During high school, I went through a stage where I wanted to be a journalist. I belonged to the journalism club and everywhere I went, my notebook and pen went with me, and I learned to observe things. I was fortunate to grow up in a family where current events, politics, religion, art, music, philosophy and literature were discussed at length every day. My father subscribed to several newspapers and magazines -- Time, Newsweek, the New Yorker, and he and my mother had a wonderful library of books available for my brothers and me to read. One of my favorite books was "The England of Elizabeth" by A.L. Rowse. The book described life in Elizabethan England, from the lowest classes to the Monarch. Elizabethans invented some wonderful recipes that are still used today, including meat and cheese pies and pastries.
Blogging seems to have taken off as a form of journalism. Blogs vary from personal journals of folks' day-to-day lives, interests, hobbies, etc. Blogging gives us the opportunity for creative freedom and interaction with people from all over the world. With the mainstream media becoming more questionable and biased in their reporting of news, bloggers are making their voices heard.
Two years ago a man named Robert Dziekanski was tasered to death by the R.C.M.P. at Vancouver Airport. They hit him with the taser four times. The entire incident was videotaped by a young man named Paul Pritchard. The R.C.M.P. confiscated Pritchard's camera, but Pritchard hired a lawyer and two days later the R.C.M.P. were forced to return it. Pritchard released the horrifying video to the public, where it quickly made its way to the blogs. The R.C.M.P. were unable to cover up their misdeed, and this month the Braidwood Enquiry is concluding its investigation of the incident. Without Pritchard's video, the R.C.M.P. would have made the whole thing quietly go away, and indeed several of the R.C.M.P. officers were found to have lied about it.
Never before in history have ordinary citizens been able to have their voices heard in such a manner. It is an amazing phenomenon. My boring-little-blog is what might be called a "slice of life". There is no recurrent theme, and I post about whatever happens to be going through my mind on any particular day. I do, occasionally however, like to post about things of which I have a strong opinion. And anyone who knows me, knows I do sometimes tend to have strong opinions. I'm not always right -- in fact very often I am wrong. But, if I think something is bunkum, I will say so. And I cherish other people who feel just as strongly about their opinions, and feel free to disagree with me. To me, the most dangerous people of all are the ones who have no opinions whatsoever, and often they called upon to make tie-breaking decisions, such as in the work place or in the voting booth. As Voltaire said, "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."
He also said, "I hate women because they always know where things are." It seems he had a sense of humor.
Blogging has become a forum where people can discuss anything and everything, and I think that's wonderful. The one thing I have learned is that no matter what part of the world we are from, and how different we are, we are all the same. People can agree, disagree -- whatever -- but we should never, ever stop the conversation. Keep it going, and keep it honest.