Saturday, March 18, 2006

Why I Blog

That is the question I have asked myself as I pondered entering this vast universe of electronic communication. Why would anyone care what I think about the latest episodes of “24” (pure genius) and “Beauty and the Geek” (a completely different kind of genius) or the world’s best barbeque (Memphis style – Corky’s in particular, if you must know). These are interesting enough thoughts, I suppose, for those in need of such thoughts, but they would be insufficient to spur me to write on a regular basis because, to not put too fine a point on it, I am lazy. Why chain myself to a keyboard when it is so much more fun to read the latest issue of Ultimate Spider-Man.
If I was to enter this arena, I needed to know why. So after several minutes spent wracking my brain, I have decided that these are the 4 reasons why I decided to blog.
1) Community.
For all of the criticism of the Internet, one of the things it does well is the creation of a virtual community. Now virtual community should not be a replacement for real community any more than the Kroger generic brand of Lucky Charms should replace the real, glorious thing. But over the last year, my teaching load has turned rather heavily to graduate courses and Greek courses, as a result limiting my exposure to the broader student body. Now I am not complaining about this as a rule since there are several occasions where the broader student body should be avoided, but I do feel lessened by the loss of that connection. I hope that this enterprise might allow me to stay connected to students in some small way.
I also suspect that most human beings are a curious riddle of contradictions. I, for instance, am a very private and introverted person, yet I crave community. If this blog allows me to encounter and connect with others beyond the student body of my college, then I will be a happy hermit.
2) Avoiding the “dinosaur” label.
At my college, I teach a course titled “Youth, Media, and Religion” in which we explore the intersection of religion with popular culture and electronic media. In short, this blog is one feeble attempt to stay only three steps behind my students in this area.
3) Pop Culture: The Serious and the Absurd
As someone who teaches courses on pop culture and religion, I frequently find myself assaulted by thoughts on both the seriousness and absurdity of our culture. Unfortunately, unless I am teaching a class at that time where such thoughts are relevant, they are quickly replaced by other more significant thoughts such as “What’s for lunch?”
So I hope to use this venue as a way to get these thoughts out of my system, preferably before lunch.
4) Practice makes writing less bad.
For an author, I have been writing surprisingly little lately. I would like to blame this on the time pressures of having young children and the stresses of teaching, but the truth can found in the first paragraph of this entry: I am lazy. If blogging on a semi-regular basis can ignite a writing fire, then I will be well-served.

So what you can expect from this blog are frequent rants and maybe even an occasional insight on both the serious and the absurd in American culture. That is, when I take time to write. After all there are other important things in life that demand our time. In fact, I think I hear the latest issue of “Ultimate Spider-Man” beckoning.


At 5:25 PM, Anonymous John R. said...

I think I am going to enjoy your blog. Even though I sat in your company for four years I could never hear the thoughts in your head that caused you to sit back and smirk at the world. Now I will be able to hear the jokes that you were too quiet to share. I look forward to hearing about the world that you see.

At 2:49 AM, Blogger Big Mike Lewis said...

What's next? A account?

At 4:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great site


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