How Well Do You Know Your Bloggers?
I have found yet another reason to appreciate the IndyCar blogging community. This past weekend, a friend of mine alerted me to a blog site that is written by a former acquaintance. I won’t name any names nor will I name the site or even the subject matter it deals with. It doesn’t matter, but it isn’t even remotely close to racing. What made my friend bring it to my attention is what makes me appreciate the IndyCar bloggers. You see, this person chose to spin an entire web of lies and deceit about themselves. I can’t decide which word is more appropriate – comical or pathetic.
I have known the author of the blog in question for more years than I care to remember. I pretty much grew up with this person and know practically everything about him/her. As happens a lot when you reach my age, time makes old friends simply drift apart and lose track with each other. Such was the case with this acquaintance.
But when this site was brought to my attention over the weekend, it struck me that had I not known better – I would swear this was not even the same person. The lies and fiction that were strewn about would rival Grimm’s Fairy Tales. The life that this person self-described was something out of James Bond. No one lives the glamorous life that this person described; yet he/she wrote it out as if it all really happened. I knew better.
It made me think how easy it is for anyone to create an entirely different persona behind a keyboard these days. Start up a blog and you can become anybody that you want to be. Fortunately, the IndyCar bloggers I follow on a regular basis have written about such normal, everyday things about their lives – I don’t think anyone would bother to make up anything so mundane.
The Pressdog makes it clear that he is a professional writer and you can tell by his writing style that he really is. He also writes about his teenage daughters, his love of beer and his new snow blower. It sounds like a nice life, but nothing that anyone would question whether or not he is making it up.
My Name Is IRL is a computer programmer in his day job. That’s a good solid profession, but it doesn’t make me question for a minute what he REALLY does. JP of JP’s IndyCar blog is a marketing executive. Again, it’s a great job that probably provides for him quite nicely, but I never get the idea he’s the least bit pretentious. The SpeedGeek became a new father a few weeks back. While there is a part of me that is slightly envious, the much bigger part of me remembers those days all too well. There is no way I would consider trading places with Andy any of these nights at 3:00 am.
Will at "Is It May Yet?" probably has the most glamorous “real life” of all of us. He holds a Ph. D. and Masters in Atmospheric Science. Roy Hobbson at the Silent Pagoda? Well, I’m not really sure what he does, but I pity his co-workers.
And yours truly? I certainly lead a glamorous life. I am the sales director for a local staffing and recruiting company. I’ve done that for thirteen years. Prior to that, I was in pharmaceutical sales for eight years. I’ve been divorced for fourteen years, raised two kids by myself – from age 6 & 7 to adulthood; and have been dating the same (wonderful) woman for the past nine years, yet never re-married. Who would make any of that up? And as opposed to the blog in question that I read this weekend, I’ve always tried to make it clear that I am not a journalist nor do I pretend to be one.
The point is, while it would be easy for any of us to create a false persona for the mere sake of impressing people that we don’t know – what would be the point? Instead, by all appearances – the IndyCar bloggers seem to be a very genuine, unpretentious, civilized and normal group.
None of us seem to care about creating some false image. Instead, we all share one thing that cannot be fabricated – a passion for open-wheel racing. We don’t all share the same viewpoints on different subjects. Thank God, we don’t. Otherwise, it would be pretty boring to read everyone spewing the same opinions from one blog to the next. But one thing that we do share is that we all want to see this sport grow and succeed.
So everyone that reads the many excellent IndyCar blogs out there should take comfort in the fact that you are reading some real thoughts from real fans who are real people. We don’t care as much about who has done what as we do about the level of passion for open-wheel racing. But if you venture outside of the IndyCar circle and start reading other blogs about other subjects, take it all with a grain of salt. You don’t really know who or what you are dealing with.