Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Wonders of Technology


I started this blog two months ago. Then I pushed a button, and it vanished. This morning I rediscovered it somewhere in cyberspace, like a note wrapped and sealed in a bottle aimlessly adrift just offshore. Strange, this word of bits and bytes, the stored detritus of billions of lives.

And so I guess I'll have to get back to blogging. It beats muttering to myself or screaming at the television. It's cheaper than therapy (you know, for muttering to myself or screaming at the television). It's a measure of one more life in one more year of America's metamorphisis to ... who knows? And I wouldn't want to miss out on being spied on by the National Security Agency.

So I'll hold down my new space with a quote I enjoyed from the Introduction to "The Best American Essays 2004."

Writing is a window. It opens onto vanished feelings and vanished worlds. Often it is the only window there is, the only access we will every have to those things. it is more than a mere record, like a photograph, because it is also a sensibility, a point of view, a voice. It is the place where, fifty or a hundred years from now, people will go to see -- or to hear -- what it was like to be alive when we were alive.
-- Louis Menand


Blogger Michael said...

Jerry, I’m glad you’re blogging. I go to the larger blogs (Brad Blog, etc.) and they turn into chat rooms. Right wingers (I hate to stereotype) use arguments like “Your mama wears combat boots” and left wingers tell the right wingers how stupid they are.

Everyone seems to have a fact to disprove another fact. Did you every notice that? It’s true. I’ve never seen a fact that hasn’t been disproved by presenting another fact. They are facts, too. What I try to do is see what facts matter the most, because facts, by nature, are true. I used to get confused.

And there’s nothing wrong with admitting you’re wrong. If a fact that convinces me of something is rebutted by another that refutes the first fact and if the second truth is more important to me than the first, I can change my mind.

The large blogs, as I say, turn into what message boards basically are. Facts become infrequent guests in message board discussions. Then there are the true to life facts like “Kerry received a Purple Heart in Vietnam for cutting his finger” that are supposed to compel me to include that in his résumé for the job of President of the United States. That kind of fact does nothing for me. Kerry did nothing for me either, by the way.

The larger blogs actually break stories. I’m not a journalist and don’t really even know where to go to find the misbehavin’ happening. I’m a commentator – a ranter, actually. I look at the facts and try to make sense of them, whether I agree or disagree (“Making Sense of the News” would be a great name for a blog). I use colorful language to ensure that people have no doubt what I think about what others present as facts, but I try to stick to the facts as I know them at the moment.

It appears that you basically follow the same process. I think if a person shows up at your blog or, maybe even mine, that person won’t feel pressured and will have time to read and digest our points of view. If that person wants to comment, all the better in most cases. I receive about as many comments as you receive and that’s OK. I write for the person who might happen upon my blog, might read an entry and might have a change of heart or an epiphany and may even pass the information along.

I also write because I find it cathartic.

Although I never before today saw the quote that you include at the end of this entry, I just learned another reason why I write.

Thanks, Jerry and don’t stop. I mean, really, what else is there to do?

To friendship,

ps You also add to your blog in much the same way that I add to mine. I’m all caught up at your blog. You’re going to have to write some more – or not.

6:26 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:30 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:31 PM  
Blogger Jerry Lanson said...

Given that most of the time all of us blog in a vaccuum, it's great to have a response, Michael. I, too, blog in many ways because it's cathartic. I used to only write when somebody paid me for it, which happened only so often. Blogging makes it possible to, in a sense, write for writing's sake.


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