Friday, August 19, 2005

ABetterNation: My 200th Post

Some months ago, I flew right past 100 posts without even thinking about it. So now I suppose I see this, my 200th post at A Better Nation, as a milestone of sorts.

I'd been active on the NY Times discussion site Abuzz starting around the 2000 election, but I'd never read others' blogs, much less been a regular blogger on my own until I started ABN in mid-November 2004, just a few weeks after we were hit hard by the news we'd have four more years of Bush and His Old Testament Neanderthals.

I said then that I'd post five times a week, once a day Monday through Friday, and I'm glad to say I have kept to that, only a few times missing my deadline for that day's date, at 2 AM Central Time. (I am in Central Time, but I use the Pacific Time clock on Blogger to give Night Owl Me some breathing room. Often, the ideas and inertia get going after 10 or 11 PM.)

For me, writing and posting that regularly is truly a good thing. I've needed a writing "habit" (and a deadline clock) for years, and now I have one.

I've mostly stuck to the theme of "A Better Nation." Some posts have veered into the personal, and those tend to be the ones that get the most comments (both to the blog itself and to me via personal e-mail and in conversation with friends).

My thanks to friends who have stuck it out many days and continued to read much of this blog. When you write a blog and care a lot about it, as semi-professional writing and thinking, you find out who your friends are. Even a little support reminds me that I've "gone public."

But another thing that reminds me that I've gone public are the slamming comments, often insulting, usually vague - and almost always "anonymous."

I don't surf much, and so far, I've not become a regular reader of anybody else's blog. I get my news from NPR and the NY Times, mostly, with some Salon and Slate and a few others for good measure. And sometimes, I take sabbaticals from reading the news, since I often don't want to hear about the same old-same old from the White House or Iraq. (Whatever we might think of Mr. Bush, it is safe to say that however mysterious and deceitful, his is not a surprising administration; some of us saw all of this coming a decade ago when Bush was Governor Shrub here in Texas, the state from which I write.)

I surf enough to see a little of what's out there in the blogosphere, but I am not much of a voyeur or a diarist, and I find most others' political and cultural analysis to be luke warm leftovers. But it is hard to imagine searching out blogs to slam. Why not just move on to something one likes? This dwelling on what we don't like, in such a huge and free marketplace of free, cheap and easy speech, just doesn't make sense to me. I would love to find a few blogs that I'd consider carefully written and deeply compelling. I'd want to reassure those bloggers that their work, however obscure, does not go out into the ethos in vain.

Two hundred posts, and for me, each post is not just a snippet but a short essay. I know that this slower, deeper approach is not the MTV way of the web or of chatty blogs. Many days, I sit down not knowing what I'll write about, and I get going and whip off a longish draft in a little over a half hour. It goes fast, faster than any writing I ever used to do before writing on the web. I'm not a reporter, and I don't have to be as careful as reporters need to be. "Culture critic" sounds too harsh, and "analyst" reminds me of couches or money bean heads. So far, I'm just a C-Lister at Blogebrity, just one of what David Brooks calls something like 'the cultural commentariat.'

I welcome your cheerful and/or constructive comments.

And hard cold cash works too.

3 Comments:

At 8/22/2005 4:51 PM, Anonymous rfruth said...

200 posts, good work and keep it up (some watch ABN pretty close ((no name goes here))) don't configure your e-mail to your NNTP server cause then "rec.bicycle.rides" "rec.bicycle.soc" "talk.environment" "alt.energy.homepower" and such might be in your grasp ...

 
At 8/23/2005 5:22 AM, Anonymous rq said...

Regular posts on the blog are a good routine for you. Remember when the Tina Garcia pot was not even enough incentive to get you to write 100 pages! You've come a long way, BABY!

 
At 8/23/2005 6:54 AM, Blogger Lawrence said...

rfruth, what the HAY you talkin' 'bout??? My NNTP server? I'm all culture, no tech, so 'splain yursef.

And yes rq, I thought of that lovely Santa Clara incentive in the last few days, as I recognized this milestone. Maybe I'm sort of earning it at last.

Thanks readers, Lawrence

 

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