Online

The ecstasy of the ordinary

Andy Rau

Roberto Rivera y Carlo talks about the narcisissm of MySpace and the dull "ordinariness" that characterizes most blogging. If you're like me, you're growing a bit tired of articles bemoaning the banality of blogging--and fortunately this is not such an article. Roberto thinks we ought to learn to appreciate the beauty of the ordinary, in the tradition of GK Chesterton and the apostle Paul:

What's wrong with being ordinary? A lot, if you live in a culture like ours that has turned "ordinary" into an epithet, a synonym for "mediocre." Then, the fear of being (or appearing) "ordinary" exceeds the fear of possible humiliation or any other repercussions of inappropriate disclosure. [...]

Turning "ordinary" into an epithet requires forgetting (or denying) that "ordinary" is the stuff that real life is made of. "Ordinary" comes from the Latin ordinarius meaning "customary, regular, usual, orderly." How we handle the ordinary — and not how many people know who we are — is the standard against which we should measure our lives. It, and not some fleeting (or even not-so-fleeting) attention, is what gives our lives significance. (For the Christian, it's what Jesus meant when He said, "He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much.")

An interesting take on things. Much has been written (often by non-bloggers) about the mundanity of most blogs; and while there's a point to such criticism, it's usually accompanied by a healthy dose of condescension towards the masses of bloggers faithfully chronicling their thoroughly ordinary adventures. There's a definite streak of self-obsession in the blogging world, but really, what's wrong with just chatting about the everyday things that matter to you?

(Something to keep in mind next time you read, or are tempted to write, a thrilling blog post about what you had for lunch....)

Topics: Online