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The Public Ineffectual

For entertainment purposes only.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


I'm still trying to figure out the writing/blogging relationship. William Gibson quit updating his blog last summer because he likened it to "trying to boil water with the lid off". Someone else put a similar idea to me in less colourful terms, "I've been putting off the hard writing by doing the easy writing." I don't know if he keeps a blog, but he was referring to the magazine articles and the book reviews that always get written over the books and the articles bound for peer review. Nothing quite comes to that roiling boil; ideas don't get teased out to their logical limits.

A blog ought to be a good place for simmering ideas for the stuff that really matters to you but it seems that few of the people I know who really need to write use it that way. I like to believe writing begets more writing because it is, at its base, a discipline or a craft over and above an art. Those guys at MIT who recently used a random jargon generator to create an abstract for a conference that got accepted and the Sokol Affair are just two examples of how writing in academia is about having all the right bits in all the right places.

Meanwhile, as Claire puts it, "your blog has got cobwebs." Its true. I've been incommunicative as well as just plain old non-communicado. I've been spending too much time alone...and, paradoxically, too much time chatting on line. Too much time with my own thoughts and too much time getting inside other people's heads. Perhaps its because I've been re-connecting with many old friends (the long standing, long suffering ones I mean) but there are still too many outstanding emails and phone calls.

On a lighter note...whist talking to roomie yesterday I busted out with the following gem: "Now, I know this sounds like a dispatch from the Department of Easy Answers but..." I'm glad I got to write that down somewhere...and that someone got to read it. I wonder if I read this particular line somewhere. Its got Graham Green written all over it don't you think?

I'm off to Long Island on Saturday to see my uncle. Blogging might again be in short supply or might be copious depending on what I find when I get there. I will try to have some laksa in Flushing, Queens. I will meet my new second cousin.

In her honour, I will finish my post about babies and my changing relationship to them. And this time, I mean human babies and not puppies.


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