Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Blogging and Potbelly Stoves

Blogging and Potbelly Stoves
Kevin Shrum

From 1969 to 1975 my family lived approximately ten miles from Glasgow, KY. My dad pastored a rural church just outside of Cave City. Not too far from our home was a spot-in-the-road town known as Goodnight, KY. Mr. Quigly, a Deacon in the church my dad pastored, owned an old-time ‘dried goods store’ in which you could purchase anything your heart desired, i.e. groceries, fishing tackle, farm implements, and clothing. You could even buy stuff ‘on credit.’ The store no longer exists. Mr. Quigly is with the Lord. Oh, what days.

One of my favorite things to do during the summer time was to ride my bike to Goodnight and to Mr. Quigly’s store and purchase a bologna, cheese and cracker sandwich, an RC and a moon pie. It was heaven. I remember that in the back of the store was an open area with a potbelly stove in the middle of the room. During the winter time it always crackled with a warm fire; in the summer time it was a great prop. Always positioned around the stove, winter or summer, were the men of the community who would whittle, chew and spit, and discuss everything from marriage, politics, children and, in general, how life was changing too fast and that the world was ‘going to hell in a hand-basket.’ Not much was accomplished, most of the opinions were just that, opinion, and on rare occasion someone would come up with a significant idea, but not too often.

I thought of this scene the other day when I was attempting to get my mind around the concept of blogging. Does blogging really accomplish anything? Are bloggers just ‘blowing smoke?’ Should we pay attention to bloggers? Since we no longer have front porches and back-room places to share ideas, we now have the internet. Blogging, in my opinion, is the new room in the back of the store where people gather around computers and share their opinions without accomplishing much. It’s like blowing off steam. Not much is accomplished, but you feel better afterwards. In other words, blogging is mainly ‘smoke and mirrors,’ an outlet for politically and theological soliloquies that are often times all ‘sound and fury signifying nothing.’

So, I admit it. My blog is simply one opinion among others gathered around the new potbelly stove known as the computer. Not much is accomplished, but somehow I feel better after a good vent.

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