It is probably no little secret that I love blogging. Oh, not the writing of a blog -- which is actually pretty fun ... most of the time -- but the reading of the works of other people is absolutely stunning.
My grandfather -- from whom I probably inherit my Gaelic love of language and words -- was a wit, philosopher and story-teller every bit as good as Will Rogers or Samuel Clemens. The only difference is that while they found sponsors and patrons that enabled them to write for a living, my grandfather stayed in the oilfield.
I seriously doubt if my grandfather was the only one. I maintain that for every Shakespeare there are ten, or a hundred, writers just as good who never leave their farms. For every Robert Burns, there are uncounted other poets whose poetry is only heard by their kith and kin. For every Dylan Thomas, Vladimir Nabokov, and Christopher Marlowe there were -- and are -- others, just as gifted, but because they had to make a living, and circumstances in general, they never got to shine.
This has all changed. This -- right here, right now -- is a Golden Age for the written word.
Right now, anyone can take his thoughts, his visions ... and through the medium of words, can paint wonderful works across the eyes of our minds -- from anywhere, read by anyone on this little green dirtball -- all on a blog somewhere.
Yes, there is dross. Great Googly-Moogly, but there is some utter and complete garbage written on the Internet.
But in amongst all off the drek, there is exquisite beauty. And each little spark of beauty makes the effort of wading through the rubbish all worthwhile.
Twenty years ago -- hell, ten years ago -- would the world have known Marko Kloo's thoughts as to civilization and guns? I'm not talking about his family and friends -- would anyone with access to a public library have known?
Twenty years ago, how many people knew about -- and appreciated -- Tamara's rapier-sharp snark? Far fewer than the number of visitors her blog received in the past 24 hours, I'll guarantee.
Twenty years ago, Peter's love of aviation could only be spread by finding a publisher to take a risk in publishing his articles. Today, anyone can appreciate his article on aerial gunnery with the click of a finger.
Twenty years -- ten years ago -- I enjoyed the writings of published authors too numerous to mention.
Today, I still enjoy those same wordsmiths, only now I add to their numbers Brigid, Larry Correia, CrankyProf, GwinnyDaPooh, Jay G, Michael Yon and an entire world of authors, funny, heart-breaking, serious, sad, snarky, illuminating -- absolute wonders in a little electric box -- none of whom would have been known to me without the magic of blogging.
Yes. There is drek. There is some truly awful stuff mis-written in cyberspace.
For anyone who loves language, though, for those who love words, for those who love the very stuff of thought itself -- the sheer number of diamonds revealed by Blogworld and the Internet is worth ten times the amount of drivel you have to wade through to find them.
It is truly great to live in the future.