I have finally caved to both external and internal pressure and have decided to launch my own blog. I've been hesitant to do this for a number of reasons. First, I don't particularly care for blogs, especially those of amateur political pundits trying to tell me what to think. Perhaps it's a latent authoritarian streak in me, but it seems that the web has made things a little too democratic. What happened to the good old days when elites made politics?
My second reason for avoiding blogging is a feeling of self-consciousness that I don't have anything interesting to say. This stems from my distaste of the "torrential banality" type of blog that describes every detail of a mundane life.
And yet something has compelled me to begin writing. True, certain individuals have been prodding me to do this; that I won't deny. These same individuals have also opened my eyes to the better side of blogging: articulate, well-informed writers commenting on parts of the world that tend to get incomplete coverage in the U.S. news (anyone know what happened in Belarus yesterday?). Better yet, these writers have interesting things to say! Thus, my overal stance on blogs has softened a bit.
Finally, the most important reason is that I forget things. Wandering the streets of Moscow I encounter dozens of interesting things every day. Or at least they seem interesting to me. By the time I get home at night I've probably forgotten most of them, although I can still visualize where I had an interesting thought; unfortunately the thought itself is gone. On the off chance I remember something that evening, by morning it's really gone.
Thus, this is an effort to remember and record so that one day I can look back on my "wild days" in Moscow and remember what life in this mysterious (baffling?) place was like. And so, the primary purpose of this blog is personal. These are the things that struck me as I walked down the street, the thoughts that rolled around in my head as I inhaled a bowl of borshch, and the enlightenment I gained while nearly crushed in the doors of a Metro car.
Nevertheless, though I am my own target audience, I am pleased to share these thoughts with anyone who happens to stumble by. Enjoy!