October 25, 2003

Writing the Great American Blog

Funniest unintentional line I've heard in awhile was from my friend Bone. I'd asked why he didn't start a blog and he said, "I only write for money", which is ironic because he's never been paid. But he has one complete and pristine screenplay which he says he can show his kids and someday grandchildren and for which he is justly proud.

I jokingly told him I have a finished book too - I could vanity-press my blog tomorrow and presto, instant book. A book without plot, rhyme, reason or genre but two hard covers with pages in between. Charles Murray, quoted in a post below, thinks nothing published in the last fifty years will last anyway so how much different are blogs? (Not that I'm defending mediocrity. I'm just saying that most books and blogs are sisters in their ephemerality.)

Anyway I know I would love to read a blog or journal of my favorite aunt, who died in 1973. Or of my great-grandfather James. And not only because I'm related to them but also because it is interesting reading about average Joes and Janes grappling with the problems and moral dilemmas of their time, especially given the hindsight that history provides.

The writer Anne Lamott was on CSPAN's BookTV Saturday and said "even if you only write your stories so that one day your children would know what life was like when you were a child - still to have written your version is the most honorable thing to have done. Against all odds you have put it on paper so that it will last."

Two hundred years from now if people read blog posts about partial birth abortion or about Terri's case they may either think "how barbaric those people were! They were like ancient Rome." Or "what antiquated scruples those people had!". I hope for the former but fear the latter.

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