“Somebody gave you a choice and all you do is abuse it/If God gave you a voice then use it.” –Matthew Good, Lullaby For the New World Order
“I basically connect through this sense of fun and nostalgia.” –Jim Groom
There aren’t a lot of blogs I follow consistently. There are my friends listed in my blogroll. My reader occasionally updates me on new material from Noir of the Week or This American Life. But there are really two blogs in particular that I follow not just out of curiosity but as something to aspire to.
One of these is a blog authored by Matthew Good, a Canadian musician whose songs always devastate me. Good is extremely knowledgeable (& vocal) on various subjects from politics to mental illness to mass media. His approach to reasoning, &, indirectly, life is one of unflinching self-awareness & constant scrutiny. His posts, like his music, gives me a new definition of “brutally honest” every time I experience them.
I read Good’s posts for the same reason that I read books like Niels Lyhne & Barabbas, to challenge myself. I know that I take a lot of my beliefs & assumptions for granted & those foundations need to be sounded & tested often. I may never have the breadth of knowledge or approach the level of articulation Good has. But the self-honesty & effort in the narrative of his blog is something to aspire to.
(Aside: The site is http://www.matthewgood.org/. I’m not linking to it since I’m shy about linking to a stranger’s blog. If you decide to check it out you won’t go away whistling Dixie; Good is an easy enough person to dislike or disagree with.)
On a somewhat lighter note, the other blog I not-so-secretly admire is Jim Groom’s bavatuesdays (listed in my blogroll). Jim was actually a key part of me even trying to blog in the first place. He was a co-instructor with Claudia Emerson in the Online Literary Journals class I took with them. He introduced us to WordPress & inspired a lot of us to even try out this whole blogging thing.
I could gush & tell you all the wonderful reasons why I ❤ Jim Groom but I digress. The reason I keep tabs on bavatuesdays is mainly because it’s an example of how human & complex a virtual space can become. One post will be a technical exploration into fine-tuning a piece of code. Another will be a discussion on noir movies. Another will be about the availability of higher education & how technology can help or hinder that process. In the end, bavatuesdays is this great example of how a blog can encompass the professional & the personal & make it accessible to others in a meaningful way.
(Aside: for more of Jim’s views on “connection”, click here.)
So, going into this new year, I’m going to try to approach blogging is a different way. In a way that is open, but as a way that seeks connection to others. In a way that is honest & self-aware, but as a means of personal integrity. Something that is thoughtful but doesn’t take itself too seriously. Let’s see what happens.