Jun 23, 2009

The Arrogance of Blogging.

The whole journaling/blogging thing is really arrogant, isn’t it? It’s a pretty New-Agey-sort-of-idea-gone-mid-tech; which makes all the right wing journals seem funnier than usual. “Journaling” is the kind of crap that English majors substitute for actually writing something that others might want to read. I have first hand experience, trust me. Once a writer turns into an author and mutates even further into a “famous author,” wannabe writers expend a lot of energy reading the famous author’s journals looking for a clue into becoming one themselves. I’ve found that to be pretty fruitless work. With the “advent of the blog,” any damn fool can pretend to have passed Go and moved right into having something worthwhile to say. And here I am.

While I was at the North Dakota Heritage Center (a pretty New Agey title itself), I read a collection of journal entries from a private at one of the remote North Dakota forts (Is there any other kind, “remote” I mean?). When he was first posted to the fort, he wrote quite a bit. He introduced his audience to the other soldiers. He described the fort, the daily tasks, the occasional sightings of Indians, the wild life, and the weather and the bleak scenery. After a couple of months, he was down to “this guy is in the brig, this guy is on watch, it’s cold as hell today.”

One of the reasons I do these sometimes-painful solo trips is for inspiration. As I crossed the great North Dakota plains, an entire story wrapped around that soldier’s journal played out in my head, complete with soundtrack. I’ll let you know how that works out for me. Maybe it will be my route to “famous author.” Hell, I’d settle for author-of-anything at this late date in my life.
I can sympathize with that private. At the two ends of a life, boredom and excitement, it’s hard to talk about what’s going on in your day because it’s either too boring to think about or taking the time to write takes time away from doing that exciting thing you’re on the road to be doing. I write while I’m eating. It slows down my usual digestive habits and there is usually nothing interesting to look at in a restaurant. Usually.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is a good little book on combat fatigue entitled "No More Heroes", which relates the military and non-military forms. I think old Freddy has also had some depression trouble as well. A typical form in the Civil War was paralysis of the body part essential to carrying on - the trigger finger/hand in many cases, or even spontaneous blindness. Often this stuff happens to men already decorated for bravery, so it tears them up for more than one reason.

I find it encouraging that it exists, for it suggests there is a mechanism in the mind which is able to say, "Enough of this shit. If you keep this up you will fail in your biological task. So I will now shut down your ability to carry on."