April 9, 2004

The political and the nonpolitical blog. Nina is wondering why she doesn't feel like blogging about politics. Brayden King is commenting on a recent Time article about family blogs and weighing in on the big subject of "Domestic blogging and the separate spheres myth." Apt. 11D has a list of things currently excluded from her brain, and she's linking to This Woman's Work, a "mommy blog" that the Time article talks about. Here's a blog called The Mommy Blog. The subject of a blog gender gap is on the table. It's been noted that political blogs, which tend to be the most popular, are much more likely to be written by men, but I don't think it's necessarily a woman thing to turn away from the political right now. Gordon recently noted a lack of interest in writing about politics.

I think it makes a lot of sense, after the primary season, to ignore the Presidential campaign as much as possible. There's no reason for a moderate like me, who might end up voting for either candidate, to follow the campaigns right now. For one thing, it's not fair to Kerry, because I find him a boring speaker and I'm really going to get tired of him if I pay any attention to him. For another thing, I can't think about him seriously until I know what he plans to do in Iraq, and he hasn't said what he will do. (Will, meaning, in the future. How the past might have been different is not going to determine my vote. And don't try my patience by telling me that I can infer what he will do in the future from what he asserts he would have done in the past.) He has no motivation to take a position on Iraq until closer to the election: why should he pin himself down when events are in flux?

The Presidential campaign affects what too many people say about too many things, and that causes me to turn away from a lot of subjects that might otherwise be bloggable. Take yesterday for example. I couldn't bear to watch Bob Kerrey and Richard Ben-Veniste bully Condoleezza Rice. I couldn't watch The Daily Show, formerly my favorite TV show, because Jon Stewart has put partisanship over comedy and has sunk to a smirking hostility toward everyone in the Bush Administration. His take on Condi Rice's testimony last night was to assume everyone believed she couldn't have defended the Bush record and, for a joke, to have her responding to their questions by babbling in Spanish (??). I can also page through The New York Times a lot faster because every political story seems framed to undercut Bush.

One thing I like about blogging is that it lets you see a pattern emerging over time: the blog preserves a record of what has caught my eye from day to day over the months. Part of what I see is my aversion to politics and a search for the things about life that are not politics, but that does tend to bring me back to politics some of the time. Basically, I like miscellaneous commentary that is indirectly personally revealing, because it lets readers see that emerging pattern of things that caught your attention from day to day.

I do, however, avoid revealing personal facts about my family, so this would never be a "mommy blog." My sons are adults, anyway. It's easier to write about really young kids because they don't read what you say and get mad and demand that you quit invading their privacy and embarrassing them. Babies have no idea that pictures of them are being put up for all the world to see.

UPDATE: Whoops! No sooner do I write that than Prof. Yin puts up a picture of his new baby! Very cute! Congratulations!

No comments: