Confessional Culture

What makes us feel the need to blog-which is the very exercise of sharing with the whole Internet world? Does it calm that flinching part of the brain that leads us to other voyeuristic deeds? In blogging are we just like the people who tell all on Oprah, Maury, Jerry, or Geraldo? Are we too the chair throwing, Baby Daddy admitting, divulging overeaters, tell all neurotics, exposed bulimics, uncloseted gays, or acknowledged obsessive compulsives?

Last night in a library management and administration class one of my fellow classmates-in discussing what makes humans choose certain theories-questioned as to whether or not we think as a society the way we do because of (what she deemed) our “confessional culture.”

I thought a lot about that idea last night. Is it true? We are a society, that I am sure most would admit is heavily steeped in “pop culture.” Disagree? Can you tell me the catchy phrases to these products: Kellogg’s Raisin Bran (“two scoops” of raisins in every box), what about “Just do-ing it,” with Nike? Or can you hum the TV themes for Bonanza, Northern Exposure, Ally McBeal, Sex and the City, or the Brady Bunch? Do certain thoughts start to swim into your head when I mention golden arches or having something your way? Don’t be ashamed Dear Reader, I too am one of you.

So, it was with these many thoughts that I drifted back to thinking about blogging. My recent addiction has been reading blogs, tons of blogs, and in doing that I have come across so many funny, sad, mundane, and depressing things. Is this what blogs, well all forms of expressionism, truly rely on? A jet propulsioned path to self loathing, self realization, self worth? What is it?

So, for any you out there, (or the two of you that I know actually read this) what are your thoughts?

Comments

Mummy Dearest said…
Hmm... If it is a cultural thing, I don't know -- I'd actually be one to argue that America doesn't really have a cultural identity like some countries, but that is a whole other argument. But if you look at pop culture, then the tendancy is certainly leaning so heavily towards being confessional that it just fell over. Look at all the shows that focus on the very intimate, very personal details of peoples' lives. We want to know about eachother, in all our messed up, kinky, sad, and odd ways. I think one aspect of this 'need to know' business is that it's a way of being real in a culture where things can tend to seem too fake or too plastic or too perfect. We crave mess. We crave chaos. We now know that the American Dream isn't real. So what is our next ideal? I think to be transparent -- to seek ourselves in others by connecting our lives with all their messy details.

I am beginning to rant, but I really like where your post has taken my mind...

Ha, just as I wrote that, I remembered something: a writing prof of mine in college said that when people say "Oh, I'm starting to rant..." they should keep going because it is usually at that very moment when they begin to hit on the truth.
Nathan said…
I like to eat chocolate with my toes. Have I said too much?
Nathan,

You are a disgusting human being!

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