Breaking The Fourth Wall

It is funny to me how different people handle their blog.  I don’t have any objections to whatever other people do, but I’m not very big on self promotion.  I don’t publish my blog posts on Facebook anymore.  That won’t always be true as I have a few blog projects that I’d love to pursue and I would want to make those posts more widely viewed.  But for this series of writing, I don’t really want to pester anyone with constant reminders to read my boring stories.

I have a friend who is blogging the Lent about her background in fundamental Christianity.  I’m fascinated by her stories and her writing style is very easy to read.  Her story is different from mine and from my wife.  I appreciate the opportunity to learn more about her past, though.  She does post reminders to Facebook every day, and reminds us that we can subscribe.  I don’t begrudge her that, what she has to say is valuable for people both within and without fundamentalism.  I appreciate her Facebook links as they remind me to read her blog.  And I value both her friendship and her stories.

By the same token, while it was a curiosity for me to not have any readers early in the week, I don’t normally reference my readers directly.  In fact, even though I’ve had several visits (with views on multiple pages) over the past few days, I don’t know much about my visitors.  I am grateful for them.  But I don’t know anything about them, except what WordPress tells me.  One thing that is reported (whether accurately or not, I don’t know) is the home country of the computer that links to my page.  As I said, I don’t know if it is accurate or not, but according to WordPress one (or more) of my visitors is from Canada.

Now, for all I know, my parents (who are currently located near the border with Canada) are being routed through a computer in Canada and that’s all it is.  But, my imagination is sometimes crazy.  So, in my brain, I’m wondering how my oddities appear to someone with a Canadian cultural reference.  Of course, as an arrogant American, I don’t really see the Canadian culture as that much different than the difference between cultural areas in the United States.  Having had friends from California and New York, I recognize (to a limited degree) the differences there.  Unless, of course, my visitor in Canada is from Quebec.  Because Quebec (to my limited experience southern American culture) really is like a foreign country.  I mean, they speak a foreign language and everything.

I joke, but I really am fascinated and intrigued by the concept of someone from Canada reading my blog.  I mean, I don’t find myself interesting (why in the world am I blogging) and I’m amazed that anyone would come to read my blog (or even potentially come back).  It is humorous to me because I can just imagine people from a foreign country reading about what the crazy, stupid American has posted now.  It is funny to me, and I don’t mean I am laughing at anyone.  Regardless of whether it because you find my posts genuinely interesting or because you are laughing at my boring, crazy ranting about my life, I’m glad to provide an entertainment.

I had a friend early in my career, before I was even thirty years old.  He was over fifty, and my have even been over sixty.  Despite the age difference, he was one of our social group.  He and I happened to head to the restroom at the same time one day, and as he approached the urinal, he held his badge up to the automatic flushing sensor.  As we were leaving, I asked him why he did that.  I knew he wasn’t that ignorant, so I was confused.  His reply changed how I thought about life and about how others viewed me.  He said (and I paraphrase)…

Sometimes I come in here and these young advertising or sales guys are in here.  They watch me do that, and I’m sure they are thinking what a crazy, stupid old man who thinks he has to scan in when he goes to the bathroom.  I’m sure they get a chuckle about it.  I’m an old man and I don’t have anything to prove to them.  If my goofiness can give them a little humor and fun, I don’t really care what they think about me.

I’ve thought about that over the years.  Now, I don’t go out of my way to make myself look crazy all the time, but I can say it helped me be less concerned about what others think of me.  I’m by no means as free with that as my friend was, but his example has helped me be less worried about it.  In this instance, whether it is genuine content-based interest or humorous “point-and-laugh” following, I’m glad to provide a small dose of entertainment (hopefully) in the lives of my readers.



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