Weaving tangled Blogs

By Andrei Codrescu

It’s fall and he’s dying, but I’ve had the most successful spider spinning in my front yard. She made a multi-level, many-storied web that stretched for a good eight feet between the ground and two oak branches. The structure got more and more elaborate and trippy and the spider got yellower, bigger and more sure of herself the wider and deeper her domains reached. Other spiders in the vicinity were not so lucky: one of them started out good but her real estate didn’t shelter the web from the wind, so it got ripped by a gust and, in any case, she was too close to the ground, easy to reach by cat paw. These spiders are called Wolf Spiders and they can get as big as nutria out in the swamp. They eat the less flashy males after they mate.

I mention my frontyard architect for several reasons: one, she seems a lot more interested in her creation than in her prey, though I do not doubt that she eats well in such a cleverly-designed trap. Secondly, she conducts her operations unbothered by harmful humans who mow very carefully around her, and admire her work. Thirdly, she was very smart to build in a place that was sheltered enough from the elements and open enough to elicit admiration instead of disgust. And fourthly, she was lucky. She squatted on a liberal’s lawn.

Now I should be so lucky! Or you.

The only analogy in the human world is an internet habitat called a Blog.

The Blog is the grapho-ego-maniac’s perfect outlet. It’s a daily, hourly, or perpetual diary, belonging solely to a writer and her thoughts. These thoughts are made public to the world every time the writer is at the keyboard, which in some cases is 24/7. Some people cruising by will read the postings and respond to them with thoughts of their own or, even better, some admiration, and some move into the Blog, reacting to the writer’s every entry with one of their own, like a family member, and all in real time. Eventually, a small community is born, with the Blogger at the center of the Web, entertaining or devouring her haphazard relatives and any number of “guests.” Today, there are literally millions of blog-masters on the Web, each of them spider-like at the center of their own world. Most of them believe, doubtlessly, that this is all the world they need and that they are at the center not just of their private world, but that of THE world itself.

In the real world, winter comes and even the greatest spider dies, eventually. The Blog will likewise go on until the Blogger runs out of room on the server, and can’t pay the bill. Then it’s clear not only that there is a bigger world, but that there are students of webs and Blogs who watch and wonder about all the work.