Blogging is a symptom of arrogance, usually. There's no getting around it. I am saying to you—not specifically you, of course, but anybody and everybody who might ever read a blog—'I have something to say that deserves to be said.' There's an effort involved: whenever I crap out a blog entry, I must do the work of arranging and organizing my thoughts, to whatever degree, and then assembling them into something coherent and pleasing to a hypothetical audience. In other words, I've got to tart up the language—make it voluptuous—in order to seduce you. It's a whore's art. Of course, I'm not claiming that I'm successful—after all, I have only a handful of followers—but any failures on my part do not imply a lack of effort. I always try—and trying is work. There is an essential shame in that effort—because it carries with it a desire to be loved. Or if not loved, then not hated. All art (in the mere sense of 'artifice') is an effort to be approved of or credited with some meager accomplishment. Even the most iconoclastic and 'difficult' artists have an audience in mind; their disingenuousness cannot absolve them.
Do you ever watch The Soup (formerly Talk Soup)? It's a show on the E! network—a channel more culturally deleterious than child beauty pageants or heroin addiction—which anthologizes the worst/best moments (i.e., best in their worstness) from the previous week in television. This past week included a snippet from Entertainment Tonight; apparently the entertainment news show did a story on the prevalence of celebrity death hoaxes on the internet, which consisted—in part—of photos of celebrities who were (supposedly) rumored to be dead with the words 'FALSE' or 'NOT TRUE' stamped on their faces. It's important to note, however, that these celebrities were not old washed-ups who have long been out of the public eye, but A-list celebrities, like Brad Pitt. The long and the short of it is that Entertainment Tonight aired a 'news' story to inform its viewing audience that celebrities like Brad Pitt were, in fact, still alive. As an addendum, the program also showed viewers how easy it is to create an online celebrity death rumor—essentially providing a how-to guide for the aspiring hoaxster. (I'm working on the Adam Levine death rumor immediately after I post this. Apparently he was torn apart by rabid yaks.)
Why am I reporting this to you? My reasons are twofold. First of all, I am attempting to remind myself that a nationally broadcast television program like Entertainment Tonight, which has been on the air since 1981 and no doubt costs quite a bit to produce, believes that is useful or diverting to inform its audience that Brad Pitt is not dead. So why then should I ever think that anything I might blog about fails to meet some minimum criterion for public interest or relevance? Secondly, I am reminding all of us that if there is in fact a danger of someone like Brad Pitt being killed off so easily by some computer nerd in stained underwear living in his mother's basement, then what hope is there for the rest of us? We must constantly assert ourselves online; otherwise, we cease to exist. Blogito, ergo sum.
In other words, I'm back.