Friday, September 16, 2005

^^On Cruising the Blog-Scene^^ (OP-ED)

Bruno, the Big Blob, blogs big time. Bravo Bruno! The question is: Does anybody care?
EDITORIAL by Ana Elsner

"Crank up your espresso machine, you’ll need all the caffeine you can stomach, as the hours go by while you click your way through an endless labyrinth of diaries and diatribes.
Pull up your emotional bootstraps and be prepared to wade through a vast pool of heart-wrenching exposés on the minutiae of a million private lives.
This journey is not for the faint-hearted.

As you deftly maneuver around the spam sites, the porn sites, the 404s,
as you dodge the incoming barrage of pop-ups,
as you turn down the volume so you don't get blasted out of your chair by various midi, wav and other sudden sound effects,
you find yourself getting snagged by this blog, sucked into another, turned off by the third, turned on by the next ... and, sooner or later, depending on your stamina, utterly exhausted.
You have just embarked on a Kafkaesque rollercoaster ride minus the pink cotton candy.

Yes, it is all in there, right there in the digital box in front of you, coming alive at a mouse-click.
The entire panoply of human caricature is mirrored in these web-logs:
There is the recluse, the addict, the whiner, the cynic, the former hippie, the former inmate, the fallen angel, the pollyanna, the eternal optimist, the borderline illiterate, the borderline schizophrenic, the self-proclaimed genius, the frustrated poet, the con-artist, the babe-in-the-woods, the narcissist, the tattler, the prowler, the punster, the pundit, the proselytizer, the producer and the prosecutor - the sexy, the nasty, the desperate.
All of them are busily pouring their hearts out to no-one-in-particular: Sigmund Freud would have a field day in the blog-o-sphere.

To paraphrase Shakespeare, 'All the Web's a Stage'. The curtain goes up each time you go blog-surfing. The players strut their stuff, many of them stripped of all restraint and modesty.
Their voices echo eerily in cyberspace. No audience steps forward in applause. Their pages are devoid of comments. Their hit-counters stalled out at 106, their email boxes empty. No dialog ensues.

And here you sit, the anonymous voyager, unbeknownst to those whose posts you just read, whose lives you looked in on. You've had all that you can take. Your head's still spinning. Time to log out of blog-o-rama."


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