So I was watching some news show the other day (while I put stamps on the 100 copies of the Princess Diaries engagement calendars the Meg Cabot Book Club gave away last month, and no, in fact, I don't have an assistant here in Key West to do these kinds of things, and yes, in fact, I do need an intern here) and this guy was on and he was saying how blogs are so dangerous because the people who write them just post lies in them.
(As an aside, this reminds me of why I hate watching the news, because you just end up hearing stuff that makes your blood pressure go up. Sarah Vowell, one of my favorite authors, says in her great book, The Partly Cloudy Patriot, that every time you turn on 60 MINUTES, you learn of a new way you could die. This is so true. Although I do actually like that show. Most of the time.)
Anyway, I thought this whole thing (with the guy on the news calling bloggers liars) was kind of funny, because the real danger of blogs, if you ask me, isn't that bloggers aren't truthful. The real danger of blogs is that you can spend your whole day going from blog to blog to blog, and never get any work done, losing hours of valuable TV viewing or novel-writing time.
This is a serious issue that the government needs to look into.
But then I started thinking about it and I realized that I'm guilty of what this guy is talking about. Not that I outright LIE in my blog (I prefer to call it Creative Embellishment for the Entertainment of my Readers, or CEER).
But I am definitely guilty of lies of omission. I mean, there's a LOT of stuff I don't tell you.
For instance, I can't tell you my exact address, because then you might come and do a drop-by (which is what we called it back in Indiana when someone “drops by” your house without calling first). And then I would have to hide (old Indiana custom—if someone does a drop-by, and you don't want to see them, but you also don't want to hurt their feeling by letting them know you're really home but are ignoring them, you hide).
(Another aside: I know it's rude to hide when someone comes to your door, but I just want to say in my own defense that sometimes, doing so can save your life: Once when I was house-sitting, someone knocked on the door, and I hid in the closet, because I didn't want to deal with a drop-by just then, mostly because I was still in my pajamas, which is when the person, assuming no one was home, PRIED THE DOOR OFF THE HINGES, came into the house, and robbed it. So after the thief left, I called the police, and was able give them a description of the guy, and they caught him right away. And then later the detective assigned to the case informed me that the guy had also been wanted for numerous other crimes, including suspected murder, and that by hiding in the closet, as Indiana instinct had told me to, I had, in fact, saved my own life. So there you go. Long live Hoosier tradition, saving lives all over the place.)
By the way, the above story was not a lie, nor was it a creative embellishment for the entertainment of my readers (CEER).
But other things I can't tell you include what I'm actually working on at the moment, (because whenever I tell people what I'm working on before I've actually finished it, it tends to put a curse on it so that I never finish it and/or grow to hate it) or what I was really talking about with my friend on the phone just now, because the people we were talking about might read it and feel offended (Keira, your new short haircut doesn't look THAT bad. Besides, it will grow out. Still, remember what happened to Keri Russell).
And I certainly can't tell you, no matter how hard you all beg, Paris Hilton's email address. So please stop asking me for it. She made me promise not to give it out.
So you see the careful line bloggers have to tread, and why we can't really tell the WHOLE truth most of the time, and why we must sometimes resort to CEER?
But, see, that's what the guy on the news just wasn't getting: In the end, who cares? It's not about whether what you read was one hundred percent true.
It's whether or not you had fun while you were reading it that counts.