While Mike Abundo challenges flamers to a fight, I find myself mulling over the real-time possibility that is bound to happen tomorrow:

I’m going to meet Benj. *deep breaths*

Benj is an old online nemesis (hahaha!). One thing that has made this guy so irresistible to me as a blogger is his ability to push my buttons, usually not in the way I’d like my buttons pushed, if you know what I mean. Benj tells it like it is, and sometimes a lot of times, I don’t like being told like it is. This latest post is one such example.

Benj writes this about bloggers in general: “(Bloggers are) a group of people with neither a social life nor social skills to have a significant voice in society. to compromise for how immaterial their thoughts are, they decided to whore their ideas and amplify them via the internet to propagate them for eternity.” (He strikes the statement out, which is the Internet equivalent of “I said it, but, oops, well, I kinda take it back.”)

He then says the Blog Parteeh is “overrated,” thinking everyone is more interested in the raffle and/or Krispy Kreme donuts.

One thing people should understand about Benj is that, at the end of the day, is that he’s so comfortable with himself that he can say these things about himself and not really care. Or say these things about others and not really care. With wild abandon, he writes with his heart on his sleeve and his tongue planted firmly in cheek. Sarcastic? Maybe. Sardonic? Oh yeah, definitely. Rude? Your call.

But, like he says, he’s whoring his ideas and pimping them on the Net. His own online history has shown that he is an attention whore, from the sensible but potentially flammatory posts on PinoyExchange to the participation in a virtual Pinoy Big Brother competition, to his failed audition to make into 5Takes (which is a shame, because he would have made fantastic TV). Whether you like it or not, that’s Benj, and he’s comfortable in his skin. A lot of us aren’t so lucky.

Whether or not you agree with Benj’s scathing generalization of what it means to be a blogger, Benj does have our number, or at least mine, on one’s rationale for going to this party. Yes, I’d like to win that I-Pod Video. Yes, I’d like to win those speakers. But that isn’t – or wasn’t – the real reason why I wanted to go. I wanted to meet Noemi. And Jomar. And a host of other bloggers. I wanted to catch up with Migs again for the first time in ages. My reasons for going may be a little more idealistic than my world-weary philosopher friend online acquaintance.

Fact is, I’ve been blogging for seven years. I do have a social life, and I’d like to believe I have social skills. Benj and I have known each other for quite some time, but it’s all online. I’ve the greatest respect for him for his frank, candid demeanor and his ability to explain himself perfectly.

I can’t help but think about what it would be like to meet Benj. Will we get along? Will he rip out a blade and start slashing at my face? Will we have this kind of conversation:

He: Finally, Mister Dean, we meet.

I: Yes, we do, (PEx nick not posted, in case Benj doesn’t want the world to know). It had to happen sometime.

He: You threatened to ban me on PinoyExchange.

I: You were flaming others.

He: It’s a free country.

I: PEx is a private board!

He: You common hypocritical legalist Christian scumbag!

I: Now, who are you calling common, you self-indulgent, self-absorbed non-professional?!

At this point, he then whips out his razor blades and samurai, and I my Sword of the Spirit and my Bible. I imagine Joni of taintedsong watching in amusement, while Migs gets ready to videotape the whole thing for YouTube.

Meanwhile, I’m thinking about the chance to feast on some delicious Bubba Gump shrimps without paying for them. Most people want the I-Pod or the speakers, but hey, I’ll take the food, thankyouverymuch. If I do win the I-Pod, hahaha, I’ll make it a point to thank God first. Benj oughtta get a kick out of that. Hahahaha!

I’m also trying to decide what song I get to play at the party. It’s always a bit of a quandary finding a Christian song to play at a secular party. Nothing too blatantly worshipful, too slow, or too trying-hard in its volume… I’ll probably go with either Love Won’t Leave You by Avalon, Happy or Big Enough by Ayiesha Woods, Next Thing You Know (Thirteen) by Matthew West, or Unleashed by Warren Barfield, leaning more towards Happy and Thirteen right now.

The grace of God is sufficient…