Adventures in Blogland pt Deux: They’re Everywhere!!!!

As I sat in front of  my computer aimlessly wandering through cyberspace I suddenly become aware of the vastness of it all, specifically in the land of blogs.  I mean everyone knows the world wide web is huge, it’s world wide duh, but I never realized until now that this little operation I’m running over here is literally one in a million. Maybe it’s got to do with my recent self nomination into the pool of hungry blogger’s  itching for  heavy exposure via the 2009 Black Weblog Awards, but it got me thinking about just how small my place is  in this mighty jungle. I didn’t land a slot in the finals and truth  be told that really doesn’t bother me  much, I just wish I didn’t want to be one of the finalists as much as I did. I wish that I could look at my stats and be okay with averaging 20 pageviews a day.  The life of a writer is nothing nice, in a world where cash rules everything around me the game gets rough, but I find the greatest fulfillment doing what I’m doing right now. Sitting here, clicking away at the keys, focused.My aspirations and pride are inextricably tangled in messy knotted up mass of pipe dream career goals and financial obligations I barely meet working jobs I barely like. I’m drifting though, the original premise of this exposition is that blogs and bloggers are literally EVERYWHERE. There are millions of us vying for the attention of a public whose attention span doesn’t extend too far or last that long.

In the first part of this tale I wrote about how it seems the most popular blogs are the least original, but  today I found myself asking “Is there even enough popularity to go around?” Visiting the facebook page for the Weblog Awards was just what I needed to check myself. I  read message after message, all stating the same thing. I want to nominate “so and so” blog, check it out, it’s really dope. I visited a lot of the blogs mentioned in the messages and most of them weren’t half bad. You could almost smell the elbow grease these folks put into building their sites, but the fact remained that  they would all be judged and ranked according to the opinions of someone else.  At times Iwonder to myself is this just a superficial tool for self-indulgence?  Am I an idiot for thinking somebody actually gives two cents about what I write? Am I wasting my time and skills pumping out material, not for a well respected, highly regarded publication, but for a blog that only averages 20 pageviews a day? Do I think I write better than I actually do? Much like Myspace, are blogs just another notch in the proverbial belt of cyberspace, hot today and more than likely not tommorow?  These thoughts and more fly through my head during one of my many “what is the meaning of all this” twenty something life crisis  moments. During an exceptionally manic episode I typed “blogs suck” into my search engine and found this entertaining little essay entitled “Why I Fucking Hate Weblogs”. There is one section in particular where the author lists and classifies the 10 types of people who blog. To my surprise, I found myself on this list;

The Aspiring Writer. This weblogger is probably one or many of the other weblogger personality archetypes and is using the excuse that they are an aspiring writer to justify their meaningless drivel. They’ll marvel at how wonderful it is to have a printing press in every home, or they’ll talk about how their weblog helps validate their writing and builds writing skills, steadfastly ignoring the fact that they could do the exact same thing WITHOUT a weblog and not publicly. They are undoubtedly following some other agenda or fulfilling some other need, but have found an excuse that seems acceptable in their minds that justifies the electronic equivalent to holding up a big sign that says, “Please look at me! I’m important! Listen to me!” These people need to just accept what they are and deal with it or dive on a pitchfork.

I had to laugh, it was funny as hell. All joking aside, this is truly my big flashy sign all done up with glitter and glue. This is that thing that I put all my faith and energy into believing that it will open up a whole new world for myself, a world in which I can pay my carnote in full and don’t have to dodge calls from the US. Department of Education. It’s all love though, a good friend recently reminded me I can’t place a value on my words. They’re mine and they’re powerful as they are, whether they’re paying my bills or not. Life is a trip, in every sense of the word. Sucess and failure are innevitable pit stops, and at times the path gets a little crowded with crap that serves no other purpose than to knock focus. That’s the trap of the mind I suppose, to waste time fretting about the distance or difficulty of reaching the destination, keeping yourself from enjoying the journey and perfecting yourself through the hardships, anonymity, and occasional lonliness of the grind. I guess at the end of the day the hordes of us who blog do it because we love to do it. There’s no Black Weblog Award or number of pageviews that can compete with that.


Afta College:I’ve Been Bamboozled

May 10 2008 was the date of my graduation from the prestigious Shaw Univeristy of Raleigh, North Carolina. For four years I thrusted myself headfirst into my studies and completed them, by obtaining my bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts. I began as a Mass Communications major but decided I wanted a more diverse curriculum, so I switched. Now the only proplem I find myself running into is I’m out in the world with a degree that, according to my well-meaning family, wasn’t the right degree to get. For making money, that is. Sure there’s things I can do with the one I have but, I could’ve studied English so I can teach or Law so I can be a Lawyer. If I would’ve studied these subjects maybe I would be making more than my current O’Charley’s salary but, I didn’t want to. I studied philosophy and journalism because my passions were aroused, but I’ve learned the lesson that upper escaholon five figure salaries trump earnest learning anyday.

Maybe my post college funk has got me a little delusional but I find the thought of a suit and tie, average nine to five, dissapointing at best. Not saying that landing an occupation like that isn’t respectable or imppressive, it’s just what I envisioned for myself. It’s hard explaining to your mother that creatively inspiring work matters more than a fat pay check, but then again it’s hard rationalizing that sentiment when bills are due. The child in me feels lied to, like the adults in my life hyped up a college education as the skeleton key to all doors of oppurtunity. That’s only partly true. The truth as I’m beggining to see it now is all degrees aren’t created equal and the only ones that truly matter are the ones that snag you an above average salary. Now they tell me that If I really want to make it, I need to get my masters. Really, I would love to further my education but I’m just not feeling it too much this time around. I would go for the enviroment, for the mental stimulation and the transferrence of  theories and point-of- views. I would go for the  comraderie and knowledge that can be found on a campus, but what will be the cost? I just about had a nervous breakdown trying to work full time, fight the inevitable social and emotional battles of young adulthood, keep enough money in my account for rent, groceries and gas, all while racing toward commencement. Uncle Sam already has his hands deep in my pockets to get back that loan for my previous education so, the idea of taking on more debt at this stage in the game isn’t too appealing to me.

I don’t know about the bulk of my peers, but I feel had and strangely understanding all at the same time. When I look in the mirror and see these old tired eyes of mine, when my mom and I fight about the car payments, when I had to move back in with my grandma, I realized the meaning of death and taxes being the only things we will never escape. Creating a life for yourself  is not cheap nor is it as great as you think it’s going to be at 16. Not to sound morbid, life can be a fun ride, it’s just the pressure of the dog eat dog, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, captalist, rat race mentality that get’s me down. We shouldn’t have to feel we must make enourmous amounts of money or attain a certain title just to be percieved as making it. In our present reality we have vivid depictions of the good life all around us, taunting us from VH1 speicals, commercials, and music videos.We shouldn’t have to choose between what we really want and what someone else tells us we need. I believe that we all have a calling  that will lead us to all the things in this life we desire, we just have to be brave enough to follow it. The problem I find is most people will make you feel foolish for  listening to the subtle voice from within instead of the blaring cat call of the almighty dollar. Do any of you other post- collegiates or twenty- somethings feel the same way ?