Why do I blog?

Some of the discussion in my essay from yesterday caused me to think a little more deeply about why I blog. I must admit that those reasons have changed and developed over time. I know that it differs for each person, and it’s probably true that their reasons for blogging might have changed over time as well. That being said, blogging is different for everyone, some people like to get the most followers (some even use things like this instagram followers service to help them become more popular), whilst others prefer to just blog about what they like and don’t care about their social media followers. But I’d like to talk a bit about my thoughts today, knowing they might change later.

Probably like most of us, my reasons for blogging are tied to the way I think and the kind of person I am. One thing that’s been true of me all my life is that I like to dig deep and ask tough questions about the big picture. That’s why Nightprowlkitty has dubbed me “Pandora.” Yeah, I’m always trying to open the box and see what’s inside.

Another way of looking at that is a story I’ve heard so long that I have forgotten its origins. If someone knows, please tell me in the comments. Anyway, the story is about two people who notice there are dead bodies flowing down a river. They furiously work to rescue the bodies until one notices the other is leaving. When asked why, the person responds that they are going upstream to see what’s causing all this. I’ve always been one that wants to head “upstream.” In my professional life, I work to support those who spend their days trying to “rescue the bodies.” But I also spend a fair amount of time trying to understand the root causes. I think both actions are needed. Its just that I’m better suited for the later.  

All this reminds me of a wonderful poem that has, at times, been a lifesaver for me. Its from the Northwest Native American tradition. The author is unknown, but it has been translated by David Wagoner.


What do I do when I’m lost in the forest?

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you

Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,

And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,

Must ask permission to know it and be known.

The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,

I have made this place around you.

If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.

No two trees are the same to Raven.

No two branches are the same to Wren.

If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,

You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows

Where you are. You must let it find you.

I don’t think any of us would dispute the fact that we in this country are lost. What I hear in this poem is that we need to pay a kind of radical attention to the world in order to understand where we are and find our way.

To bring this to political terms, I have always been a strong advocate for impeachment. That’s why I was so intrigued by an article written by Gary Kamiya about six months ago titled Why Bush Hasn’t Been Impeached. Here are a few snips:

Bush’s warmongering spoke to something deep in our national psyche. The emotional force behind America’s support for the Iraq war, the molten core of an angry, resentful patriotism, is still too hot for Congress, the media and even many Americans who oppose the war, to confront directly. It’s a national myth. It’s John Wayne. To impeach Bush would force us to directly confront our national core of violent self-righteousness — come to terms with it, understand it and reject it. And we’re not ready to do that.

Bush tapped into a deep American strain of fearful, reflexive bellicosity, which Congress and the media went along with for a long time and which has remained largely unexamined to this day. Congress, the media and most of the American people have yet to turn decisively against Bush because to do so would be to turn against some part of themselves.

A society without memory, driven by ephemeral emotions, which demands no consistency from its leaders but only gusty patriotism, is a society that is not about to engage in the painful self-examination that impeachment would mean.

I firmly believe that until we find a way to come to terms with this violent self-righteousness, nothing much will change, not matter how loudly we yell.

So I blog to learn, have my thinking challenged, and to find the support necessary to keep on keepin on. But mostly I blog to see if we can find ways to go upstream and locate some of the root causes of what is happening in our communities, our country and our world.  


Skip to comment form

  1. why you blog.

    Or why my reasons for blogging are just so passe(is that how you spell it?) LOL.

    • Edger on February 12, 2008 at 00:31

    that you mention in you last paragraph, NL, after the invasion of Iraq. It was foreign policies and the WOT rhetoric and fearmongering propaganda that drew me in, and those things developed into me staring first my own blog and then OOIBC.

    I want the occupation of Iraq ended as soon as possible so that the fewest Americans and Iraqis die. Preferably none. Period. I also see the occupation as a specific instance of the more general doctrine of preemptive war – really imperialist hegemony – that the neocons and rethugs want to pursue. I want the specific instance ended and the mindset behind the general doctrine made politically and socially unacceptable and people who hold that mindset treated as pariahs, so that no matter which party is elected it will not happen again.

    The only way that I know to have any hope of achieving even a small part of those goals is through helping to disseminate information, through educating as many as possible about what really happens as opposed to what propaganda tells them is happening… and through doing whatever I can do to encourage a mindset of connectedness, because I think that the more people feel that what we do to others they do to ourselves, the less wars and hegemony and wingnuttia there will be in the world.

    Hence the tone and content of most of my comments and essays. I make more mistakes than most others in trying to encourage a mindset of connectedness I think, and blow it more often too. Perhaps because I try as often as I can…

    That is why I blog.

