Blogs fill need for people who pine to opine

Mary Schmich : Chicago Tribune
Why don’t YOU have a blog?” said Sissy.

Laptop in her lap, Sissy was sitting at the Inner Self Cafe, the self-help bookstore where she and her friend, Missy, meet to talk about politics and other people’s sex lives.

Missy shuddered. “I’m not patient enough to tend it. And I’m not home enough. And I don’t have the stomach for that much poop.”

“I didn’t say dog,” said Sissy. “I said blog.”

“I know,” said Missy. “And I’m not patient enough to tend a blog. Or home enough. And I don’t have the stomach for that much poop.”

Sissy tsked. “Poop? Is that your polite term for `opinion'”?

“I have no comment. Which proves I’m no blogger.”

“And what, may I ask, is your problem with opinion?” asked Sissy.

Missy sighed. “It’s just that everybody’s a public opinionator now, Sissy. We are a nation drowning in yakkers broadcasting their opinionated yak, a society in which opining passes for deep thinking. Whatever happened to saving your opinion for the coffee shop and the dinner table?”

Sissy stretched her arms in ecstasy. “That’s the beauty of blogging, sister! Taking your opinion to the masses is no longer the private province of overpaid, big-media commentators, most of whom haven’t had an original thought since Gutenberg’s day. Now anybody with a computer can air their thoughts as if they were CNN.”

Missy sighed again. “Exactly.”

Sissy tsked again. “You are so 20th Century. Do you even know what a blog is?”

“Pass me the newspaper, please,” Missy answered.

“The newspaper?” Sissy snorted. “Newspapers are so boring. So stuffy. So full of truncated versions of the world.”

“By truncated, I assume you mean `edited’?”

“Why,” Sissy went on, “would you read newspapers–which don’t allow writers to say what they really know in the way they’d really like to say it–and refuse to read blogs like mine, which are unmediated and unexpurgated renditions of the writer’s reality.”

Missy looked up from the horoscope page. “You? Have a blog?”

“While you’re snoozing on the shore of the future, babe, I’m catching the wave.”

Missy peered at Sissy’s laptop screen. “”

“Here, take a look.”

Missy clicked several times on

“The Victoria’s Secret show,” she said. “SUVs. The Chicago teachers strike. The war in Iraq. The war in the Whole Foods parking lot. Herbal mouthwash. Wow. The breadth of your opinions is breathtaking. Have you left a single thought unwritten?”

“That’s the beauty of the blog, Missy. No idea is too big or too small. So. Do you like it?”

“I’ll admit, a lot of it’s more entertaining than what’s in the paper. But wouldn’t both of us be better off, say, taking a walk? Talking to a friend?”

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“Blogging is about talking to friends, Missy. Blogs are interactive, unlike newspapers, which just yak at you like some tedious, arrogant uncle.”

“I still don’t understand why you’d spend so much of your precious, short life blogging.”

“First,” said Sissy, “self-expression. See, I have this theory–elaborated on in my blog–that depression is simply a failure to fully express yourself.”

“Blogging is therapy?”

“It’s also democracy in action. Why should people with access to printing presses be the only ones to share news and views? Besides, I feel an obligation to help bridge the blogging gender gap. In case you haven’t noticed, a lot more men than women are blogging.”

“A lot more men are watching wrestling, too, which is fine by me.”

“You really want men to be the only ones seeding the world with their ideas?”

“No. I just don’t know why anyone of any gender would spend any more time than is already necessary in front of the computer.”

Sissy slammed the laptop lid. “Oh, just get out of my way. I’ve got some blogging to do on Michael Jackson.”

“Mmm,” said Missy. “I can’t wait to read more on that.”

Copyright © 2003, Chicago Tribune
editors note: reprinted exactly as it in the interest of our readers as the Chicago Tribune insists, wrongly, on registration to view its content.

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