Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Random Excess Memory

1. As a follower of blogs for some time now, it is my observation that some bloggers become angry with their blogs and threaten to return them to Blogger dot com or other blog platforms, reminding me of petulant youngsters who, before the time of the computer, computer games, and the internet, were wont to hate their toys.

2. There are those who decide to use a pseudonym, starting a new blog in hopes of getting a new cyber life. Reminds me of the famous Flitcraft sequence Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon in which he introduces the parable of a man named Flitcraft who, walking home from work one evening, narrowly misses being struck by a beam falling from a scaffolding. Aware that he could have been killed then and there, Flitcraft realizes also how meaningless his life has been. On the spot he decides to run away and start over. Sam Spade, the detective narrating force of The Maltese Falcon, tells of being hired to track Flitcraft down. When Spade finds Flitcraft, he discovers that Flitcraft has exactly replicated the life from which he fled.

3. Some bloggers indulge in self-recrimination for not blogging, beginning with excuses--was busy, or didn't feel like it--then longish paragraphs of defensiveness. What am I anyway, a slave to a cyber post? I'll blog when I please.

4. Some bloggers take umbrage at the comments left by visitors, some of whom may be spammers, nut cases, sincere and considered presenters of opposing points of view, or yelling in from the bleachers, as in way out in right field.

5. Some bloggers are angry with themselves for not having become the writer they want to be and in consequence taking up the literary equivalent of waterboarding in the exercises and schedules they set for themselves, rendering themselves so fearful and convention bound as to make themselves even angrier for not having achieved their goals. Last I heard, writing was supposed to be fun and rewarding.

6. Some wonderful bloggers engage with blogmates in sincere, heartfelt exchanges of opinion and idea that make the best kind of eavesdropping. (I am currently eavesdropping on one such discussion between three women, one in Massachusetts, one in Tennessee, the other in France; it provideth energy to fuel my day.)

7. Nineteenth century Americans often learned to write from having learned to read from Webster's Reader and from The King James Translation of the Bible; examples of journals, diaries, and letters from such persons are remarkable in their expressions of eloquent individuality. Some twentieth and twenty-first century Americans learned to read from the Hearst papers, from readers featuring Dick and Jane and their dog, Spot. This is reflected in their blogs and it is small wonder they are unhappy with their progress as writers.

8. It has been called to my attention that I am quick to use the expression "a mountain-goat leap of logic," to which I bow in acknowledgment and hereby forswear, laying it to rest with very.

9. It is better to have readers irritated with one for having quit too soon rather than staying on too long, the last guest to leave the party, the explanation offered when none is needed.

10. Most people love an engaging story; what they aren't so fond of are complaints about why the story was so long in production.


R.L. Bourges said...

"mountain-goat leap of logic": as one genetically wired for same, I enjoy both your leaps and your use of the expression (but then, I always tend to be in the Opposition.)
As for listening into people's conversations: I don't know if you've seen the movie The Life of Others. If not, the woman in France strongly recommends it. It gives a whole new meaning to the word "eavesdropping".
best to you, Shelly.

Lori Witzel said...

Ah, but have you ever seen a mountain goat not quite stick its landing?

I did, in West Texas.

It was a young one and as it skittered and bobbled it looked mighty embarrassed, the way my cats do when they make a graceful leap to the sofa and miss.


Kelli Anne said...

you are my only blogmate.

x said...

Well, kelli anne come join the fun so Shelly can eavesdrop on you, too. I can't decide in which number I see myself more. I tend towards the waterboarding frustrated writer mad that I'm just blogging, but damn it, it's really fun.

Unknown said...

Ah such wonderful observations, but you forget the "attention sinks" who become angry with the world for not reading their "beautiful gems of wisdom" having forgot to include any such thing.

Who are these three ladies you speak of? I wish to drop a few eaves myself. ;)

Unknown said...

I left a little something for you on my blog.