    • kj on February 12, 2008 at 00:34

    < ducks, hopes Sr. Mary Margaret isn’t holding her wooden ruler >

    • Edger on February 12, 2008 at 00:44

    it gives me a chance to post things like this…

    To everything (turn, turn, turn)

    There is a season (turn, turn, turn)

    And a time for every purpose, under heaven

    A time to gain, a time to lose

    A time to rend, a time to sew

    A time to love, a time to hate

    A time for peace, I swear its not too late

    • Alma on February 12, 2008 at 01:38

    For years online, I was just a news hound.  Searching on my own for what all was going on, but never commenting.  Then little by little, I got drawn in.  I blame Rusty.  😉

    • KrisC on February 12, 2008 at 01:59

    why I blog!

    But I find my reasons change, today I blog to forget my own immediate despair….seeing ‘other’, ‘larger’ problems put my own into perspective.

    Mostly, I blog because I want to learn.

    I enjoy your essays NL, I’m very glad you blog here.  You are a valued member of this community, thank you.

  2. I stumbled onto this blog — not my usual fare — to protect a friend who’d been given the bad side of blogging elsewhere.  Stayed for the company.  Climate sites, environmental news services, that’s been the thing until now.  No opportunity for this type of conversation elsewhere. Ever tried to discuss philosophy over a pint with a clan of climatologists?  Unless we’re drunk and then, of course, we’re very deep.


    Now, someone here has my spare tam.

    Needs washing, I suspect, but then I’ll have it back, thank you.


  3. … with this:

    I firmly believe that until we find a way to come to terms with this violent self-righteousness, nothing much will change, not matter how loudly we yell.

    Bellicose patriotism was something I was fortunate to avoid in life, probably because of my upbringing.

    But root causes … that is something I never thought of until I read your stuff and some of the other stuff in the diversosphere, especially about migrant issues from Kyle and Duke.  It really opened my eyes.

    My first blogging was on the AOL chat boards in early 2004, where I was appalled at the gutter level discourse.  While there, I teamed up with a group of folks who were doing some investigations on the Valerie Plame case — this was before a lot of the information came out in the media.

    It was exhilirating working with folks to find out the truth of what was happening in this country.  I’ll  never forget them.  It was the start of what I felt to be citizen journalism.

    From there I followed a link to TPM Cafe and started blogging there.  I found that community a little too stuffy and switched to Daily Kos.

    A lot of changes for me since then.  I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers.

    But only this past year or so have I started to understand what you are saying about “root causes” and realized its importance.

    Nice essay, Pandora.  Keep opening those pesky taboo boxes!

  4. …to your comments about why you blog. But the part about  Why Bush Hasn’t Been Impeached doesn’t ring true for me. I don’t know the current numbers but I read not too long ago that 55% of Americans support impeachment of cheney and 45% for bush. It’s the politicians who fear the “self-examination.”

  5. …I blog for the conversations with smart people and to become a better writer.  The rest…I’d like to think those conversations illuminate cause in any venue, but it’s not the reason for blogging as opposed to say, coffee.   I can’t answer the implied question, why do you write…

    • RiaD on February 12, 2008 at 15:45

    thru truthout… some link in some story led me to dkos… seems like it was before the hurricaine but i’m not sure(i have that short term memory loss thingy)

    dkos was the first time i’d found people (other than my family & mrD’s family) that thought more like i do…liberal. i watched & read for several months, then joined.

    i fell in head first & didn’t come up for air for quite sometime. i got Soo inspired there~ that there was hope after all…

    then things started changing there & i was only hanging out in the community diaries…

    & then pfiore told me about here. on opening day i joined & hardly go orange at all…usually just to support a friend from here- a quick jump in&out.

    here… here is my second home. i don’t go elsewhere, to the other blogs. i figure if it’s important someone will tell me about it & give alink.

    this is the first time i’ve hung out with women…it’s kinda strange. i’ve most always done ‘man’ work…landscaping, carpenter-ing, plumbing, mechanic-ing… & had men-friends. it’s strange, but i always kinda assume everyone is a guy until told otherwise…lol

    i come here for comraderie…

    because sometimes i feel so alone

    • kj on February 12, 2008 at 16:35

    comment with my history, etc.  deleted it.  ?!

    i love this topic but can’t find the words to express anything but:

    “Wow, god, am I glad you’re all here!”   !!!!

    • Diane G on February 12, 2008 at 17:25

    there was actually gonna be Pie.  And Cookies.  And a Pony in it.

    I blog mostly because people intrigue me.

    I blog because it is a path to bringing unity to people whose ideals had made them irrelevant in society, dismissed.

    I blog because I don’t think there is any other way to find out news unfiltered by the propaganda machine that is all things Murdoch, Faux, and Clearchannel.

    I blog because once I started writing, it became a part of me, like breathing, I needed to do.

    I blog, because it is apparently the time in my life for blogging, proven simply by the fact I am doing it. I do live on ndn time, that way.

    I still would dig a Pony.

    • Edger on February 13, 2008 at 03:46

    I firmly believe that until we find a way to come to terms with this violent self-righteousness, nothing much will change, not matter how loudly we yell.

    We are stardust

    Billion year old carbon

    We are golden

    Caught in the devils bargain

    And we’ve got to get ourselves

    Back to the garden

Comments have been disabled.