Sunday, February 22, 2009

Much Ado (About Noting)

As they say on Facebook, what are you doing right now?

Cookslogblog is waiting to go eat lobsters and watch the Oscars.

Cookslogblog is trying desperately to fulfill a vow to treat this blog as a practice and to file three times a week, empty thoughts and self-consciousness be damned.

Cookslogblog is pondering the nature of Internet narratives.

I know we’d all rather read about lobster, but how am I going to handle ideas?

I have trouble with this blog structure. I find I’m constantly thinking (at least hypothetically) about narrative, about one piece flowing out of another, but when I look at the finished pages the overall arc of my saga is running backward.

The top of my blog has no visible history.

People who read the blog day by day may have a sense of its (my) unfolding, but anyone else who wanted to discover the genesis of an idea or follow the stages of my political-ethical development (me, me, me) would have to read backward.

Reading backwards is scrolling down. Scrolling down does seem like a natural activity. Reading a story chronologically backwards does not.

The alternative would be to go all the way down to the bottom of the blog and read up. Within each entry you’d read down, but then you’d have to scroll back up to some new beginning and do it all over again. The thought of this offends something in my brain.

On Facebook, everything is in the present, it’s right now. It’s a virtual right now. It’s right now whenever you get to it. This is genius.

My friend quoted someone who said Facebook was like a newspaper, except all the news was about your friends.

I think it’s like hanging out. People come and go, there’s no schedule, conversations start and get abandoned, there are sudden bursts of laughter. And there’s that undeniable camaraderie.

But what do I know about hanging out? I was used to structure.

The blog format reminds me vaguely of a newspaper—everything important is on top. In a tabloid news article, the facts are arranged in descending order of importance. If space runs out, you simply chop off the bottom!

(That is so true here. Remember entry number one? That explains everything!)

In my blog, the most important thing is always what’s new. The past rolls inexorably toward the bottom of the screen, and then drifts away. In that sense, it’s inescapably like life. And didn’t literature once give you the sense of preserving life in a jar?

(Go ahead! Chop that off!)

Slumdog Millionaire, everyone.

1 comment:

Joan said...

So put a link to Cookslogblog on your FB page already! Go on, do it! Do it doitdoitdoit!

It's no big deal if your arc runs backwards. As long as it's an arc, who cares?