29 April 2010

Why, Scott, why?? It's been so pleasant and peaceful on the internets.

In a world of constant communication—relentless thoughts expressed, instant responses to accounts of mundane activities—a blog seems positively old-fashioned. For many of us, Facebook has become a [the?] way we communicate with friends, acquaintances, business associates, even those we lust after. Our interconnected comments and status updates mean that our reflections about life and each other are quick hits, fragmented but frequent, instant and cavalier. Not good, not bad, but definitely a new kind of real. For many of us, blogs served that same purpose, B.FB. My own wildly successful first blog (yeah, I'm still really funny) had at its heart a series of status updates. One of the things that made chronicling those years so fun was to be part of a community of witty writers who did the same thing. Almost without exception those folk have moved on. When I want to know what's up with Meema, Woolgatherer, Squab and so on, I don't go to their blogs anymore; I simply launch Facebook.

To contemplate a blog now is to acknowledge that writing needs a space in my life, and that people care about what I have to say, and how I say it. Maybe only a handful of people, but still, I have my loyal few. To make a blog work in this day and age means, I think, showing a willingness to experiment, to pick themes and exhaust them, to go beyond the Facebook status tease and share more than a few words at a time. To the drumbeat of "blogs are self-referential, me-focused, navel-gazing blogger" I would add, "yes." Writing what we know is how we start. HOW we do it, that's what determines value, however you define it. And let's face it, if I'm going to write, and I do, why not grab the feedback that comes from thoughtful commenters? Why not push myself to craft an essay that can be read by a few, honed and reshaped and transformed to useful fodder for another project? Who's to say. But we'll try here.

The occasion of my last blog was a major life transition: returning to school at forty. That hurdle past, I expected some years of quiet gentlemanly pursuits. Instead, I am surprised to find myself in the biggest upheaval(s) of my life: a new job, a partner seriously ill, the relationship unraveling as a result, living in limbo, a cherished pet dying, some minor health challenges of my own. I find myself overwhelmed and baffled, excited and terrified, sad and lonely and grateful and loved: sometimes in the span of an hour. Maybe if some of the craziness works its way out here we'll find a way to work out other weird shit together, and maybe we'll learn from each other's mistakes, and learn what it means to be okay. Maybe my stories will inspire your stories and your stories will change my life. Maybe real life is bigger than Facebook. Maybe I have something to say. Maybe you want to listen. Again.


  1. Welcome back. I do think there is room for/need for a different kind of writing style (and reading style) than Facebook allows us. There, you are but one ingredient in a multi-voiced salad: here you take your rightful place as the entree.

    I'm looking forward to this blog as part of the process of "going forward" as you title it. We all need to be going forward, and maybe we can help each other do that.

  2. There's your book title:

    Real Life is Bigger than Facebook.


    Working Out Other Weird Shit.

  3. Nice to see you back on the horse. I look forward to your pointed musings...

  4. You are a talented writer, and I am excited to read more!

  5. "Real life is bigger than Facebook." brilliant

    I've been wondering what been happening in your exciting and busy life.

  6. And, of course, I want to know what's up with a bare-minimum of expended effort on my part.

    Thanks for meeting us more than half-way.

  7. Yay- I've actually been very anti-facebook lately and am very excited to read your new blog. I've already added it to my blog reader.

  8. I'm delighted to see you back and to read your thoughts which in many ways mirror my own. I'm about to reformat and restart my own blog, which has been dormant for a month or so and before that was waning. I'm looking forward to reading your well presented and often amusing takes on your life and on life around you. Especially, since we are not in even weekly personal contact anymore. Best of luck.

  9. All ways going forward. Never look back.

  10. I'm looking for the "Like" button.

  11. I've missed you - both in person and in your blog. Welcome back.

  12. Since the shelving of G40, I have joined and tolerated fb, mostly waiting for this announcement, this day, to come. Thanks, Scott, for bravely crossing the deck from the wading pool back to the deep water where the big boys swim laps, talented acrobats astonish with their dives, and old ladies fake aerobics. And now, to quote Mayzie from my recently produced spring musical, “Enough about Horton, let’s talk about me.”

    For what it’s worth, you have my blessing to naval-gaze all you wish, since my comments will surely follow suit. I find I just can’t do that – comment self-centeredly – on fb without looking like I’m playing a different game than everyone else. The fb comments section lends itself most often to cheerleading, not jumping in the pool and joining the water polo match. So, on fb I find myself clicking “like” a lot.

    Paradoxically, the problem is that fb seems to lack audience / context. Or maybe it’s that for me, at least, Fb doesn’t create a community, it exploits those (however loosely) already created.

    I have missed your online presence.

    I look forward to your words and “our” new group.

    Erstwhile Muse.


As always, civility reigns, but cleverness trumps.

They shall be called my disciples.