I spent yesterday evening putting together next Sunday’s Cephas Hour. It’s a good one; wide variety of music without illogical genre shifts, superb songs from start to finish. The host could use some work, but he knows that. All too well.
Although I was primarily focusing on song selection, making the segues from one to the next smooth and then choosing my words for the banter in-between sets, my mind did occasionally wander across the country to a piano bar where BlogBash was being held. For the uninitiated (count your blessings), BlogBash is a now annual subgathering during the annual CPAC gathering of conservatives, said subgathering consisting of a self-selected few conservative bloggers who gather together to party, give each other awards and send innumerable tweets and photos of each other, far more often than not in various stages of inebriation. Not my idea of a good time, but to each their own. As to CPAC itself, Madison Rising’s manager sums it up quite nicely.
There are invariably people attending such events I’d like to meet in real life. That said, such a gathering is hardly my definition of a quality meeting place. I prefer small groups, no more than three or four including myself, where everyone spends actual time talking with and getting to know each other. And everyone in attendance is sober. Most preferable is one on one, and not the schmoozing kind where you’re greeting whoever you are currently speaking with while simultaneously bobbing up and down to look over their shoulder so you can see if there is someone else in the room with whom you’d rather converse. Genuine one on one, with both people sharing, caring and making a meaningful connection having nothing to do with mutual career advancement.
It warrants mention that I am far, far more likely to be the next cover story for GQ than be granted admittance to a BlogBash or variation thereof. Doubtless this is all my fault, and if I were the organizers of such events I wouldn’t let me near the place either. Too outspoken; too willing to cross swords and otherwise be an irreverent loose cannon. Also, a champion go along to get along type with charter membership in the mutual admiration society I am not. I truly suck at sucking up. Much more the type who has burned, if not outright dynamited, several bridges behind me over the decades.
Age hopefully brings wisdom. I do my best to be far more circumspect these days, trading a tradition of truculence for a more taciturn approach. Getting far too old for the angry young man shtick, which is nothing more than self-righteousness pretending to be a holy crusade. However, when it presses on me that something need be said, it is said. I may be more particular these days when choosing which hill to die on, but when it is called for my action plan and attitude toward same mirrors that of Esther: if I perish, I perish. The truth, in all its forms, is what matters. Me, not so much.
So many things are of infinitely greater importance than handheld mirror-rooted love feasts or Twitterati internecine warfare. A brutal reminder of this came a few days ago, when a woman I know on Twitter suffered the unspeakable horror of her daughter being killed in a car accident, the daughter leaving behind a young son. I, as do all in the unfortunate fellowship, know from personal experience the heartache of burying your parents and a sibling. Yet even as deeply as these moments hurt, they are expected events. Every child knows and reluctantly accepts that one day they will say goodbye on this earth to their parents. No parent, save in their worst nightmare, contemplates having to say goodbye to their child. For this blinding pain there can be no preparation. For those hit by such a tragedy there must be nothing but love and prayerful support.
Praying properly for others requires proper preparation. I am reminded of Pope Francis I and his introduction to the world; a quiet, humble man of faith and service whose first words to the people were a request for prayer. This is someone to emulate; this is someone setting an example via deeds and not words. This is also someone who incurred harsh criticism for remaining seemingly mute when Argentina was suffering under a repressive regime, it being revealed only years later that he had personally saved more than a few lives from his country’s then government at no small risk to his own. Again, deeds not words. Performance, not PR. Not a man who toots his own horn.
Far too often, an individual or group’s deeds are rendered impotent by the selfsame individual or group’s words. A prime example of this is when combating someone, or an alliance, that is both desirous to do harm in some fashion and feeds on attention. Certainly one must do what need be done to protect him or herself plus family and friends. That said, if the temptation of seeking sympathy by broadcasting your situation to the world is too great to resist you are immediately removing yourself from doing what is right, instead depositing yourself into a game of liar’s dice for a prize of fool’s gold. Recognition vampires will do anything necessary to get their name out there. Do not offer them your neck to bite by sticking it out while looking for your own recognition. Do these things privately. Do not so much as publicly breathe the name or names of the opposition. Do not acknowledge its existence. Quietly pursue justice. Any other course of action will make it that much more difficult to achieve.
Sadly, even as there are those who live to be noticed others live to be part of the Perpetual Sissyhood of Daily Martyrdom. Why? Some enjoy the sympathy, others how this makes for a marvelous fundraiser. For some, both. Bank account running low? Poke the hornets nest, call forth the cash cow… er, bogeyman and cue up “Poor, Poor Pitiful Me.” Works every time. Regrettably, to this group BlogBash was dedicated along with running the show.
An event such as BlogBash could prove valuable if it led to greater networking, encouragement and support for all bloggers, not solely those in attendance. This is not the case. Instead, BlogBash is Purina Ego Chow for petty little people on either side of the battlefield. The pathetic left uses it as a whipping boy for all they say is wrong with the right, while the self-absorbed right uses it as a way to say who’s in and who’s out among a little co-ed frat house blissfully ignorant of how no one outside its own circle knows it exists. Everyone is a misunderstood champion; everyone is a heroic victim of the other side. And everyone is shocked to learn none of it matters.
They ought not to be.
So much of life is lived only when we take the blows that come our way without alibi or fanfare. We will all experience genuine sorrow, the kind that can be effectively handled by no means other than becoming acquainted with the Man of Sorrows, the One acquainted with grief. We do not need sponsors, donations or high school cliques created by equally high school-ish drama queens. These are meaningless and will depart as quickly as they came, leaving behind no legacy other than a monument to folly. Even as only starving the attention seekers while working without notice to thwart their plans effectively counters their evil, only surrender to Jesus’ love and emulation of His service to others builds an enduring testimony to something worthwhile. BlogBash doesn’t qualify.
Therefore, let BlogBash go bye-bye.