Why haven't you been posting your art work?
- I haven't posted my latest art work because I haven't photographed it. I've been busy in the yard and working on some home improvements.
- The sky.
Are you happy with what you've been making?
- Not so much - I seem to be mostly filling frames - I have several antique frames that need paintings. I'm not all that pleased with my recent paintings. I've decided against entering any art shows this year as well. I'm not interested in competition or awards.
Would you rather be doing commissions?
- Not at all. I've decided that creating stuff - just like writing stuff - to please someone else, or appeal to a particular audience is too constraining. From now on everything must be done freely.
How will that affect the blog?
- Nothing will change - I don't think I've been anything less than authentic here.
- A cat-dog.
You have been blogging for about six years now, what has it taught you?
- That living online isn't really living. Many people seem to create an online persona to which they escape and reign from - as if they are major voices and influences upon culture and politics, religion and entertainment - notice I combine religion and entertainment - because many of the online personalities become entertainers - much like Oprah and other televangelists.
- Well I just use Oprah as a popular example, but there are other entertainment personalities one might compare others to. I'm talking about many of the for pay bloggers - the ones who use advertising and donation buttons for their work. Not all of them of course, but many. Many people are deluded by their own conceit. It isn't just religious bloggers of course. Some of the design bloggers seem to be people who would prefer to be published in a design magazine but are unknown in the industry. It seems many bloggers have hoped to get themselves discovered and published. In a way, they've helped legitimize self-publishing, something publishing houses once mocked is working for the budding author online.
You always seem so critical of online social networking, why is that?
- Probably because I think it is phony - pretentious - much like characters in televised reality shows, we know someone is watching, or rather, someone is reading what we write. Even when we are at our most honest I think we self-edit and orchestrate what we say to such a degree that we leave open the possibility that those who are reading will still like us and accept us. It is a risky hobby for people who like to write. Many times we face criticism and contempt for what we write. Yet we only have ourselves to blame, for we are the ones who damage our personal reputation the most - by what we write about and how we express ourselves. Regardless of how careful we may be of our reputation.
What do you think of anonymous bloggers?
- You mean bloggers who hide their real identity or use a pseudonym and tend to be critical and mean spirited, right? I think they are like many of the nasty anonymous commenters - they are cowards and most likely disturbed people. Young to middle aged men whose psychological profile would put them in the same category of domestic terrorist as Ted Kazinsky.
Not a few bloggers seem to have closed down their blogs. What do you think of that?
- I'm happy they have found that life is worth living - that they have found a life. I'll never hear from them again. It's strange because they kind of sort of let you into their life for awhile, asked you to pray for them and their loved ones - then suddenly they are gone.
If you were a famous movie star would you be an alcoholic drug abuser?
- Don't be impertinent.
What do you think of priests and religious bloggers?
- If they spend a great deal of time online they are failing in their vocation - it is a huge distraction to the spiritual life and a danger to be so concerned with friend connect and followers. Recently a hermit priest has come online and solicits for donations and invites readers to visit - online and at his hermitage. That is a bad start to a religious life.
One monastery blog and website went offline - what do you make of that?
- Personally I think it is a good idea. The blog posted too much information and the blogger was not a seasoned monk. They made their own problems - not as serious as Santa Croce in Rome - but their self publishing damaged their already questionable reputation. Getting offline was the right choice.
So you don't think religious should be blogging?
- I'm not saying that. But cloistered religious are not cloistered if they are online all of the time, and if a priest is posting a lot, or spending most of his time online, something is wrong.
- I don't know what to think - I hope they paid the money back.
Who are your favorite bloggers and who are your least favorite?
- I can't say, but I will say that I read my least favorite bloggers the most because I get the most material from them. So in a way my favorite bloggers are my least favorite. You can tell who they are by what I write about. I also tend to like the blogs most traditional types dislike. Some bloggers who were once my friend, I supported and promoted, only to be betrayed by them. Well, betrayed is a bit strong - they dumped me. A couple of them even tried to destroy my reputation with other people - the joke is on them however, since I've already destroyed it here. As I said, 'Yet we only have ourselves to blame, for we are the ones who damage our personal reputation the most - by what we write about and how we express ourselves.'