Powerless Thinking

So – it has occurred to me during this, most-recent power outage, that our dependence on electricity is greater than we’d feared. I can only imagine the travails of the early Americans, eager to share their doctrine of Manipost Destiny. By virtue of being among the finest stock ever produced by this, the greatest nation blessed by the grace of the Almighty – the proto-citizen of the Anglo-American empire had to scrape and claw his way to a solid Technorati ranking. Sure, bloggers like Tom Paine and Poor Richard got all the search abacus juice. But the hearty souls on the frontier of knowledge – the Plowing Edge – could still gather a big flock of readers… as long as they lived in areas with a modest literacy rate.

Imagine how hard it was on them to bang out a post – posts, being made of wood, and sometimes capped with copper. Their poor fingers tapping away at nothing, as the manual typewriter was not yet invented. They just mashed their Blackberries with both thumbs, until they had finished writing, or making cobbler filling, whichever came first.

The early bloggers had a keen sense of ownership of the medium. So much so, they ridiculed and shouted down anyone who wasn’t a hardcore “coder.” Those who weren’t “coders” found themselves buried under the weight of thousands of dots and dashes – and since the comment system involved third-parties with ponies, it was rarely worth the trouble to respond.

The early blogs were marked by serious discourse: Paineful Truth, Federalista, and Paul Revere’s Oneifbylandtwoifbysea.blogspot.com. Other blogs didn’t generate the same level of traffic – like the unfortunately titled My name is Mudd which was shut down shortly after being Dugg following the Lincoln assassination. Those damned conspiracy theorists wouldn’t let up on the Booth-Mudd connection.

prezhiltonNot all early blogs were so serious. PrezHancock.com carved out a niche in buying up daguerreotypes of those saucy and rowdy Vanderbilt children, and drawing funny captions on them with a silver marker. “Ouch, my nethers doth itch” spake lady Victoria! What a riot! LOLirishOnce the captioning technology became commonplace, a number of rustic blogs started chronicling a meme called “LOLIrish”, featuring those ne’er-do-well immigrants no one wanted. “Im in ur cuntry – feedz me” and “potato blite eatz all our spudz” and “I R after ur luckie charmz”.

Those early bloggers that paved the way for me deserve more respect than they are getting. I already feel a kinship with them – a bond across time – a shared pain. In my own way, I am roughing it, typing this all on a blackberry while enduring a power outage that has lasted more than seven hours now. Can you imagine going seven hours without checking your comment administration panel? The waits are a test of mettle, and I will not be denied entry into their inner circle. (Granted, their blogrolls are branded buckskin, and I don’t link back to them but SO what? I friended them at smokesignal.com and not so much as a reply. That Ben Franklin is nothing but a link-love-whore.)

[tags]Ike Pigott, Occam’s RazR, parody, humor, blogging[/tags]

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