It is so turned around these days.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Down from the mountains.

It seems that a lot of significant things have happened atop mountains or hills. The 10 Commandments, The Sermon on the Mount, the crucifixion. Last week in Colorado I feel that God really got ahold of my heart. And in not the most obvious way. I had mentioned that I was planning on reading The Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom. That didn't happen. Instead I ended up reading A Man without a Country by Kurt Vonnegut. It's basically Kurt's thoughts about the current political climate and our countries thirst for oil based energy. Even though he did not hide the fact that he is a Humanist, Mr. Vonnegut had some very keen perceptions that I agree with about life and God. Basically he is saying that we are wasting our time being diverted from interacting with each other. Such as T.V. video games, the internet and any sort of diversion we can think of.

To get more to the point, blogging for me is a diversion. I enjoy blogging but in the grand scheme of things it doesn't seem to make much sense. I don't think I will get to the end of my life and say "I wish I would have blogged more." Great, I can share my opinion with the world and you can respond. Does this really accomplish anything? What I think it accomplishes is the elimination of obligation for us to think and act rationally. Especially if we choose to remain anonymous. But look at how tempting that can be though. The internet allows an outlet for some of our darkest behavior. From behind my keyboard I can be the most arrogant, disrespectful, insult hurling jerk in the world with no real retribution. Not only can I disagree with you but I can call you just about every filthy thing in the book. I just feel that the internet is good for some things, rational productive discussion is not one of them. True persuasion will never occur here because it is just an infinite amount of point/counter-point. There's really no point debating anything online. We may as well stand at Joe's Crab Shack and hurl our shoes in an effort to hit the East Peoria Wal-Mart. At least that would be fun.

I think I got hooked on the thrill of debate. I would wait intently for someone to post something that I didn't agree with so I could pounce on them with a fury of spell-checked opinion. I now realize that the time I spent looking for debate was just wasted time. Time that I could be spending elsewhere with other people. Heck it would have been better if we were debating over a beer somewhere. At least then we would be engaged in developing a relationship. And I guess that's the point of all of this. We are here to be in relationships with each other. To be involved with other peoples lives. But in all reality we are just words on each others screens.

As we drove around Colorado, I found it interesting that a community such as Aspen is dealing with issues of relationship. They seem to be in a dilemma over massive land development. On the one hand they want to be a world class resort. But on the other hand those who live there do not want to loose the sense of community that they have. It's good to see that even a town like Aspen can realize community and relationships are worthy of debate.

So with that said, I don't know how much more blogging I will do. I know it will be significantly reduced. I will still probably troll around and post on your blogs. I would rather be upfront and say this than string you along for the next few weeks only to fade into your cyber memory. I have had fun discussing issues with ya'll. While trolling around I found this discussion over at Polly's which I think typifies my point. It's a great discussion to have but I don't know if this forum is the most productive use of time. God bless you all and I will talk to you sometime soon.


At 10:06 AM, Anonymous Mindy said...

Hi BJ. Yesterday I bought 2 tickets to the Third Day concert, for myself and my 10 year old son. In conversation with Chad, about Christian music, your name came up I remembered that you played with the Normals. We reminisced a bit about the "good ole days" when we'd all hang out a bit. So today I looked you up. Interesting blogs, and interesting points. I see your point about blogging in regards to being a waste of time. However, I think it's good for people to have outlets other than face-to-face conversation with others. It's like reading. A diversion. People read for enjoyment, to learn, to pass time, to relax, and other reasons I suppose. I don't know about you or anyone else, but I need down time from people sometimes. Alone time. Especially in this crazy day - our lives are so fast paced and full. Working on my web site is a way I choose to spend my free time, and I find it fulfilling. I've met some wonderful people through my site, and made some great friends. Connected with people on common grounds. It's a slower process - meeting people on the web, but not for naught. Anyways - that's my 2 cents. :) Hope this finds you and your family well. If you don't remember me, just think about IDOT a little. Best to you and yours, Mindy.

At 6:53 PM, Blogger BJ Aberle said...

I would love to see you and Chad at some point. I have talked to Dave over at the flower shop a few times since we've moved back. I work right accross the street in Morton. Tell Chad that I want to paint some fences with him!!

At 7:21 AM, Anonymous Mindy said...

That would be awesome. Email me when you get a chance. Chad never checks his email - he probably has a few hundred unopened in his inbox this very moment. Besides, he'd just lose your contact info - like he did the number David gave to him after talking to you. I say this lovingly. =) We look forward to hearing from you!

At 10:38 PM, Blogger O'Brien's Briar Patch said...


Glad to see you are back from the mountains.

At 10:14 PM, Blogger pollypeoria said...


Reconsider! Blog debate IS worthwhile debate, if you're mind is open. The point isn't necessarily to agree, but to reconsider. Your viewpoint may change, or at least you may recognize that the issue is more complex than you realized.

I have changed my mind after debating on the web, and after my logic was shown - in black and white, with my own words, typed by my own hand, to be lacking or faulty. Verbal debates, especially when beer is involved are good and worthwhile too, but it is harder to be honest, people feel more judged, and folks tend to cut each other off all the time.

The problem is that you don't know if you have changed anyone's mind or got them to reconsider. I think you'd feel much differently if someone had commented, "Thanks B.J., I never looked at it that way before."

Such comments must be thought the equivalent as conceeding defeat in bloggerland- actually in America or humans across the board, I think.

At 6:52 AM, Blogger BJ Aberle said...

Thanks for leaving a comment Polly. It is hard when there is the potential for great lack of respect among commentors to want to continue to debate. The need to back up your argument without compromise is even greater. It is frustrating when it seems as though most people already have their minds made up. Which you point out by saying we need to have open minds. I guess my point is, as a whole we need to drink and talk together more in communion with each other. And type and argue less.

At 11:26 AM, Anonymous Dariana said...

Just out blog surfing in the Peoria area. Wanted to say hello. The Colorado pic is awesome. My son and daughter-in-law live in Colorado Springs. Both are based at Fort Carson even though my son is in Baghdad currently. Have a great time!

At 12:47 PM, Blogger JasonS said...

I've been changed more and more by the entries and posts I've decided NOT to send than those I have. I wonder how many others are like that? Positions I held strongly that, as Polly mentioned, seem less convincing when outlined in my own words.

That's why I took some time away.

While a major waste of time, blogging does help me work out my own thoughts from time to time. Getting to call people names is just icing on the cake. ;-)

Besides, who's to say this isn't the field of your mission? Could you make a greater impact with fingers on keys than with fingers on frets? Who knows. Eyes are watching (a great cloud of witnesses and all that).

I'd seek a higher authority on this one than Mr. Vonnegut. Love his books, but he doesn't strike me as one of the happiest of guys.

At 9:46 AM, Blogger BJ Aberle said...

A higher authority indeed. But he does have some nuggets of truth in his book.

At 9:25 AM, Blogger JasonS said...

Sayeth the proverb:

Wisdom cries out from the streets...


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