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Archive for October 31st, 2006

not blegging for compliments, really…

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So, yes, we’re at a bit of a crossroads with this site, clearly. I’m not really updating it anymore. Dylan youtubes don’t count.

In short, I’m trying to decide what to do. The three (or, perhaps four) options.

1) Keep going with this site, redoubling my efforts. Update like I used to, back in the day.

1a) Keep going with this site, but just like I am now – trying not to worry about the frequency of my posting. Pretend / believe that this is just a dry spell, and that I’ll become vigorous and prolific in bloggery again soon, or at least at some point.

2) Start a new and fully-anonymous site. (Enough folks know who I really am, that this is only semi-anonymous…)

3) Quit the game altogether, as my time might be much more profitably spent on, say, reading real books and writing real books and articles and suchlike.

Decisions, decisions. I think I’m going to start a fully-anonymous site – obviously, you won’t hear about it here – and see how that feels for a bit, while keeping this one in a limp. Full-anonymity is tough work though – when you live in a place like the place where I live, the ip addy is enough of a giveaway that even visits to and comments at other sites could spoil the secret.

Obviously, the big question is why am I so worried about anonymity? The job, the career, of course has a lot to do with it. But more than a fear of discovery, and the possible ramifications of it, I know that the more people there are who know who I am, the less (and less adventurously) do I write.

In my other job, the real one, you see, I’m a terrible perfectionist. Hours hovering over the sentence – headachy bouts of real-time self-editing, that sort of thing. The blog releases me from that. The style (?) of my writing here is developed over, well, as close to a lifetime as someone my age could have spent in the on-line world – mostly anonymous, always on the same topics. I started when I was, what, 15 or 16, with bulletin boards on Prodigy (!) – which is, almost exactly, half my lifespan.

(I hadn’t ever done the math before. That’s rather stunning. I’ve been messing around on here for half my life… I doesn’t seem like half my life. But there’s aging for you… Accelerates, apparently, the passage of time. Viciously.)

In short, the public persona meets pseudo’d bb nut at the crossroads. (Not “public persona” as in famous, jesus, no. Just the part of me that publishes or tries to, holds a job, teaches classes…) The former bristles at the sloppiness of the latter, he willingness to hold forth on topics that aren’t his, his willingness to engage in questionable arguments sure to yield nothing good… In particular, the former carries around with him a phobia about materials being read in less than optimal state – materials that fall somewhere short of the explosively intelligent…

On the other hand, well, there are the friendships I’ve formed on here, the very obvious pleasure that I take in interacting with everyone and being interacted with. Along the lines of what Scott is talking about here, I guess. I may go to the MLA panel that he’s talking about. I think that I’m not alone in being almost stupidly excited by the idea of it…

I probably keep in better touch with people that I’ve met on here than most (not all but most) of my good, good friends from grad school, who have scattered, just as I have… Blogging provides a degree of social stability amid the flux of early-career academic itinerancy, when all those people who you saw on a daily basis for five or six years, lived just above you or around the corner from you, dissolve into postdocs and assistant professorships, leave the field under their own power or on a stretcher, stay behind for “one more year” back at “the department” and so forth…

It’s so complicated… Humpfff…

Anyway, I’ll work it out. There may or may not be a new, nearly empty, anonymous blog out there in the left-cultural-academic b’sphere. We’ll see which – or whether either – wins…

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October 31, 2006 at 12:11 am

Posted in blogs, meta