Let me begin by saying that I am normally not a big fan of print cartoons which appear in daily newspapers throughout this country. However, there is one created jointly by John Deering and John Newcombe featured in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that has recently caught my fancy, thanks to my wife. For one, it is centered around a dog named Cagney who, as anyone familiar with the breed will attest, is no ordinary dog. In fact Cagney is America's one and only home grown breed, a Boston Terrier. Not only have Mr. Deering and Mr. Newcombe created a story line filled with humor and relevance, they are spot on in their depiction of the true personality of this breed. As my wife and I have learned over the years, they are smart, independent, insightful and very demanding, all characteristics that allow Cagney to be the inspiration for today's blog.
It all started at the end of last year when Cagney decided to start a blog. In the canine world the medium was naturally a fireplug, recognized universally as the prototype place where dogs best express themselves by leaving their well-known scents. Just like one would expect in the real world, Cagney's first post was met with criticism from one of his fellow pooches followed by negative comments from other "uninvited bloggers". With his feelings duly hurt by these initial responses, Cagney decides to take his blog down by covering the fireplug up with some new fallen snow. However, he is soon confronted by some other pooches who want to post a comment on his blog, so upon Cagney's advice they proceed to dig out the snow from around that fireplug. Postings resume, one being that rather than using their conventional method of posting maybe they should "just shake paws instead". Cagney questions the fun in that method and seeks guidance from his master who, while in the middle of watching a television program, quickly dismisses Cagney. Naturally, this rebuff causes Cagney to feel "no one ever listens to me", and then conclude "No wonder I feel the need to blog".
Well, there you have it, the essence of why many of us may "feel the need to blog". It's more of being a personal catharsis than being alluded into thinking that our commentary will have any meaningful impact on what family, friends, casual acquaintances or unknowns think, much less affect public policy in any substantive way. And that's what makes it worthwhile. Another John Deering cartoon entitled Strange Brew summed it up beautifully last April when a young son lamented to his father who obviously was admonishing him that he could be anything he wanted to be in life by responding "I don't really care whether anybody in America could grow up to be president. We can all have blogs!"
What's left out of this conversation is something I never really thought about until a friend posed the question to me recently about the range of audience reached by my blog. Yes, I wrote about the power and influence of the Internet last week as witnessed first in Tunisia and now in Egypt, but frankly, I had just assumed that "In My View...." was pretty much confined to a very small group of family and friends who for whatever reason chose to read my weekly posts. Well, much to my surprise I discovered that it has been viewed by every conceivable browser and operating system all over the continental United States and Alaska plus nine foreign countries including Canada, United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, France, Netherlands, Australia, Ireland and Latvia. So, unlike Cagney's localized fireplug, in the real world of blogging one never knows where this stuff will end up, which further emphasizes the absolute need for a rational and civilized message. To that end I hope Cagney and I have been true to our mission.
Oh, yeah. My heart is with the Packers, but my mind says the Steelers by three.
Laura Raborn at http://paintingsofhome.com and http://claygifts.com
Jim Johnson at http://yessy.com/jimjohnson/gallery.html
Russ Powell at http://powellphotos.com
Linda Flake at http://lindaflake.com
Tom Herrin at http://tommysart.blogspot.com
Matt McLeod at http://firstname.lastname@example.org
Artists Registry at http://www.arkansasarts.org/programs/registry/default.aspx
Sandy Hubler Fine Art at http://sandyhublerfineart.com
George Wittenberg at http://postcard-art-gallery.com
Will Barnet at http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&expIds=17259,17315,23628,23670,24472,25834,26095,26328,26562,26637,26761,26790,26849,26992,27095,27126,27139,27147,27178&sugexp=ldymls&xhr=t&q=will+barnet&cp=9&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&ei=xpfETMT1O4L6lwf66ugE&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=2&sqi=2&ved=0CEkQsAQwAQ&biw=1350&bih=501
Barry Thomas at http://barrythomasart.com
Sherry Williamson at http://meowbarkart.com
Julie McNair at http://juliemcnair.com
Local Colour Gallery at http://localcolourgallery.com
Chroma Gallery at http://chromagallery.com
Cantrell Gallery at http://cantrellgallery.com
Greg Thompson Fine Art at http://gregthompsonfineart.com
Red Door Gallery at http://reddoorgalleryonline.com
M2 Gallery at http://m2lr.com
UALR Gallery Program at http://ualr.edu/art
Gallery 26 at http://gallery26.com
Boswell Mourot Fine Art at http://boswellmourot.com