Friday, January 15, 2010

Shallow Sallies

In light of the terrible tragedy in Haiti, I've decide to postpone the rest of my posts regarding the planning of an alien culture until next Thursday. All those who commented on the various blogs, including Facebook and MySpace will be entered in the contest. I appreciate your input and I'll announce the winner a week from tomorrow.

In the meantime, I ponder a disturbing trend that seems on the increase. As I wander from blog to blog on my list that I read, I confront more and more blogs with shallower subjects. That doesn't bother me. What bothers me is the evidence that the "lowest common denominator" attracts the most attention.

Blogs about popular television shows, coffee brands, sexy men, boot brands and whether or not blonds have more fun puzzle me. What's the point? Why are fifty commenters compelled to write about whether or not they prefer chocolate or coffee?

There are other blogs out there. Yes, there are. They deal with more serious issues such as human rights or the poor or the state of the world. And two or three readers comment. Sometimes. But no dialogue seems to continue. It it because we feel helpless to do anything about those issues? Or do we truly not care?

I'm old enough to recall when the environmental issues such as recycling first gained recognition. There were those few who immediately committed to making a difference in there personal lives. But the vast majority of people initially thought they were nuts. There were comments like, "nothing I do will make a difference, anyway". Now, many years later, we know that wasn't necessarily true. Every person can make a difference.

So what about other global issues? Are we afraid to speak out? Or do we really care more about how many women Tiger slept with? Is that really who we are? I hope not.



  1. I'm sick of hearing of celbrities cheating on their partners. WHO CARES? And saw yesterday that Conan O'Brien was receiving more attention than Haiti. What the hell...when did we confuse NEWS with sensationalism? EEMorrow is probably spinning in his grave.

    The recycling thing really burns me up. Why don't they make refill cartons of detergent anymore? Because it cuts into the profit margins? What about those of us who have seen our income shrink in the past 14 years?

    Makes NO sense!

  2. Oops...that should be E.L Morrow...

  3. It bothers me when a tragedy such as Haiti is ignored in favor of who's going to continue on a TV show...

  4. Exactly! Correcting myself again: E. R. Murrow! I should really do this when I've had more sleep...or coffee:)

  5. I've been watching this tragedy unfold on television all week. It's horrifying and terrible. I agree with you, Anny, we often get trivial about things in the face of the ultimate tragic events. Maybe it's a built in defense mechanism or something. We DO need to open our eyes to these issues and do what we can to help.

  6. I believe it comes down to freedom of speech and people can say whatever they like on a blog and you and I either have the choice to read it or not. Shallow? Sure. But sometimes the shallow things are a break from the tensions and pressures we are all under. So why not? It doesn't mean people don't care. As much as we all like to we cannot judge another or a blogger or commenter for what they do or say without knowing what's going on in their head.

  7. Ah, I wasn't criticizing the bloggers. What I was, um, observing was the fact that blogs with trivial subjects tend to draw more commenters than blogs with more serious subjects.

    No criticism implied. Just puzzled as to why that is...

  8. I know that Anny - but maybe tivial subjects make it easier for people to comment - that they can just have one less serious moment in their lives for 2 seconds

  9. I suppose. Just sad that it's that way.

  10. Did you see the recent list of the top 10 best-sellers in the last century? Did you notice that in the last decade the same names appear on the list (Danielle Steele, Grisham, etc.)?

    In the first part of the century, there was a mix of titles & names. In the last half, not so much.

    Is this the 'lowest common denominator' at work? Or is it just better publicity and people being offered fewer choices?

    I found the lists disturbing although I'm not exactly sure why. How much of this is the choice of people (i.e., watching Tiger Woods or choosing a type of book) and how much is what is offered to people to watch?

  11. Amarinda, you said exactly what I would have said only way better. This morning I actually said to a friend, "I haven't said a word on Facebook about what is happening in Haiti. I wonder if people think that I am callous or oblivious." I'd like to think that I am neither. For the most part I avoid political discussion. There are several reasons. One reason is that my mother and father were extremely political. To the point where it drove people nuts. When I was younger, I parroted them and also drove people nuts. Secondly, I have extremely political teenage children. Political debates are constantly raging in this house. Like my parents did before them, my children now drive me nuts. We do this all for nought. Because no one ever convinces anyone of anything.// This may seem like a divergence but it's not really--When I was younger I was a big letter writer. One time a girl that I regularly exchanged letters with complained that I never asked questions about her. She took this to mean that I was uninterested in her life. That wasn't the case at all! I tried to make every letter as interesting as I could. I tried very hard to entertain her. I thought that receiving a letter should be a little bit like going to a movie. A pleasant distraction from the boring, unpleasant nonsense of everyday life. But she saw my attempts to entertain her as self absorption. I do the same thing on Facebook. I know that the world is mostly shit. Anyone who is aware knows that. If I can make someone smile or give them one of those 'Yeah,-I-get-that! I've-felt-like- that! moments that make us feel less alone, I feel like I've done a good thing. I was in the grocery store earlier and the bagger had this had great dead pan sense of humor. He made me laugh out loud and at the end he broke character and smiled, too. More moments like that and maybe the world would be in better shape.--Also, I do do things that hopefully help people out. I just don't talk about it. (Chest pounders are annoying.)---And, I didn't think that you were criticizing, Anny. But the subject was on my mind. So, I'm glad that you provided a forum where I could say my peace.

  12. And in the end, there was some discussion. So, this is a good thing!