Saturday, May 12, 2007

Echo Chamber

People who visit the Subway Rambler regularly may well find themselves asking one fairly obvious question: if this is a blog, then where the hell are the links? That's a good question, and it deserves a poorly thought out and quickly typed answer.

I guess if you're expecting to open this, find a link to a Washington Post OpEd piece, and then a point-by-point argument of just where the author's reasoning went wrong, you're bound to be disappointed. The medium of the blog has been around long enough to set up certain expectations - and people who know me well enough know that I never meant a weakly reasoned political argument that I couldn't counter with some fairly hazy statistics of my own - so just why is the Subway Rambler just so goshdarned internal?

Two reasons:

1) I think the 'blogosphere' is going a long way towards demolishing what little remains of sense and politeness in political discourse that remains in our country ("What? A platform that instantly allows me to broadcast my drunken assertions across the world instantly? And ANONYMOUSLY?!? Fuckin' sign me up, dude!")

2) If there's one thing I've realized over the years, it's that there's nothing duller than listening to someone else's opinions as there is reading about them, at length. Especially mine.

The scary endpoint of that realization is the knowledge that only stuff that's in my head about me is worth anyone's time reading about, because it's the only thing I'm an expert on. And I mean, the only thing.

I'll put it this way: in Douglas Adams' last Hitchhiker book, Mostly Harmless, there's an extended sequence where Arthur Dent crashlands on a pre-industrial planet. At first, he thinks he'll wow them with all of the technological wonders that he'll recreate for the populace, but then he comes to the stunning awareness that he has no knowledge how anything mechanical works. Not even a ball point pen.

In the end, he becomes a shaman-like figure in their society by doing the one thing he knows how to do that they haven't figured out, yet - he ends up as the revered Sandwich Maker.

So, consider that an apology for why the Subway Rambler is just so solipsistic, and advance warning for the continuance of that policy. All you'll get from the Subway Rambler are the humid contents of my own head, yesterday, today and tomorrow. It's DaveLand! You must be this tall to ride.

Since I (wholly unfounded) consider myself to be an informed scholar of certain segments of the arts, there will be music, movie and comic reviews (possibly), and I'm sure my rambling will occasionally comment, pro or con, on current societal trends (see points 1 & 2, above), but as far as wars, elections, and pogroms are concerned, I promise to be reliably mute.

Unless you meet me in a bar and give me a beer. Then I'll show you just how truly specious my opinions can be.


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