Thursday, January 10, 2008

Personal Space

So anybody reading this knows already that I'm a pretty passive aggressive person, and this note/blogging thing seems to be a good outlet for people like me to lay out gripes with just about anything. Today, I would like to discuss personal space; more specifically, mine. I understand the need to invade this space at some times. Giving somebody a congratulatory hug, spooning, talking to a hot girl at a party where the music is really loud, and tackling an opponent in football are all situations where it is appropriate to invade the personal space of another. Standing behind me in line at the grocery store is not.

This subject needs to be addressed because as I stood in line to check out at the grocery store recently, I was nearly assaulted by the woman standing behind me. If it wasn't 110 degrees outside, I would have sworn she was trying to huddle up with me to stave off hypothermia. Now if she had just inadvertently stood uncomfortably close by accident and didn't notice, I wouldn't have minded so much. But every time I inched away from her, she made up for the difference as if she half expected a passerby to notice the six inches of space between her body and mine and mistake it for an opening in the line. I even made the attempt to stand away from the check out station a few feet while making a face that obvioulsly said "I am uncomfortable and you are the reason why." I was careful to keep my foot in front of her so that she wouldn't mistake my body language screaming "Yo back the truck up beeyotch" for my leaving the line with my items still on the conveyor belt. Even when I reached the card reader to swipe my debit card, there she was, so close I could smell the sour cream and onion chips she had for lunch.

Now maybe I'm being too harsh. Perhaps she was raised by a pack of wolves and just never learned that whole aspect of American culture. Maybe she is seriously affected with a case of autophobia (look it up). Or perhaps she has lost her sight in one eye suffers from a complete lack of depth perception. So for those of you to whom these conditions may apply, here is a good rule of thumb when standing in line i.e. the security line at the airport, waiting to checkout, entrance to a sporting event or concert etc.: put your hand out and touch the person standing in front of you, measure the distance from your wrist to your shoulder, and that is the closest acceptable distance to stand behind someone. It may be awkward explaining why you "accidentally" brushed up against this stranger, but it will be a heck of a lot less awkward for them. Who knows, maybe this stranger turns out to be a long lost friend? Then it would be acceptable to stand close, but only if the music over the speaker at Albertson's is blaring the muzak so loud that you can't hear your own conversation.

On Blogs in General

In the age of the information super highway, everybody with a pulse is empowered to reach a limitless audience. That said, there are a few problems with blogs in general. There are actually probably more than a few, but for this first posts purpose, I'll include three problems that prevent blogs from attaining their purpose, that is to convince and educate others on a given position, which problems are as follows: blogs are relatively inaccessible to the majority of the internet community, those who seek out a blog by a specific person are relatively few and probably have the same ideology as the writer, and those who reach the blog are less likely to care about what is said given the circumstance that the blogger is your average person and not specifically schooled on finite rhetoric.

First of all, if you are reading this, there's a good chance that I sent you some sort of invitation to read my blog. Anybody who has not received an invitation from me specifically is either wasting time at work or has an unnatural fascination with reading about strangers. In this way, I am reaching next to nobody outside my sphere of influence. Now perhaps if one of those people in my sphere of influence is decided on something I have written, then I suppose that the Venn diagram effect is a possibility. By this statement I mean that if three people are convinced by what I write and are successful in convincing others within their sphere of influence, then they tell three friends, then they tell three friends, and so on etc, then my blog will be a success. However, as I will later point out, this circumstance is highly unlikely and borders on the verge of altogether impossible. Therefore, what I write here remains largely unknown to the world because most of the world has no idea who I am or where to find out what I think about things.

My second point is that most of the people with whom I associate are very much like me. For example, I am a white male age 25 and I've never lived outside of the Western U.S. I am a college student but I don't party because I am a very devout member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The people with whom I surround myself maintain similar moral standards. They have very similar ideas on most social issues because of the generally accepted Judeao Christian ethic standard that has been firmly established in America. Finally, of all the people I know, there are at most 20 who would be interested in what I write on a regular basis. Of those 20, eight of them are family members. The rest are close friends and have ideologies that are more aligned with mine on a nearly microscopic scale. Because this is the case, does what I write really change any thought process? The answer is a clear no.

Finally there is the subject of apathy. Unless my audience is extremely moved upon by a call to action, they will step away from their computers and say, "that's nice," but give no more thought to what they have read. I would need to posess the combined rhetorical skills of Oprah and Franklin D. Roosevelt in order to get people to buy in to what I say. On that note, does Oprah really have any rhetorical skills anymore? I don't think so. I think her show is a success because she gives away free stuff like cars. Anyway, my point is that without said skills, I would be completely ineffective in convincing others to take action.

So what does all this mean? What is my point? Why have you, the reader, continued to read what I'm saying? The answer to all of these questions is "I'm not sure." But the one thing that I can promise is that this is the last blog I post that is serious in nature. From here on out, everything I write will be observational and hopefully enjoyable to read. I hope you come back and visit often for a laugh or two.