A recap of 2 weeks of blogging


This is a response to a call from Jane to post today on anything we learned/value/wonder/… from/about/… blogging. Admittedly, this blog is barely a few weeks old, but I have been blogging (on and off) for some time, and especially these last weeks I have been doing a lot of ‘research’ on the subject (solely for the benefit of my own blog, obviously, not because I – imagine – like reading blogs). For what it’s worth: my list of wonderings.

  • I love blogs of strong, self-confident women with children and a good sense of humor.
    It is so predictable I am slowly turning into a cliche myself. I always try the “intellectual” blogs, with views on actuality and politics, with new scientific discoveries and Big Opinions on moral and social issues – I feel I should know about these things. Form an opinion of my own. Truth is, in most cases I couldn’t care less and all I really wanna read is how yoga elicits murderous feelings on a beautiful morning and which weirdo jobs people have practiced over the years. It makes me feel like a voyeur, peeking into other people’s lives. I only comfort myself with the idea that, if they didn’t want me to know, they wouldn’t put it online. The strangest thing is, while blogging is supposedly a men’s world and all, I only encounter women’s blogs. Or maybe those are the only ones capable of keeping my interest. Now there’s an idea.

  • American people are religious.
    And not only that, they are very much into the whole empowerment thing. I know this observation seems to have nothing to do with blogging, but it is only through blogging that I come to understand the religiousness of American people. Or rather the omnipresence and naturalness of it. I have never set foot in America (for the record, I’m European), and while I got a faint media-based idea of the average American as a conservative God-bless-America capitalist (fortunately, friends have assured me reality is different), I always had the idea that this whole religion thing was but a cover up. Just an excuse to accomplish a hidden agenda. I think I still don’t grasp the full impact of religion on people’s lives, but it just strikes me – people BELIEVE. Small things: “Today after church …” Huh?! They talk about their church and community, they sign comments with ‘God bless you’. They go to Bible study groups – I think I couldn’t even go to one if I wanted to, solely for the lack of it. They quote the Bible in their posts! And this comes from people who otherwise profile themselves as Democrats (which, as I understand it, is the more ‘progressive’ party?). When I cry out : “my god” (mind the small caps) or “Jesus Christ”, it’s just… something I’ve taken over from television. Not in America. To someone who can count the number of friends and family going to church weekly on one hand (mostly out of habit rather than out of conviction), it is a VERY strange experience. But interesting, too.
  • Everybody uses my layout.
    Ok, this probably isn’t true. But about half of the blogs I am following has the same layout as mine. The other half has layouts which I have considered. It’s creepy.
  • Republicans don’t blog.
    Again, probably not true – maybe WordPress is a Democrat bastion which Republicans refuse to use, I don’t know. If it matters what kind of ketchup you eat to be politically correct, I imagine the blogging platform is even more important. Either way, it seems that I only get to read blogs from people with Democrat sympathies. Which may not be so strange in itself (lots of explanations possible), but what strikes me the most is that I KNOW these things. And I’ve been reading those blogs for … 3 weeks? Any other nationality bloggers I haven’t a clue how they would vote (and I follow Portuguese, French, British, Belgian, Canadian, …), but Americans seem to have this need to position themselves. You’re not just American, you’re a Democratic American or a Republican one. One person seemed to be undecisive, and actually wrote he had trouble finding a job cause future employers couldn’t figure out whether he was a Democrat or a Republican. What’s that all about? Meanwhile I still don’t know the difference between the two. I urgently need to visit this country.
  • All bloggers want to be writers.
    Okay, again, maybe not all. But the number of journalists is astounding, and many bloggers seem to either have finished a novel, are in the process of writing one, are thinking of writing one or simply just aspire to be a writer while knowing perfectly well they’ll never get there but maybe if this blog-thing works out they’ll get the confidence to one day sit down and start (wow, quite the sentence there). The worst part of that is… I’m one of them, lol.

  • Reading blogs is addictive.
    No further comments required.

9 responses »

  1. I LOVE this post. Adore it! And so glad I found you through my little challenge (and sneaky attempt to procure gifts for my celebration). I’m hoping I fall into the first category of bloggers you mention (strong, self-confident women with children and a good sense of humor) but am now insanely curious where you think I fall in the other mentioned category (Republican or Democrat).

