What It Is: 7/6/09

What I’m reading: I finished The Hunter, and I’m waiting for delivery of David Mazzucchelli’s decade-in-the-making comic, Asterios Polyp. (Boy, do I hate the term “graphic novel.”)

What I’m listening to: My new Mad Mix CD, “Stix Stigma,” which I’ve started sending out to select friends.

What I’m watching: Apollo 13, Roman Holiday, and Federer’s impossibly long Wimbledon finals match against Andy Roddick. Congrats, Rog!

What I’m drinking: Plymouth & Q Tonic.

What Rufus is up to: A little of this, a little of that. Basically, back to the old days. I even left him for a full work-day (about 9 hours), and he was just fine.

Where I’m going: Maybe down to the shore for a day with my brother and his family. Maybe to the Frick or the Met, to see some art.

What I’m happy about: That I finished the July/August ish of the magazine  last Thursday and then managed to win my Fight With the Forsythia over the weekend! Since I’m taking this week off from work, perhaps I’ll engage the Battle of the Mulch. (Actually, I have a To Do list of about 20 projects, chores, and errands; I’ll have to juggle those with spending time with my aforementioned brother and his family, who are here to visit for the week.)

What I’m sad about: Even Gil Thorp has a Twitter feed, and I still refuse to use that site/service. It really is my first “you goddamn kids and your crazy new technologies!” moment. Our IT dept. set one up for each of our magazines, so I evidently have to start posting things there during the workday, in order to boost traffic to our site. I’m thinking posting “Whoa! I’m editing now!”, “I should probably cut down on the office pretzels”, “I’m going to stand up now.”

What I’m worried about: That something going tragically awry if I rent a chipper to take care of the forsythia branches. That said, I did manage to reclaim around 225 square feet of my backyard, so I’ll take the risk to life and limb.

What I’m pondering: If I stop posting on this blog regularly in order to focus on a few topics that deserve long-form essays, will I discover that I’m not really capable of insightful writing and be forced to admit to my own puerility?

5 Replies to “What It Is: 7/6/09”

  1. I think Twitter’s in that Internet Culture phase where blogs were at one time, where to have a blog it was expected you had to write about your cats. Blogging as a beer commercial punchline. Blogging got better and more interesting as better and more interesting people picked up on the technology, and so should twitter.

    It seems to me from all of three weeks of paying attention to it that right now most people are following the celebrity model, so you have a bunch of people trying to build their “personal brand” by either making a lot of odd, strained jokes or by writing mini-blog posts about the boring details of their lives. This really doesn’t work for everyone, and I think more and more people will figure that out.

    I also think there’s something to the effect of one’s personal twitter feed that no one’s made as big a deal of — it kind of revisits the feeling you got from the early chatrooms, a more potent version of the way those places made you feel less alone. It’s like always being able to walk into another room where a cross-section of your friends are hanging out, only this time in almost real time as opposed to leaving each other notes on the chalkboard.

    I don’t know, that occurred to me when I was ruminating on CompuServe’s final demise this weekend. It’s probably a stretch.

    I figure what’s going to stick around for a while is the structural aspect of it, these little tiny bursts of information, and there will be a wider number of uses for it built up for the next six months. So you can just wait on it, Gil. Fake it for a while.

    I certainly haven’t figured it out yet, as clearly evidenced by my @tomspurgeon and @comicsreporter feeds. The first one is like Statler and Waldorf had a kid; the second I sound like a telemarketer.

  2. The hard thing with the long form writing is concentration and ability to think in a somewhat slower, expansive, and measured manner, which if you are like me has taken a brutal beating over the last decade. Internet writing is really much more like talking in a crowded room than the kind of writing I read and did most of my life. That includes writing letters, which I did quite frequently even into my twenties, in which, as you are only addressing one particular person and not expecting a response for weeks or even months, and which at that seemed a perfectly reasonable and natural way of communicating, which it really does not now, was more like writing an essay or a narrative of some kind than like conversation, which was never a strong suit of mine. But I find now that I do tend to approach writing like a conversation; if I get stuck on a point I can’t put it aside and come back to it, I get jumpy and feel I have to move on. If I cannot organize my points in a neat, fairly sturdy line of argument in an half an hour I have to abandon it lest I be left even further behind than I already am. Left behind what? The rush of life and visible, tangible smart people activity, I suppose.

    I feel this ridiculous pressure of time and the necessity of speed even in writing this comment (tomorrow will bring another post; today’s subjects will have already begun to fade), in the course of doing which I have been interrupted at least 50 times. I am at work, so this is to be expected, but there are really no fewer interruptions or other distractions at home or anywhere else it seems.

  3. both of those comments were TL;DR which is why twitter is popular.

    also i have it so the news is posted automatically to twitter, so right now you really don’t have to do any more work than you already do.

  4. yeah, people are generally stupid and don’t want to read anything that’s too hard and not entertaining, that’s true, too

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