Appearances: Modernity and Post Modernity:
Blogging claims them both. It, being a new type of text, a still unclassified species of practice (documentation? soft quotidien philosophy? diary? a psychological indicator for silence and loneliness? a hybrid of them all?...), perhaps even a new genre in writing, where technology decides sometimes on details and inspires or undermines inspiration, seems to be offering new dynamics. Especially in societies in which news and analysis are not well trusted.
Beyond appearances: Reactionary Thinking:
People rush to express the most mainstream ideas, to enter again the stockyard of "legitimate" and pious thinking. So that in the end, they form clear-cut brotherhoods: the protectors of law and order and the pro-western from the other side. Some blog authors that just suggest tolerance and respect for personal choices, directly become the synonym for treason. The conspiracy theories are an obsession in this part of the world. If someone suggests that there is space for someone to talk about his/her emotions beyond the framework of marriage, this someone becomes directly an equivalent for necrophile, pedophile, zionist, drug-addict, pro-american and I do not know what. Many point at him/her with those long moral fingers. (Of course, I suspect that many of these people queue outside the Embassy of the Empire trying to submit their immigration papers, or outside the European smaller castles of Success and Promise).
Case Study: Please go through all what Qwaider managed to collect. A simple story in reality:
A young student who identifies himself as gay, asks Qwaider Planet to accept his blog in his blogroll. He promises that he will be talking basically about his emotions, and how he sees his life in Jordan, as member of this "minority". No pornography issues or profane talk are implied in his blog. Qwaider asks his readers to suggest their own point of view. The result is very interesting. The debate still unfolds very revealing ideas, complexes and excuses in the place of arguments. The mothers try to protect their children. The believers try to save the souls of the poor readers, the politicians ask us not to forget Zionism and the immoral West. The hygienists try to talk about diseases, mental or bodily.
When I was in high school, the teachers were avoiding to teach Cavafy's poems on the excuse of his homosexuality.If they did, they were doing it with the rapid, distant voices that we knew from the mathematician when he was presenting geometrical theoremata. The real reason was that they wanted to avoid tricky questions from the students, they did not want to do the great preparation that this poet demands, they did not want to put themselves in front of questions such as: "Why do I personally like this poetry?" or "Why this poetry is considered great and a turning point?"