Sixteen years ago today, a movie hit the theater screens. At the time, it was not well noticed, just another movie to be reviewed through Hughes-colored glasses, to use the words of one writer. Yet today, Pump Up The Volume has a meaning, and message, much more appropriate than those innocent summer days of 1990.
For those of you who have never seen the movie, first let me say this. What are you, crazy? Go now. Rent it. Buy it. Amazon it with next-day air. Because for us here in Blogville, it personifies our raison d’être in a way that nothing else out there can.
Right now, there are 51.8 million blogs being tracked by Technorati. Each and every single one of us started off as a lone voice crying into the wilderness. We had no audience. We had no feedback. We had no clue that anyone even knew we existed. Yet still we sat, sending our missives into the vast emptyness of inner space, not caring that there was no ears to hear our cries.
Certainly we all have our own vast and varied reasons for starting in this enterprise. Yet, when it’s all said and done, our reasons are eventually reduced to one: getting things out of one’s own head. Regardless of how we do so. (Or how often.) Regardless of the programs we use. (Even Myspace. Ugh.) Regardless of the time we do it. (No fair glaring at the timestamp, people.)
For the average blogger, we will eventually find that we have an audience, however small or large it may be. Like-minded souls (or sometimes opposite-minded ones) who found our words to hold a certain something: a deeper meaning, an excellent analysis, an interesting turn of thought, or whatever comes to mind. And soon, where there was once wilderness, tiny villages of interaction are formed.
Some remain static and remain as they are, small outposts still able to contribute to the whole like my own little island of inane rambling. Some become shining beacons, providing direction and certitude to a vast multitude, like Glenn Reynolds and Duncan Black. Some, like ourselves at Creative Destruction, become crossroads, bringing together those of us who, by ourselves, would never have thought to cross paths. Some grow beyond all imagination, creating entire civilizations of thought and discussion, such as DailyKos and Little Green Footballs.
Yet still, the basic concept remains the same regardless of how big or small our traffic counters become. These are our thoughts, our emotions, our ideals, our philosophies, our selves we set into these pages. By doing so, we have taken control of an entire medium of our own creations. (Although who was first on the scene seems to be up for debate.)
And as such, we have fulfilled the battle-cry of Harry.
Sieze the airwaves. They are ours. Pick a program. Choose a name. Find your voice. There is nothing that they can do to stop us. They can try. And they may stop some of us. But they will never stop us all.
And the day will come when they will look inside themselves and see us waving up at them.
[Crossposted from Creative Destruction]