Last week while driving home, Sir Monkeypants heard a review of the movie Contagion on CBC Radio. It was by Robert Fontaine, who I have a love-hate relationship with: totally respect his opinion on movies, hate the way his constant mugging for bon mots means we have to listen to terrible pun after terrible pun.
So he’s reviewing Contagion, and in this particular movie, there’s a deadly virus on the loose. The authorities have asked the press to keep a lid on things, to avoid hysteria, but then word leaks to some bloggers (oh no, NOT THE BLOGGERS), and all hell breaks loose. Mad terror, lies and exaggerations thrown about, PANIC.
And Robert quotes the movie (and I’m sure he rubbed his hands with glee at the cleverness of this line), and says:
“A blog isn’t real writing. It’s graffti with punctuation.”
Sir Monkeypants came home and told me what he had heard and wanted to know what I thought about it. And here’s what I think:
That’s not true.
I think non-bloggers often have the perception that bloggers are either a) attention-seeking reporter-wannabes, who often say inflammatory things or even make up rumours about personalities, politicians, or current events, for the purpose of getting themselves talked about; or b) moms in yoga pants who go on and on and on about the unbearable cuteness of their tots.
And it’s true, both of those kind of bloggers exist.
But blog posts in and of themselves are an art form. A well-written blog post, in just a few hundred words, can move me to tears by perfectly capturing the human experience. A powerful blog post can inspire discussion, and I have changed my way of thinking from reading the thoughtful comments of other intelligent, considerate people. A blog post can tell a story just as well as an episode of a TV show; a blog can create characters as powerful as any movie; a blog can unite images with words as well as any art-house film.
I should know. I’ve seen them. I’ve read them. I’ve known them.
Just like there are beach novels and meaty classics, just like there are summer tentpole movies and thoughtful indie films, just like there’s crappy reality TV and powerful, Emmy-winning dramas – there are all kinds of blogs. Some are trashy, some are simple, some are just not your thing.
But the best ones, oh the best ones…they can be so strong. They can bring beauty to our lives. They can bring us together. They can change the world.
It’s more than just graffiti. It’s stories, it’s essays, it’s ideas.
It’s all of us.