Superman never made any money for saving the world from Solomon Grundy

Saturday, January 17, 2009

[apparatus] American pop

Y'know, back in the day, like, six or eight months ago, I used to blog every day. I would often hie myself to a local coffee shop, crack open the laptop, and let the world know what I had for lunch. I reported on much more than that, of course, but that was the code for the diary-blogging that sustained so many posts, covering which movies I had seen, who had come over for a visit, what games we had played, and similar escapades.

I guess some people actually enjoyed reading all those quotidian details; at least, some have told me since I retired HKC that they miss them. In some ways, Facebook takes the place of diary blogging, but the Status Updates, one- or two-sentence "what I am doing now" notices, always written in the third person, are short and cryptic and lack even the minimal perspective that even a late night blog post has. I guess I could turn my Facebook page into a full-blown blog, writing Notes on my Wall instead of posts on my blog, and uploading photos and videos, but it doesn't seem that the system wants that. I don't get the sense that anyone ever visits anyone else's page, but instead everyone just read their feeds (and let's not get into all the poking and sending of virtual gifts and such). In the end, Facebook (or any other social networking site) is doing something different than what a blog does.

But it's not really the lack of a proper outlet for lunch-posts that I am concerned with; the world is not poorer for the loss of updates on the minutiae of my life. It is rather that that river of information that I created with those simple posts provided a medium for other writing - and other thinking - to happen in, and I miss that. My new format was intended to encourage me to try more developed pieces - longer texts with more complicated treatments of their topics. That is all well and good, but I have discovered that what is missing from the process now is what we call writing to learn. Sketching out those low-key responses to daily events helped to generate more developed thought; the act of writing modifies the the act of thinking, and lunch-posts sometimes beget true essays.

In an amazingly self-referential way, this one did. I had intended to just jump in with a few pop culture references and links to have some fun, but as I was drafting and revising the introduction, I realized I had more to say about the blogging itself than I thought I did. Hence this ever-lengthening rumination.

I guess what I need to do is make myself some space to some writing. Hmmm.... y'know, I might have said that before. I should listen to me.

Now back to our regularly scheduled post, already in progress:

Otis is all excited about the inauguration, so here's her own hope-ful poster:

Get your own at

Isn't this how every old Flash Gordon serial started?

For everyone who had a crush on Winnie Cooper: she's a math geek now!

And I can't tell if this is a fake or not, but either people were doing parkour before there was a word for it, or it is a totally cool little fraud:

And we love us our steampunk here, and I think this qualifies:


The Fortress Keeper said...

She's a best-selling math geek. When I worked at Borders, Danica's books sold like hotcakes.

Walaka said...

Yeah, it looks like she's got that middle-school demographic locked down. Good on her!

Scotty said...

I miss your old posts for exactly the reasons you mentioned. They went deeper than your lunches. And they had such a nice sense of community to them. As you like it, but I always check in just in case you've written something.

Courtney Putnam said...

Like Scotty, I remember how your old blog's daily posts often had a deeper connection/thread through them. You never know where the mundane will lead you. You never know how a post about what you had for dinner will lead to a larger conversation or exploration. Maybe you could add "the mundane" to your categories here and try out a few diary posts to see how they feel?


Yojimbo_5 said...

You can wait for inspiration to show up, but most of the time you're just waiting...

The way for ideas to show up is by writing. That's what I've found.

Walaka said...

I agree...and I think that's what I said... except that I don't think of the question in terms of 'inspiration.' For me, writing is a very left-brain activity, and it is the connection between writing and thinking that is interesting. "Inspiration" is a little too fuzzy.

As E.M. Foster put it, "How can I tell what I think till I see what I say?"

John said...

Glad to see Scotty post! I was reminded of him by the 30's daredevil footage.

Also: Facebook sucks.

Also: please, please, please get rid of the "click here to read the rest of this article" feature on your blog. I would be a much more eager reader if I could see the full text of each of your last dozen or so posts on the front page of your blog.