Object Becomes Subject

Last night when I put up that “Let’s Introduce Ourselves” essay, I stated my genuine motivation for doing it right up front: I didn’t want myself or anyone else here to feel like an “outsider.”

Then, when my brain started winding down and I went to bed, some things came together for me that I’d like to share with all of you. It has to do with a quote I included in my last diary here from a book titled The Culture of Make Believe by Derrick Jensen where he is having a conversation with a friend about the similarities between corporations and hate groups:

He said, “They’re cousins.”
I just listened.
“Nobody talks about this,” he said, “but they’re branches from the same tree, different forms of the same cultural imperative…”
“Which is?”
“To rob the world of its subjectivity.”
“Wait – ” I said.
“Or to put this another way,” he continued, ” to turn everyone and everything into objects.”

I think one of the things that is most seriously wrong with our culture today is the march towards objectifying everyone and everything. Those of us in the so-called “blogosphere” are extremely vulnerable in our conversations to becoming ojectified into nothing more than our screen name. The medium encourages that. And its when the human being on the other side of the ethernet becomes nothing more than a screen name that some pretty ugly things happen.

But when there are lives and people on the other side of that screen name, the equation is changed. I might someday disagree vehemently with snud (I certainly hope so anyway). But that picture of himself and the story he told last night will forever be in my mind when I do so. Hope you don’t mind me picking you out of that line-up snud – but you made me laugh, cry and wonder in amazement with just one picture and a few words.

So thanks to everyone who participated in introducing themselves over the last 24 hours. Hopefully we reduced the objectification quotient around here a bit in the process.

And if you wanted to introduce yourself in the other diary, but didn’t, feel free to do so here. Go ahead you lurkers…we’d love to hear from you.


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  1. ’cause i was concurrently hosting my own..but i have it hotlisted to go back and read when im not so busy. 

    i would love to see that sense of ‘connection’ with others established firmly on this site, and i dream of the day when hockey fans and non-hockey fans can hold hands and sing ‘the good old hockey game’ together….  😉

    (i guess i should have made my radical pro-hockey agenda more clear in my drive-by intro last night…sorry)

  2. of this site and its size for now. I have by interacting gotton to know a different side to some names I read on that Big one. I do think if your active in a blog community you get to know peoples online personas, which you fill in with your own fantasies, the mystery is fun. As a visual artist I have cartoons in my head of different bloggers which are highly entertaining, and probably totally inaccurate.

  3. … some very good points here.

    I agree it’s a lot harder to get into mischief with someone (i.e., making assumptions) when you know a little about them.

    The question then comes in — how do we include folks who come in a month or two months on?  Because right now, we have turned all of us into “insiders.”

    One thing I noticed over at Daily Kos was the big fuss about UID numbers, whose was lower, etc.

    Fact is, with the recent dust-up, it bonded many of us in a way folks coming to this site even next week won’t experience.

    So the challenge is to keep including folks, constantly expanding our welcome and opening our hearts wider to include every person to comes to this site — making sure they feel included.

    It’s a tall order, but I think we can do it if we put our minds to it.

    Great diary, NL — I agree with what you are saying here.


  4. Some non-political group blogs have a request in the FAQ that new members introduce themselves during their first comment. It might be nice to choose a venue – Pony Parties or Muse in the Morning, etc in which to do that. I mentioned Muse because Robyn is such an advocate for inclusiveness, and because she guides and teaches so well. It would also help to gain readership since not everyone has the time to read Muse when it is published (I think IIRC that the West Coasties especially find that time period one in which they usually have difficulty).

    But given that Robyn likes “slow-blogging” and that the column is a daily feature, it might be a good camp meeting ground in which to shake hands, offer hugs, coffee and a warm welcome.

    Just typing as I think on this.

    I really like the idea of growing community continually, and I share the disdain for the use of UIDs as they don’t signify anything except as a queue and a time/date stamp of sign-up.

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