You have no idea how hard it is to write this blog every week. As those of you who are still reading it know, I have, in recent months, resorted to such bottom-of-the-barrel topics as my adorable mini-Australian shepherd, Buffy, and anecdotes from my life as a teenage juggler. Very sad. So why keep writing it? And why keep reading?
I’ve been wondering about this lately because I could certainly use the time for some other, more productive activities. (Buffy, for instance, needs a bath.) And here’s the answer I’ve come up with: I continue to write the blog because a topic like children’s television never gets fully captured in articles that explore only the relevant commercial or educational themes of the day. Sometimes it takes a more circuitous approach to get at the heart of the matter. Sometimes it takes a blog.
I remember in high school I took an Eastern Religion class. One day our teacher, Fred, a scruffy hippie Buddhist type, put a pinecone, a leaf, or a branch on each one of our desks. When the class began, he simply sat quietly behind his desk and stared at his own little gray twig and didn’t say a word. We all sat around, confused and restless, looking at our flora and fauna for about an hour. Then, when the class ended, Fred got up and left the room and so did we.
Was it annoying? Yes. Was it pretentious Buddhist trickery? Perhaps. But I never forgot that class, and I have forgotten pretty much every other class I’ve ever taken. And, to this day, I can still recall my pinecone.
So, at the risk of over-reaching, I have come to wonder if perhaps this blog is like a pinecone that both you and I are forced to look at every week whether we want to or not. And perhaps its value comes not from its news-worthiness, which I confess is almost non-existent, but from the sheer relentlessness of it. Because, as Fred taught me when I was 16, only when you are forced to look at something for longer than you actually want to, do you really begin to see it. Only then does it reveal itself. I think this is true for a pinecone, a person, and even an industry.