by Frank Schnittger
Thu Dec 24th, 2009 at 12:15:08 PM EST
I don't do Christmas cards or even the e-Christmas cards available from some websites. I don't do Christmas circular letters or emails containing annual summaries of family events to enlighten family friends and relations. That doesn't mean I don't appreciate receiving them from others. It's just that I don't ever seem to get it together to reciprocate. I am such a bad housekeeper that the run-up to Christmas always seems to be consumed with catching up with the chores I should have been doing on an ongoing basis!
Sometimes I wonder why I do this blogging thing. I never write about stuff that I should know an awful lot more about - about the stuff I worked at in 25 years of gainful employment. Instead I write about politics, social issues, climate change - subjects I have an interest in, would like to learn more about, but about which I can hardly claim to be an expert. Why, for instance, should anyone care about my take on Obama's escalation in Afghanistan?
Some of it is about me throwing up pet theories and seeing do they withstand the criticism of those more expert on a particular topic than I. That really is a great way to learn provided your ego isn't too fragile. You have to roll with the punches sometimes when you are shown up in some way.
But some of it is also perhaps an arrogance that I think I might know better than some mainstream pundits who have to be mindful of their editors or readers views. You don't want to upset the marketing boys if you are only a paid "content provider" meant to lead eyeballs to advertising or pay homage to some powerful business or ideological constituency. The truth can be so damned inconvenient sometimes.
But mostly it is simply because I love to write, to communicate, to connect with others and hopeful gain some insight into their thoughts in return. So for me, the topic doesn't matter so much as the act of creation, a piece of text, a human connection, a shared insight or experience.
And then, like many others, I suspect, I get writers block. It's not as if I go onto a huff and don't want to talk to people anymore. It's just that I don't feel I have anything particularly interesting to say. There is nothing wrong with silence, and it is much to be prefered to the noise that passes for communication in much mainstream intercourse. Sometimes silence can be a resistance as to respond only encourages those mainstream "content providers" who are trying to gain mindshare and "eyeball" share for their self-interested scripts.
Let's hope we all get more opportunities to create and connect in the next year. My apologies to all who have sent cards or messages to which I have not responded. That doesn't mean I'm not thinking of you. I also appreciate all who have read, commented or responded to my learning process here. But the best I can do by way of response is to wish you all a Happy Christmas by way of this blog post! Let's hope we will have a more peaceful and prosperous new year - one with a lower carbon footprint and greater engagement with those less fortunate than ourselves.