Thursday, February 10, 2005

Am I One of Them?

One of my favorite bumper stickers is "My Kid Beat Up Your Honor Student." It's not that I condone violence. Quite simply, it's because it's a response to the "My Child is an Honor Roll Student at ____" bumper stickers that always bug me. I have no problem with parental pride -- what gets me is that the pride should be directed at friends and family members, not anyone who happens to be behind them on the road. I am a stranger, and there's no more reason to tell me that your child is on the honor roll than there is for me to rap on your window when we're at a stop light and tell you that my dog aced obedience school.

This willingness to share personal details with complete strangers has become part of our society, with all the talk shows (Jerry Springer, etc.), and the Real Worlds, and even the Reality shows. I dislike all such programming, but given how popular these shows are, maybe I'm the one that's out of touch with the norm, though the presence of the "Beat Up" bumper stickers suggests that perhaps I am not alone.

But now here, I find myself sharing my thoughts with the world at large. I tell myself that these comments are directed at my friends and family, the people I told about my blog. But at the same time, I know better -- one of my posts received a comment from a stranger (I still don't know how he stumbled across my blog, perhaps I'll learn as I get more comfortable with these things). But, I respond as the conflict in my head grows louder, he wasn't the intended recipient -- he's akin to someone reading someone else's mail. Bah -- if you want to keep it private, use real mail, even e-mail -- you know that blogs are read by strangers. I'm not bragging to anyone, I'm just saying what I'm thinking. Sure you are -- you're thinking that your thoughts are worthy of being read by others.

And that voice is right, else why would I have a blog?

Is that such a big deal? Have I started a descent down a "slippery slope," one where I too will succumb to reality programming? Or worse, will I soon attempt to get on one of those shows? Or is it just that I'm a hypocrite in that even though I don't want to know about others, I want them to know about me?

Answering the questions of the previous paragraph, no, no, no, and maybe.

As for the question before them -- I guess I have to expect that strangers will stumble across my blog, and if they find it entertaining, cool. That being said, my writing here is for my friends and family (a.k.a., you). I share my thoughts with you in this forum, just as I hope that you (not the strangers) will share yours with me in the forum of your choosing. I could e-mail you, but this is more what I'd be telling you if you happened to be in the room with me. Hopefully these posts are a little more significant than whatever pops into my head and that I tell Kathy while I'm getting ready for work (sometimes she really wishes I wasn't a morning person) -- by taking the time to type them in and edit them, I seem to be eliminating some of the lesser ideas. So I guess that's what I'm trying to accomplish here -- please don't hesitate to tell me if I'm failing.


David Lifton said...

Aaron, Aaron, Aaron,

As Stevie said, don't you worry 'bout a thing. Just keep doing what you're doing.

Speaking of that bumper sticker, my father likes to recall a story about a school budget meeting in the early 70s. One guy stood up and said he wasn't going to vote for the new budget because, paraphrased, "He drives a Chrysler, and therefore he didn't need his kid to have a Cadillac education."

I always think of this guy whenever I see a "My kid beat up your honor student" bumper sticker.

Anonymous said...

From Phil Kopp. I'm howling out loud at the fictitious scene of a man, with excitement and pride in his eyes, running up to your car window to tell you about his dog at obedience school. That could very well be the funniest thing I have thought about all day. Thanks for the laugh.