Readability

The Fundamentals

It’s easy to get lost in this world even while pur­su­ing a clear objec­tive. Run­ning into so many trees you lose per­spec­tive regard­ing the for­est as a whole; unwill­ingly embody­ing the old joke about how when you’re up to your neck in alli­ga­tors dif­fi­culty ensues remem­ber­ing the orig­i­nal objec­tive was drain­ing the swamp. It happens.

At such times it helps refer­ring not to what you should be doing, but why you should be doing it. Clar­ity comes from pur­pose; pur­pose is rooted in core beliefs. With this in mind, time to look at the oft neglected cor­ner­stone that should be at the heart of what we do in this odd lit­tle realm of blogs and social media.

Some years ago, back when I har­bored hal­lu­ci­na­tions of join­ing cyberspace’s high rollers, I came up with what I called the four tenets of the blog­ging evan­gel. They were:

  1. The abil­ity to broad­cast an opin­ion nei­ther ele­vates nor val­i­dates said opinion.
  2. Blog from and for the heart, not the wallet.
  3. Answer your email every time all the time.
  4. Never become what you pro­fess to oppose. Never.

These are quite self-​explanatory, methinks. Espe­cially in not­ing how fol­low­ing them per­ma­nently rel­e­gated me to the blogosphere’s, and social media’s, far side­lines. But I digress. To brusquely sum­ma­rize, the eighty-​fifth post/​status update/​tweet today yelling about how Obama is a poooy­head and/​or Trump is a meany­pants, all while offer­ing rip and read analy­sis from the same ripped and read main­stream news story every­one else has ripped and read, doesn’t add any­thing to the pub­lic dis­course. Nei­ther did the other eighty-​four. Try find­ing some­thing worth your, and the reader’s, time. Some­thing that mat­ters. Some­thing that gives some­thing more than bait with which to lure syco­phants into boost­ing your vis­i­bil­ity within the echo cham­ber. Have a rea­son worth considering.

Here’s mine.

I’ve been a Chris­t­ian since 1975, and a pas­sion­ate fan/​supporter of Jesus Music/​contemporary Chris­t­ian music/​whatever you want to call it since then. I spent sev­eral years from the late 1980s through the mid 1990s as a jour­nal­ist cov­er­ing the music scene, this time period includ­ing numer­ous inter­views with, and fea­ture sto­ries writ­ten about, many of the genre’s top artists, all pub­lished in the era’s lead­ing magazines.

I drifted away from the scene in the mid 1990s, dis­il­lu­sioned by sev­eral peo­ple involved in it at dif­fer­ent lev­els and also extremely unhappy with myself and how I had occa­sion­ally acted. I came back to the music, and into a walk with Christ that was some­thing more than lip ser­vice, in 2005 at a con­cert fea­tur­ing sev­eral of the ‘80s-‘90s bands I had loved back in the day. I later inter­viewed many of the artists from that era and pub­lished my work in book form; info at http://​god​snot​dead​book​.com I also have an online radio show, with info for same at http://​cephashour​.com

The bands and artists I loved — Larry Nor­man, Under­cover, The 77s, Daniel Amos, The Choir, and dozens more — were bold both musi­cally and lyri­cally. They addressed sub­jects like failed rela­tion­ships, death, sui­cide, racism, sex­ual per­ver­sion, and other top­ics usu­ally con­sid­ered too hot for dis­cus­sion within Chris­t­ian cir­cles. They did so under­stand­ing and accept­ing it would per­ma­nently put them on the outer fringe of Chris­t­ian music; min­i­mal air­play, far fewer con­cert oppor­tu­ni­ties, a lot fewer Chris­t­ian book­stores car­ry­ing their records. But they did it any­way, because it was their calling.

