The Dying Thing

dylanOh, right. Blog. Entries. Write. Timely. All this stuff to remember. I get so caught up in my own reading or in reading online of the various crises that sweep the web—and then there is real life, a blurry distinction if ever there was one. I feel like such a traitor to the San Francisco Chronicle, which was for so many years such a great read in the morning, a daily magazine almost; now this thin, flabby thing is thrown upon my doorstep that is so much easier to skim online. Continue reading “The Dying Thing”

Big Stink, Little China, A Sequel

When did I write this? Write, as opposed to post. A distinction that oft escapes me … I do not by nature pay much attention timelines. Which is how that Forty Years Since The Summer of Love crap snuck up on me. File under: What Makes Zo A Bad Blogger. I’d turn in my badge … but to who? I mean, to whom? Not that I have a badge, to begin with.

Sometime around the Ides of March, maybe a little later:

I see by the newspaper that ol’ Tim is busy today, representing, um, you. I had no idea the largeness of personage … but do I care. What’s fascinating about the current WWW Parade of Narcissism isn’t just its infinitude, no no no! It is the way people get so big, so padded, so fatuous, even those with ol’ Tim’s layer of earnestness. So removed. I expect the answers aren’t that complicated; it’s just one of those days where it’s hard to think straight. Not, of course, for guys like ol’ Tim and Beavis, or is it Butthead, onstage, the two of them determining your future like it was theirs to play with, chuckle chuckle.

People seem to need someone to represent them. No … people need someone to represent what they wish they were, so that they may applaud its embodiment. Other cultures ululate—we bang hands. Weird, either way, and without intrinsic meaning, except to raise a happy clamor. Ol’ Tim, ol’ Tim, I love you, you warm and fuzzy thing!

Tim and his endless badges thread. Bet he wishes he’d never allowed comments along about now. Badges have been hashed half to death, if not completely killed. People are talking about crap like civility. Fuck, if I wanted to be civil, I would move back to West Hartford. 

I did notice, avid little student of power-and-powerlessness that I am, that all the important people were replied to, and I mean pronto. It was quite a thread (okay, I skimmed) … the badgers, the anti-badgers (no, nothing to do with animal rights) … the long and deadly posts of engineer bloggers who really need to get out more often, the long and scrappy posts of those scrappy little types who can’t let anything thing go … and then this pearl, which I wanted to let shine on its own:

“You shouldn’t brand civility.”

This comment was left by a young Swedish blogger, who in many ways needs a good slap upside the head, but I am nonetheless enchanted by it. Whether his intention was “You cannot brand civility” or “You really should not, to try and do so signals the end of all humanity,” or even, “Fuck your stinking badges and the horse they rode in on,” it seemed to me a voice that harkened to something larger and as yet unseen.

A warning away, perhaps, from Web 2.0, the goal of which appears to be precisely that. To brand not only civility but every other aspect of being human and sell back to us. To our own immense, irreplaceable loss.

Note on method: 
1. trivialize the need-desire-feeling into a small, manageable size
2. give it a focus-grouped name that drops a key vowl
3. launch the beta by invitation only, creating
buzzzz …  

edited june 16 to add: 4. profit!!!

Sense and My Sensibility

Baldur Bjarnason: Ebooks and the Senses. I think that ebooks will take over the publishing industry due to their economic benefits. That said, there will be demand for certain books in print format because the benefits to the reading experience are unmatched. The book’s value as a memento comes at a distant, but still important, second place.

Doesn’t anybody love the feel of a book anymore? Continue reading “Sense and My Sensibility”

The Girl Is On Hold

Yeah, right.

This blog is moving platforms, so things might be kinda funky for a bit. Hang in, I appreciate each and every one of you, more than you know.

Write to me, anytime. How you feel about any of this, any post, any of the ideas floating past. Your thoughts, your reactions. If you find yourself in perfect agreement, of course.

Meantime, forgive a few broken image links and such. It’s all under control.

(Yeah, right.)

(No, really.)

(Sure it is.)

(I feel like Eddie Izzard.)

(See you soon.)

{ fin }

Before Everything Solid Melts

Every island of life that exists without a profit motive …

Seth Grodin talks about blogs: ” … the point is to start a conversation that spreads, to share ideas and to chronicle your thinking. That’s the work of an author, and I think rather than kissing author blogs goodbye, someone should just start a new list.”

When business discovered blogging, something of great value that existed just fine on its own was abruptly torn asunder … with the click-tracking aid of our Master Google. When Google’s wondrous graduate-student algorithms turned to links into currency, a world was lost forever.

Every island of life that exists without a profit motive is part of the precious, disappearing archipelago on which humans freely belong upon this earth. Continue reading “Before Everything Solid Melts”

Big Stink In Little China

Yesterday (Tuesday, now that I post this) was kind of a gaggy day, in this little corner of the web. And it is little. I’m not sure some of the well-known bloggers involved really comprehend that. Least of all, the perps of Tuesday’s big stink.

I’m not even going to bother to preface this with all the “I identify with you as a woman” crap, because that should be a given. Not that there were many givens—which are, after all, the product of trust—around yesterday. Continue reading “Big Stink In Little China”

Horses, Pigs, Cows And Danger

Tara Hunt posted a while back something that has stuck with me:

… nobody has come forward to show me where it is unsafe for a woman to expose her life to a wide audience. I’ve only experienced personal and professional gain …

The ACTUAL danger here is not the danger, itself, but the danger of silencing the myriad of voices through the threat of danger. And you know, I’m going to be the ballsy (dangerous) broad I am and continue to challenge every single person who even hints towards the theory that women are less safe than men online. Because, truly, I would rather die for my convictions than live in fear any day.

I don’t know what it is that bothers me about this. Or rather, I find it difficult, morally sorting out all the bothersome things. The irritations from the deeper issues, the offenses from the common moral good.

Nor is it clear why Miss Hunt makes such a good Good Example. Perhaps because her heart is, of all hearts, so plainly, even sweetly in the right place. The sort of person who moves one, whose fallings short of the mark shows us something deeply human about our own. Of course, Tara Hunt may have quite other feelings about me, but hey. The writers’ life.

For it’s writers, don’t you know, who see through walls, and let nothing alone. The unseen and the unspoken are what sets us to thinking, and that is our work and our pleasure. To think through the ghastly spell that grips American life, to illuminate something of the non-suffering world beyond.

And I don’t mean the endless-drivel aspect of the web. It’s the blog entries of people who have neither inclination nor, perhaps, that awful wherewithal to do the hard, often painful work to Think. (cf. Hannah Arendt.) Who churn out i the semi-truthful posts, drawing commenters happy to live in a semi-truthful world. Is everybody comfy?

I certainly hope not.