Recently I have been happily blogging, reading, and enjoying the online LJ community. The public sharing of lives — even what I grew up thinking of as “secrets” — has been fascinating. Good fascinating.
I was constructing my blog-as-therapy theory as recently as this morning’s exercise-bike reverie. Sure, I was mulling, I may not want to know the details about someone’s toenail-fungus-induced insomnia. Yet, there is health in sharing personal pains with others who will step forward to sympathize and to share their own hurts. There is reassurance in the basic similarity of experience.
While I am personally not yet likely to share anything publicly that I wouldn’t have wanted my mother to read, the genuineness of the revealed somatic angsts and emotional loops is the stuff that makes relationships.
Then Google News intruded on my decision that writing web logs are healthy human acts. Their headline said that the accused murderer and child molester Joseph Duncan has been writing for months on Blogging the Fifth Nail (a reference to the fifth nail intended to end Christ’s suffering on the cross). From his last entry, a couple days before he killed the Idaho family:
As far as “taking people with me” well, I don’t know if that is right or wrong. In fact, I don’t know much any more what right and wrong even is. My view is either everything is right (in some regard) or everything is wrong (in some other regard). The question (one I am struggling with at this point) is, “Does it matter?”
With the knowledge we have today, Duncan’s comments about his struggles with his personal demons are emotionally pornographic. Or tragic. Or simply awful. The ex post facto angry comments on his logs are coldly inhumane and frightening in their own.
There’s a disturbance in the blog force this afternoon. My grand theory of the health value of blogging feels kinda shabby.
My grand theory of the health value of blogging feels kinda shabby.
I sympathize with the sentiment. My logical response is that maybe Duncan had an exercise program, too; that doesn’t make exercise mentally unhealthy. (Still doesn’t feel so good to think about it.)
To paraphrase dear Mr. Tom Lehrer, a blog is like a sewer; what you get out of it depends largely on what’s been put into it. The outcome, however, is not the sewer’s fault.