Two thousand and six was the year I learned to blog and continued to learn how to write. This effort has taught me that blogging is largely a benign, not particularly useful way to keep one’s self amused and to amuse a few others. Describing his reasons for writing essays, Michel de Montaigne says:
“I cannot keep a record of my life by my actions; fortune places them too low. I keep it by my thoughts. Thus I knew a gentleman who gave knowledge of his life only by the workings of his belly; you would see on display at his home a row of chamber pots, seven or eight days’ worth. This was his study, his conversation; all other talk stank in his nostrils.
“Here you have, a little more decently, some excrements of an aged mind, now hard, now loose, and always undigested.”
I draw this from “Of Vanity.” Like all honest men, Montaigne is bifurcated, at once humble and proud. He puts little effort into resolving the inconsistencies and contradictions in his nature. Using only his essays, an anthropologist from a minor world in the Large Magellenic Cloud could reconstitute our species.
“The corruption of the age is produced by the individual contribution of each one of us; some contribute treachery, others injustice, irreligion, tyranny, avarice, cruelty, in accordance with their greater power; the weaker ones bring stupidity, vanity, idleness, and I am one of them. It seems to be the season for empty things, when harmful ones weigh upon us. In a time when it is so common to do evil, it is practically praiseworthy to do what is merely useless.”
“Merely Useless” would make a good name for somebody’s blog.