I don’t lis­ten to much cur­rent music of any genre; don’t have as much patience or time as once was the case to seek out the lat­est and great­est. I’m sure there’s some ter­rific new Chris­t­ian rock and pop out there. But I will always hold on to my beloved clas­sic Chris­t­ian rock. It truly is the sound­track of my life, and it has been a faith­ful com­pan­ion in my walk with Christ. It remains vital and fresh. It can, and does, still bless peo­ple. Pro­mot­ing it, get­ting and keep­ing it out there, is my pur­pose in the online world. It is my fundamental.

What’s yours?

https://youtu.be/UF8HTNxRkMQ

https://youtu.be/16w0gD6svjY

https://youtu.be/t_aPmvbA9IM

https://youtu.be/c1wWoO_tV4A

https://youtu.be/HDP6oQ2C1Nc

It’s easy to get lost in this world even while pursuing a clear objective. Running into so many trees you lose perspective regarding the forest as a whole; unwillingly embodying the old joke about how when you’re up to your neck in alligators difficulty ensues remembering the original objective was draining the swamp. It happens.

At such times it helps referring not to what you should be doing, but why you should be doing it. Clarity comes from purpose; purpose is rooted in core beliefs. With this in mind, time to look at the oft neglected cornerstone that should be at the heart of what we do in this odd little realm of blogs and social media.

Some years ago, back when I harbored hallucinations of joining cyberspace’s high rollers, I came up with what I called the four tenets of the blogging evangel. They were:

  1. The ability to broadcast an opinion neither elevates nor validates said opinion.
  2. Blog from and for the heart, not the wallet.
  3. Answer your email every time all the time.
  4. Never become what you profess to oppose. Never.

These are quite self-explanatory, methinks. Especially in noting how following them permanently relegated me to the blogosphere’s, and social media’s, far sidelines. But I digress. To brusquely summarize, the eighty-fifth post/status update/tweet today yelling about how Obama is a poooyhead and/or Trump is a meanypants, all while offering rip and read analysis from the same ripped and read mainstream news story everyone else has ripped and read, doesn’t add anything to the public discourse. Neither did the other eighty-four. Try finding something worth your, and the reader’s, time. Something that matters. Something that gives something more than bait with which to lure sycophants into boosting your visibility within the echo chamber. Have a reason worth considering.

Here’s mine.

I’ve been a Christian since 1975, and a passionate fan/supporter of Jesus Music/contemporary Christian music/whatever you want to call it since then. I spent several years from the late 1980s through the mid 1990s as a journalist covering the music scene, this time period including numerous interviews with, and feature stories written about, many of the genre’s top artists, all published in the era’s leading magazines.

I drifted away from the scene in the mid 1990s, disillusioned by several people involved in it at different levels and also extremely unhappy with myself and how I had occasionally acted. I came back to the music, and into a walk with Christ that was something more than lip service, in 2005 at a concert featuring several of the ’80s-’90s bands I had loved back in the day. I later interviewed many of the artists from that era and published my work in book form; info at http://godsnotdeadbook.com I also have an online radio show, with info for same at http://cephashour.com

The bands and artists I loved – Larry Norman, Undercover, The 77s, Daniel Amos, The Choir, and dozens more – were bold both musically and lyrically. They addressed subjects like failed relationships, death, suicide, racism, sexual perversion, and other topics usually considered too hot for discussion within Christian circles. They did so understanding and accepting it would permanently put them on the outer fringe of Christian music; minimal airplay, far fewer concert opportunities, a lot fewer Christian bookstores carrying their records. But they did it anyway, because it was their calling.

I don’t listen to much current music of any genre; don’t have as much patience or time as once was the case to seek out the latest and greatest. I’m sure there’s some terrific new Christian rock and pop out there. But I will always hold on to my beloved classic Christian rock. It truly is the soundtrack of my life, and it has been a faithful companion in my walk with Christ. It remains vital and fresh. It can, and does, still bless people. Promoting it, getting and keeping it out there, is my purpose in the online world. It is my fundamental.

What’s yours?