Earlier this week, I posted on a particular entry at another blog. I then went to the blog in question, and provided a link in their comments box to my own essay. I revisited that other post last night, to find that my link had been quietly removed. After taking a look at their "rules," it would appear that, in acting as I did, I was engaged in some sort of shameless self-promotion of my blog, which this other blog owner does not permit at her own.
Who would have thought...
Now, this person lives in the DC area. She and I have never been introduced, and I'm in no particular hurry. Nor am I particularly ashamed. The reason I did what I did, was to respond with a comment as would anyone else. Sometimes I just make comments, but this time I had more to add. So I did, with a blog. That's what it's for. Also, I subscribe to what I would call The Alexander Protocol: if I write about you, I'll tell you about it. That's more than you'll get from some twit who hides behind a nom de plume, or simply behind "anonymous."
People who own their own blogs are free to do with them as they will. It doesn't make it right, it just makes it theirs. In the past month or so, I have dealt with people who think the internet is a free ride to be able to say anything they damn well please about anybody, whether it's true or not, and not be sorry about it, even when they are called on it (and you know who you are, Ken). And yet the mentality appears to be, that if your cause is a just and righteous one, all bets are off, and no holds are barred.
And yet, none of us is above correction, including me. This past year, I removed a comic strip from this page because more than one person thought it inappropriate for a "Catholic blog." They were probably right, so I removed it. We who examine everybody else with this medium often do not take enough time to examine ourselves. One very well known figure in the Catholic blogosphere has a detailed set of rules for comments at her site, placing great emphasis the importance of civility in such discourse. She may also be the Catholic blogosphere's reigning expert on an adult cartoon program entitled "South Park." It is clear from her writing that she has enjoyed the program, and probably not for its depictions of civility (inasmuch as there are none). Am I the only person viewing this who sees the irony in that?
Some people use this medium essentially to reinvent themselves, to craft a persona bearing little resemblance to who they really are. But oh, no, not here. In this neck of the woods, you get a politically-incorrect, foul-mouthed, smart-assed, irreverent curmudgeon in the making, who reads too much for his own good, has little to hide, and no claims to fame or glory. He would rather be back in Ohio jamming at an Irish pub with folks he's known since high school, than living in the same zip code with the movers and shakers of America. But we all have to "bloom where we are planted," don't we? He is a northerner by birth, a southerner by chance, and a Catholic by the grace of God -- the latter not giving cause to boast, but of the realization that, where this short breath of life is concerned, he has no place left to go.
The past year has seen a lot of changes in what is affectionately known as "Saint Blog's Parish." The medium is changing, from an augmentation of an established writing career in print, to a respectable medium in its own right. That being the case, Michael Rose, an author and journalist for whom I once wrote when he published The Saint Catherine Review, has been quoted as saying that the internet is host to thousands of what are simply "vanity blogs." From what I remember of his remarks, he would consider these as self-indulgent attempts by their authors, to tell the world of their day-to-day comings and goings, as if the world is simply dying to know. I can hear the music in my head already: "You're so vain, you probably think this blog is about you..."
Glad I don't have that problem. Usually.