In his Why I Blog article, Andrew Sullivan defines the art of blogging. He also denotes the difference between blogging and professional journalism. I agree when he says blogging is a “spontaneous expression of instant thought.” There are many platforms in which bloggers of all ages and upbringings can express their thoughts including Tumblr, WordPress, Facebook and Blogger. I had my first blogging experience during my sophomore year of high school when a friend suggested I make my own Tumblr account. At first, I used it to read her blog as well as look at pictures of animals, food and destination travel spots. It soon became an addiction and I began posting my own pictures and posts. I’ve never had the problem that Sullivan had with replies to these posts, replies that may often times be brutal and unforgiving. Reasons being, I never posted about anything controversial and all of my readers were friends. The freedom of letting go while blogging is liberating. You’re not thinking about anything but what it is you’re currently writing or “writing out loud,” as Sullivan puts it. Blogging is it’s own community. It’s a sharing of ideas between people of different backgrounds. Although they may not always be in agreement, there is a communal acceptance that there are different perspectives to the topic at hand. I enjoyed the musical analogies Sullivan uses such as the one in which he compares a blogger to a dj, “mixing samples of tunes and generating new melodies through mashups.”
The aforementioned freedom is not only present in blogging, but also in other outlets including music, theater, Youtube, and television. Satire’s Brew mentions a couple of shows – Saturday Night Live and Key & Peele – in which the creators reflect their opinions on current events. It may not be as instant or direct as it is in the blogosphere, but what the two fields have in common are the reactions of their audience. Feedback may not always be positive, but the creators are open to whatever their viewers have to say.
Sullivan brings up the idea of the online presence or authority you attain when you are linked to by other blogs. With that said, it was hard finding an article where Sullivan puts solely his opinion because most of his articles are links or quotes from other sources. Alas, I came across a post entitled Marijuana and Moralism, in which Sullivan states his opinion on legalizing the green. He says, “keeping marijuana illegal profoundly constrains the potential for medical research on it, sustains a growing and increasingly lucrative criminal industry, and does nothing to keep it from the sole cohort for whom it could do harm: teenagers” to which I agree. With the growing research on both the positive and negative effects of marijuana, it seems as though the positive outshine the latter. The use of marijuana can “unleash creative potential” in an individual or artist. People I know that engage in its recreational use do so to relax or to have a good time. If the same was said with alcohol, there is a chance that the effects may cause the drinker to engage in harmful situations. I don’t think legalizing marijuana would necessarily increase the percentage rate of usage significantly.