Friday, January 29, 2010

how long will this blogging break last?

Too often, my blogging seems like writing with nothing to say. My tepid defense of Chris Matthews is a fine example: he's a rich old white liberal. Why should I care if folks call him a racist because he praised Obama using rhetoric from the '70s and '80s? I'm too often powerless in the face of SIWOTI.

I'm sure there are loose ends in my blogging that should be wrapped up. The only one that occurs to me just now is that I finished Jim Goad's The Redneck Manifesto. It had one surprise for me: when he mentioned realizing his parents were embarrassing because they were lower class, I remembered the same thing. For me, that happened in sixth grade, when we moved from the country to the nearest city, Gainesville. At first, I thought our new house was a big step up in life, because my brother and I no longer had to share a room with our sister, but sometime during that school year, I realized we lived in a small house in a blue-collar neighborhood, and the rich kids at school--meaning the middle-class kids--had very different lives than mine.

The problem with the The Redneck Manifesto is it should be called The Redneck Rant. It's not going to convince anyone, partly because Goad's love of the gross-out will offend a lot of the "nicer" people who might've been receptive to it. If I could edit it to about a third its size, I would have a booklet that I would force on everyone I met. I think if Goad and I sat down with a drink, we'd either have a fine time or he'd think I'm a damn fool for trying to get privileged people to understand the nature of privilege.

I'd agree with him, but I'll still keep trying.

I've been trying to write fiction lately, but that's not happening. I need to change my life. I've started that. I'll provide an update when I know more. (Apologies for sounding cryptic. So far as I know, no bad things are happening in my life. My need for change comes from within, not without. Jesus and Rilke would understand.)

If this break lasts longer than usual, happy trails!

ETA: On Facebook, discussing the way people are responding to Chris Matthews' blunder, I wrote this:
The old-school activists say, "But we're all part of the human race!" while the anti-racists say, "But we're different races and we're proud of that!" It's heard as an either/or proposition when the answer should be "Both--we're the same, and we're different, and neither cancels the other so long as we treat each other with love and respect."


  1. "Too often, my blogging seems like writing with nothing to say.... I've been trying to wrrite fiction lately, but that's not happening...."

    One of the most frustrating things about blogging for me is that it can distract me from other writing projects. Blogging makes it feel like I'm being disciplined about writing -- hey look, I'm writing every day! -- but it actually isn't much of a discipline. Sometimes I think I only have so many words per day in me, and then I wonder why I waste so many of those words on blogging. Then I remember that I no longer write letters, which used to be a big part of my daily word count.

    A very rambling reply, I know. What I really mean to say is -- good luck with the change. Hope to hear from you soon.

  2. A. You people need to go to law school, where you will learn to appreciate the intoxicating joy of writing things without legal citations. You will want to write non-legally all day.

    B. Chris Matthews didn't treat Obama with love and respect either.


  3. Dan, excellent point about letters. I used to write a lot of 'em.

    CC, I'm not totally up on Matthews, but what I've seen says he's a major Obama supporter from way back. What did I miss?