"First they ignore us, then they ridicule us, then they fight us, then we win." --Mahatma Gandhi
We all know by now that the phrase "bloggers in pajamas" is meant to insult anyone who dares to challenge accepted wisdom by writing about it outside of mainstream media channels. As a derogatory term it has been pretty well debunked by the many fabulous journalists, reporters, and smart people who keep countering lies on their influential, well-read blogs.
The phrase still fascinates me, though. Obviously the "pajamas" image is meant to demean anyone who does not show up for a regular job from 9-5 (or are they just jealous?). But there are more subtle shades of meaning here to consider.
To set the record straight, I sometimes blog in a robe, but never pajamas. (Has anyone set up a study of blogger clothing preferences yet? Grad students, are you listening?) Yet I too enjoy nothing more than settling into a comfy chair early in the morning, cup of tea in hand, ready to impart my thoughts to a waiting world of blog readers.
One thing I notice is that, fresh from bed, my mind is still mulling over dream images from the night before. Often the idea for today's blog coalesces mysteriously from the contents of last night's dream. Given that many people have changed history by listening to their dreams, might there be a hint of worry in those scoffing voices? What if blogging in our pj's gave us more than just an advantage of convenience -- what if our ideas were better, too?
We have a long-standing cultural habit of ignoring and devaluing the contents of our dreams. Yet even those who resolutely block them out still know the power they hold. I think the secret fear of those who disparage bloggers is not that they are slovenly or erratic, but that they are tapping into realms of consciousness -- and sources of information -- deeper than the rational mind has access to.
What would happen, for example, if a big group of bloggers decided to dream about how to create the best outcome for health care reform? If we compared results the following day and from them created a plan of action, how might that help change the tone or reframe the current debate?
The key to winning when our very democracy is at stake is to use every tool at our disposal, and use it creatively. Blogger slumber parties, anyone?