Blog. Blog blog blog blog blog.
I’ve done this before and failed miserably.
I used to try to post regular blogs back in the days of MySpace (oh so long ago).
I even tried to transition to a formal blog page, but I didn’t get very far.
The problem for me is I tend to write fairly slowly when it comes to writing anything of substance. Frankly, I also tend to write fairly slowly when what I’m writing has no substance whatsoever.
Lately, however, I’ve been stringing together longer pieces of coherent thought. In the past two weeks I’ve written two nearly complete pieces of current events commentary. The Arizona shooting got me writing, and the recent events in the Middle East have kept it going…
Here’s the thing…for most people, reading the news from the Middle East is like reading an unfamiliar complicated serial comic book. Very intense things are happening, people are continually referring to things that happened in the past, you don’t really know who any of the characters are, and the whole thing – let’s be frank – seems a little implausible.
So maybe a few weeks later, or a few months later, you pick up another issue of the comic book. You still don’t know what’s going on, you’re no clearer on the back story, the whole thing still seems implausible, but you recognize one or two of the characters.
But at some point you pick up that comic book and something happens – a particularly snappy piece of dialogue catches your eye, an oblique connection clicks into place, a friend who’s been following the story explains one of the characters’ background, you recognize a recurring motif…for whatever reason you become engaged.
That’s where it starts. That’s when you get hooked. Some people never get there, some people are brought there by circumstance, some people are born there. Me, I’m not sure when the bug bit me, but I’ve been watching the Middle East for quite some time, and 2011 is shaping up to be a very interesting year.
Today, my old friend Ray mentioned that he had been enjoying some of my recent Facebook rantings on Middle East geopolitics (I have an insatiable need to provide context) and he suggested that I take up blogging in the public sphere.
I once saved Ray’s life in the parking lot of a diner in central Pennsylvania.
There is a Chinese saying, “if you save a man's life you are thereafter responsible for him.” It is, therefore, not for my own selfish needs for attention and ego gratification, but rather out of obligation to Ray that I accept his commission and set myself to the noble work of blogification.
If reading the news from the Middle East is like reading an unfamiliar comic book, think of me as that guy who’s been following that comic for years and feels a compulsive need to explain who everybody is and why they’re doing what they’re doing. But not just that comic book…I’ve also been reading all of the spinoffs, the team-ups, the one-shots, the crossovers, and the graphic novels. And I’m here to tell you all about them. You’re welcome.