is a game we all play with ourselves, called My Insignificance, in which we try to make sense of our own existences in such a vast universe. We fool ourselves into thinking that we make a difference in some way, whether it is by having children, or giving love to one another, or building pyramids in a desert. But soon enough, an angry, giant red Sun in its death throes will gobble up this Earth and the ones around it, and there’s very little we can do to stop it.

The same applies to blogging. I have to believe that I make a difference by writing in here, but there’s so much else to choose from that I begin to feel a creeping sense of sisyphean futility. It is all ego, I know, it is all just the desire to be loved, but it exists nonetheless, and gets in the way of almost everything I do.

I just spent an hour reading an entire blog the archives and current entries – of a woman, 21 years old, living a debauched life of moronic drug parties, dancing all night with hirsute hipsters, heroin chic snapshots taken gracelessly in restrooms, entries that consisted entirely of the words “fuck all of you.” Hers is a dark life, the kind I suppose I would have lived if I’d moved to the East Village in 1993 like I was supposed to. She’s pretty, there’s always boys around, she thinks she’s post-apocalyptic; she’s so desensitized and calloused by a short, brutish life of such saturated irony that she’s actually post-humor.

And I wonder: does she have regular readers? You can’t follow any particular throughline, there’s no plot, and the cast of characters seem to drift in and out of her consciousness as though it were a Joycean dream. Do people need a daily fix of this girl before they tackle the chores?

I don’t know, but I’m glad I spent the last part of my evening sliding through her life. It gave meaning to her writing it. I will never meet her, and nor will you, but my reading her ensures that she exists. All of you do the same for me.

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