According to a recent survey, gentlemen prefer blogs to the tune of 75 percent; 25 percent of blog frequenters are female. But I want to invite all you ladies to invade the male space. What exactly is a blog? Well, it is an online journal or tabla rasa in the Internet zone where average people can post articles and comments, expostulate, and generally schmooze about topics ranging from food to politics.
It is also a retaliation against what bloggers call MSM; you know, mainstream media, such as CNN, Fox News, and the New York Times. The argument is that MSM is controlled by corporations and other insiders. The blog provides the opportunity for the little guys, or gals, to make their otherwise inaudible opinions known.
I stumbled upon this process when googling for “Schopenhauer.” It turned out Mayor Jerry Brown—formerly the Governor of California—had just started his own blog. The philosopher that he is, he had made comments about Schopenhauer, as well as about teen drag racing through Oakland, curfews for ex-convicts, and freedom of speech issues.
I figured I would chime in without telling my fellow bloggers that I have a regular column in MSM. Someone had already blasted Jerry for having the nerve to start a blog when he can be heard on O’Reilly’s Factor and Hardball.
I did not tiptoe into the medium, as I should have, but rushed in by calling America a land of parrots since 9/11, with only one line—a salute to the flag. This drew fire, and I was called a moron by some moron in the blogosphere. How dare he? He was tarnishing the reputation of blogging, straddling a fine line, butchering his chance of being graced by my deep, insightful words again.
I felt better a day later after reading the 255 entries on this one topic and finding that the anonymous and well-known—from some guy named “Smiling Simian in Shades” to Linda Ronstadt, Bruce Springsteen, Noam Chomsky, and even Jerry himself—had all been called equally insulting names. If Jerry—who is brilliant in my estimate—can be attacked, it was not a big deal anymore.
The next day Jerry posted a comment about political extremism, and I was ecstatic because I knew it was my chance to delve into my favorite topic: dead philosophers. Both he and I seem to enjoy this popular hobby.
When I mentioned how I am particularly a devotee of 17th century philosopher Baruch Spinoza, some guy who called himself “Bill Gates” (yeah, right) attacked Spinoza as “having been discredited long ago.” Excuse me? It’s one thing to fire bullets at me, but I will not stand for vitriol against my future husband—you know, in my next life.
Bill Gates went on to tell me to go live with the animals. Although he was referring to the furry kind, I politely replied, “No. I don’t want to live with you.”
Then someone named HA offered his two cents by insinuating that my carefully reasoned arguments were tedious. I asked, “Is this a mere joke as your name implies? Ha ha, HA.”
Blogging is more than entertainment. It is a way to keep the shelves stocked in the marketplace of ideas. It allows brave political souls to get input from their constituents about public policy. Eight million people have blogs and 3% of Americans read them daily.
Ladies, maybe you’ll join the trend. Bill Gates is waiting for you.
Published in the Los Angeles Daily News and in The Simon Magazine.