Monday, December 11, 2006
Hearts of Gold
To those of you virgins who are witnessing this Blog for the very first time, allow me to introduce myself. I am THE Michael. Short of hiring a private investigator or referencing my file at the NSA, CIA, or whatever entity deems it necessary to keep an eye on me, you will not know my true identity, for I have learned from the example of Salmon Rushdie that sometimes a small degree of anonymity is necessary when one dares speak his mind at the risk of offending those who seem to think that they are somehow so special that I nor anyone else should dare question their sacred opinions of themselves or what they hold to be God-given truth. If my lone voice in this wilderness is such poison to them, then may they die slowly and painfully of it, for I will not submit to silence while I draw a breath.
That little bit of "vitriol" out of the way, allow me to get to the major point of this post. As a proud proponent of the freedom of unfettered opinion, as well as the loud and sometimes grating nature of it practiced with reckless, if not well reasoned, abandon, I would beg your forbearance of my proclamation of my love for this forum of which I am a most humble and joyous participant, this medium of the modern age called the BLOG. Not since quill met papyrus has such a revolution in communications been visited upon us, all courtesy of the overwhelming need to reach out beyond ourselves and build a village free of the shackles of narrow minds that strive to sew our lips shut that they might have dominion over our very thoughts, that, and a few geeks good with code. Thanks to Blogger and other such portals, we now can venture out of our cultures and peek into others, those who despite skin color, latitude or longitude, religion, creed, economic status, or taste in music, are very much like us, in that they love life, seek love, comfort, purpose, and meaning. Most of them live in relatively free societies, some are hamstrung to some degree by the sensibilities of their cultures, while others risk their very lives and liberty to express their feelings. There are parents, grandparents, kids in college or middle school, convicts with special privileges, politicians and wanna-be legislators, teachers, firemen, pilots, and soldiers from many nations, all dipping their toes into these strange new waters and learning how to "swim" for the very first time. It's 1984 in reverse, the revenge of the nerd, the liberation of the timid, and the realm of the sublime and ridiculous all wrapped up in one wild party. You either won't do it, can't help but do it, or wish you could.
Within this vast new universe that arrived far faster than the spawn of the big bang, are cells, clusters, and whole virtual villages that never existed before, with diverse and eclectic characters that cannot be replicated exactly from one group to the next, for the total flavor of any one of these groups truly does exceed the sum of it's individual participants. When I painfully typed my first entry on my blog, I had no idea what lay before me, and felt I was destined to be a lone voice in the wilderness that no one else would care to hear, yet I was proven wrong as other voices responded, sharing the same fear of irrelevance, and reacting quite positively to the echos they heard. Along with our differences in opinions, experiences, socioeconomic situations, and geographic locations, we discovered our similarities, not always in lockstep, but still within the realm of familiarity, and it sounded good. It sounded GREAT!
I sat in awe and read the wellspring from the heart of a crusty old Aussie, shy of vocabulary, rich of wit, and wealthy beyond compare with a love of comradeship, express his desire that all those things we pined for ourselves be granted, courtesy of his gratitude for being so welcomed to our far flung commune of free spirits. Of all the remarkable authorship I have been witness to since I joined the cult of Blog, this moved me perhaps more than any I have enjoyed. His one disjointed and heartfelt post I think spoke well of all of us, the kind of people we are, with all our faults, all our delusions, all our aspirations and offerings of sage advice, and I am proud beyond measure to have met, albeit in such a far removed and roundabout way, a man I know as Whiteshake. His bite may be lethal, but his heart is solid gold.