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Saturday, May 07, 2005

A note for "Alfie"

"What's it all about?"
I do have a few regular readers.  And some few one-time or occasional visitors.  (BTW, that's what I like my stats engine for: seeing where my visitors come from—who referred them and where they live, which pages they viewed, etc.  It's gotten so I can tell when some of my "regulars" have visited by place, ISP and computer config, even if they don't drop a comment.) But I also have folks who've expressed interest of a sort in my blogs who don't even use a computer...
Recently, an offline acquaintance asked me, when I'd made mention in her presence of something I'd blogged, what my blog was about.
Hmmm...  I'm not a news blogger, although I do frequently note newsy items and comment on them.  I'm not a social critic blog, although I do that, too.  I'm not a chatty family-type blog or a diary/journal blog, though there are times when that comes through. 
So what is my blog about?
Whatever is going on in this maelstrom that is my thought processes. There's very little (well, apart from the manufactured crap that is put out by Hollyweird and big recording labels) that I don't find interesting in some way.  And I like looking at things from different angles, playing with ideas. 
So, this blog is a kinda real world "Being John Malkovich"-type experience, without John Malkovich, John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, et al, and featuring just glimpses inside the head of an often curmudgeonly resident of America's Third World County™.
Food, coffee, music, poetry, current events, education, personal experiences, the weird and eerie—whatever.  I fit no real niche, and this blog is pretty much just like me: comfortable juxtaposing the profound and the foolish, the vulgar and the sacred; you know, like life itself.
Formative experience relating to the juxtaposing of apparently contradictory things in life: my Baptist preacher grandfather was a truly great man.  Seriously.  His life revolved around the Holy.  But he was as common as dirt. I once heard him (in the late 1950s) answer the parsonage phone, "(His Name) Mule Barn.  Head Jackass Speaking." (It was one of his deacons on the other end of the line... )
Why, I asked him, had he answered the phone like that? (At that age, I knew there were some words I was not to use and "jackass" referring to a person was one such.) His answer:
"If the Lord could speak to a prophet through the mouth of an ass—and a hinny ass at that!—it just doesn't take much to be a preacher."
(N.B. Numbers 22:28-30* Balaam's ass was female; women preachers were unknown in Southern Baptist circles at the time of this incident—and are still rare today.)
It took me a long time to "get" what he was saying, but part of it was coming to grips with apparent contradictions (such as "jackass" in the mouth of a preacher—and not just any preacher at that, but The family patriarch, as it were).  Another part was finally just not taking myself so seriously.
So, whatever happens on this blog, it won't (I hope) be me taking myself too seriously, nor will it be locked into one set pattern.  It'll be pretty much whatever's going on in my head.  Maybe silly, maybe profound, probably some mix of the two but rarely over the edge.  OK, I lied about that last.
*28 And the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” 29 Then Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a mockery of me! If there had been a sword in my hand, I would have killed you by now.” 30 And the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden all your life to this day? Have I ever been accustomed to do so to you?” And he said, “No.”