    So wonderful to have found you! I look forward to reading more of you as your blog grows. Here’s to your one year anniversary in 2011!

    • Wow, that’s like the nicest comment. Ever. (not that I have had many, mind you) And rest assured you indeed fall into that first category ;). As for the other one… let’s say I wouldn’t like you to be Republican – wouldn’t let it keep me from following you, though! Thanks for stopping by and commenting, I hope I won’t disappoint! (ooh, the stress, the pressure!)

    • Thanks! A Republican, ha? *takes the intrigued look of a biologist who encounters a species about which she has heard a lot but has never seen in real life* Looking forward to learn more about you! **

      PS. like your name (odd to say, but never heard it before, i like it)

  2. American woman here. Not all Americans are religious, but those that are defend their positions very strongly. It’s something that’s ingrained in us, because our struggle for independence was partially a struggle for religious freedom. Religion has become intermingled with politics quite a lot here in the last ten years, and people who are conservative Republicans are often very religious. It doesn’t follow that people who are liberal Democrats are not religious, but they do not often use God and the Bible to help clarify their points of view, whereas a lot of conservative Republicans do.

    Churches here help to build community, so a lot of people who go to church regularly might not be strongly spiritual, but might be more interested in the community aspect of church.

    Also, I have found that there are a lot more strongly religious blogs in the blogosphere in America than there are strongly religious people I meet and am in contact with every day. I think if you visit America you might find it pretty…Godless, compared to what you’ve read in blogs.

    Identifying yourself as Republican or Democrat is important because it’s a shortcut for your opinions about life in general. I personally don’t think this is a very reliable way to communicate your identity to people, but a lot of people in America feel very strongly about their political beliefs (i.e. their beliefs about life in general), and they want to make sure they’re understood. In the last 10-20 years, the two parties have become highly polarized, on extremely opposite ends of the political spectrum, because the country on the whole has become more conservative than it was in the 1960’s and 1970’s. So identifying yourself as one or another (supposedly) helps people to understand right away how you feel about the war in Iraq, gay marriage, abortion, government spending and programs, and other issues that matter a lot to American citizens right now.

    I hope that’s helpful. :)

    • It certainly is helpful! I know I did picture things a bit black-and-white in the post but it was not exactly the place to discuss the topic(s) extensively.

      Here it is generally so that the younger you are, the less religious you are. Religion is regarded as something from old times, old fashioned – I am talking religion, not spirituality, most young people are spiritual to some extent, but they rarely do something with it. The we-have-science-now-to-explain-everything kind of attitude. That a developed country such as America is still so heavily intertwined with religion is difficult for me to understand, especially with regards to the intermingling with politics. There should be separation of church and state, but still the argument “God doesn’t want gays to get married” seems to be valid in the whole discussion. I cannot grasp that – at all.
      The community argument you make is a good point, I hadn’t considered it as such – I’m guessing people here have found other communities to engage in, since you will get strange looks if you’re under 40 and engage in a church community.

      I could imagine that on some topics you agree more with the Democrats, on others with Republicans, but this doesn’t seem to be the case. It’s all or nothing and people rarely change opinion : once you’re a Democrat you stay a Democrat. I’m not sure why you should have to position yourself as one or the other in a daily situation – if I’d hire someone I would want that person to be fit for the job, I don’t really care how he feels about gay marriage, it’s a free country and everyone’s entitled to their opinion, as long as he works well, why bother? But in America it’s apparently possible to yes or no get a job based on your political views.
      It is also funny that you mention Democrats and Republicans (always with capitals! this, to me, is both funny and indicative of the importance of it) are on opposite sides of the spectrum. To me, they are not – based on what I hear both are pretty much right wing. Now I should say our media gives a pretty colored image of American politics, with Democrats as the “good, sensible” people and Republicans as the “stubborn, conservative” people – this is part of the reason why I am happy now to see some of the ‘real’ Americans and their points of view, to get a more realistic image. But it’s a culture shock :). Although unfortunately I understand perfectly the more conservative turn society has got, there is a similar evolution here :/.

      Thanks for you reply, I’m sure not finished in understanding all of American society, but I’m learning. Come again!

  3. Pingback: Sweden in a nutshell « A World of Lies

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