Blogs à moi
This site was launched in March, 2000, and it would be an understatement to say that I'm not sure what it's all about. The appeal of working in an unprecedented form is largely theoretical, or at any rate something that interests me only when I'm not actually working.
My latest innovation is the Portico [as of when?], with which the home page begins (do I have to call it a home page?). I was going to call it something long and Greek, but my wife's good sense prevailed. Dreaming up labels is always the fun part of any project, at least until it comes down to sticking with choices. What wasn't any fun at all was trying to figure out what to do with, or about, the kind of material that I now understand will appear at the top of the site.*
The idea, if there is one, is to avoid journalism, or perishable prose. Need I say why? In the introduction to a collection of his newspaper columns that he himself had nothing to do with putting together, the very funny Carl Hiaasen insists that he can't imagine anything more tedious than going through his old stuff. (I could look up what he says exactly but I might find out that I'm mistaken.) But I rather like reading things that I wrote a long time ago. The older they are, the better they seem, and the more bitterly I regret the subsequent decay of my talents. How did I know all that, I wonder. And why can't I put a sentence together anymore?
In my classical radio days, my colleagues and I shuddered every time a listener called in to request the name of "that song you just played." Sometimes we laughed, but we always shuddered. I will feel much the same, in connection with 'Civil Pleasures,' about the word 'reviews,' and I will work harder at heading it off than at anything else about the site. I am not here to tell the world that, for example, Kurt Masur directed a spellbinding performance of Bach's St. John Passion earlier this year. I am here to put that opinion in context, if I can find one.
That said, I hope you'll let me know what you think. And I particularly hope that you will correct me. All corrections - providing that's what they really are - will be duly noted, with credit to the corrector. After all, somebody has to check what Mr. Hiaasen actually said.**
*Unlike the rest of the site, the Portico's contents will change regularly. I already hate to think what 'regularly' means, but I like saying the 'it will change' part, because of its enchanting implication of autopilot, of things happening without my having to do any work. Of course I'd hate saying it if I were really sharing control with anybody.
** Oh, all right. "... a columnist's worst nightmare. Most of us [columnists?] can't bear to look at something we wrote last week, much less a decade ago." (Kick Ass, edited by Diane Stevenson. Full cite upon request.)