And it was not just a snotty question – the person I spoke with was genuinely puzzled about why I sit here tapping away at a keyboard. I could tell from their questioning that I was not going to get away with an answer like ” ” ‘Coz I Can…”.
I temporized, searching for time to give a good answer. To distract the questioner I hit him in the head with a turnip and then wandered away thinking about the question. Here is the answer as best I can figure it out:
a. Weblog writing is a way of releasing tension. Admittedly retirement doesn’t build a lot of stress but there are always in-laws lurking somewhere in the week and you can feel your back muscles tightening just thinking about them.
b. Weblog writing brings you into contact with people who you would otherwise never meet. So does attendance at religious meetings and bar-rooms but writing involves less passing of the hat or passing out.
c. As you get older, fewer people are willing to listen to you. Weblog writing restores the chance to address an attentive crowd. You find out just how attentive when you put in lunatic messages or smutty typo errors. THEN you get listened to.
d. Weblog writing is a way to fame and fortune. And allows you to fly by tucking a kitten under each arm and making magical sounds. It said so in an article I read at the side of Facebook. As soon as I can gather the tuition fee to the Wabash Institute Of Liberal Arts I should be set for life.
e. All the time you spend writing on the web is time that you do not have to spend reading click bait on Facebook.
f. You can make lists with the sure and certain knowledge that people will read them. People ALWAYS read lists, possibly in the hope that they will get better eventually. Sadly…
g. No-one can say you nay. They may say a great many other things that bums used to write on the side of boxcars, but if they do they have to use the reply section of your blog page and that boosts your figures. You can always dump them in the spam if they are too bad or too good.
h. Weblog writing is largely free – the simple WordPress themes let you launch forth at no cost other than your time. If you are the CEO of a major oil company your time is worth a lot more than anything you can write, so this keeps you from getting on WP and ranting away. We all benefit.
i. Keyboard warriors who pop up and pop off on shorter pieces like Twitter or Facebook are forced to come up with more complete posts here in a regular column. It may still be noxious garbage but at least it is more developed. If they are going to make asses of themselves, we all get to see the beast in full view.
j. You can settle many things in your own mind if you write them out in an essay form. You can settle things in other parts of yourself with Gaviscon and Lomotil.
k. Weblog columns provide your enemies with ammunition to use against you in the future. Think how many presidential or prime ministerial candidates may already have been rejected for pre-selection based upon their web writings. There are probably auto-bot programs that seek this sort of thing out all the time. We may have lousy politicians now but think how much lousier they might have been.
l. On the other side of the coin, weblog columns also flush out the unreasonable amongst the readership. If you can get someone to explode into incandescent rage over a meme or cartoon, you can be pretty certain that the explodee is going to be unsuitable for marriage, monetary dealings, or minding the nuclear codes.
m. You can do it in bed – all rugged up and propped on a pillow. It is less effort than sex and unlike eating soda crackers, does not scatter itchy crumbs. If you itch after sex, you are sleeping in the wrong bed.