A few days ago I showed my brother one of my blog posts (the one about peeing) and asked him for his opinion, just out of curiosity. After reading the whole with an stony expression, he said, “It’s not that interesting.” Not gonna lie, I was pretty offended though not that surprised, because we’re the kind of siblings who feel obligated to be assholes to each other under all circumstances. That having said, I was still curious. And pissed off.
So I went, “Well what the fuck is interesting to you?”
“Idk. Why don’t you blog about ISIS? Or Ebola? You know, something that’s controversial and important.”
Firstly, I’d just like to point out that the obnoxious necessity to urinate is a VERY important issue. But that’s hardly the point. My brother pretty much said that current events are more interesting than personal stories, and that what’s familiar is also uninspiring. It reminded me of a discussion we had in my journalism class, in which the professor asked us what we consider “news” to be. Something urgent and political? Or something that’s trivial but close to heart? Most people would say the former, and they’d be right to some extent: news should be informative and impactful above anything else.
But shouldn’t news also have soul? Yes, we should have at least a gist of the events and crises happening around us, but does news always have to be serious and factual and grand? Why can’t it expected and ordinary? I don’t blog about ISIS and Ebola not because I don’t have an opinion but because I just don’t feel as passionate about them as I do about pop culture and my own life. Does that sound narcissistic and insensitive? Yeah, probably. But it’s the truth. Of course I’m horrified and disgusted by what ISIS is doing, and of course I wish Ebola would go fuck itself and rot in hell before it spreads to every corner of the planet. But that doesn’t mean I feel connected to those issues, despite their magnitude. Actually, maybe it’s because of their magnitude that I don’t feel the connection. They’re too horrible and too powerful to really hit me emotionally.
That sounds awful, I know, but if I do write about politics and current events I would just sound pompous and phony. I’m fascinated by abstract themes like nostalgia and hope and fear; I’m passionate about creative writing and cheeseburgers and fiction books. That’s why I blog about them. I want my writing to be authentic above all else; if that means I can only write about trivial and personal matters, then so be it.