Wednesday, March 09, 2005

A Phase

I've largely been absent from Banality Fair and other blogs lately, for reasons that aren't entirely clear even to me. But I've got it down to a few possibilities.

1. I've decided that I hate Daily Kos. I went through a period -- beginning just before the election and ending, it appears, recently -- of being a very active participant there. The charm wore off. As near as I can tell, a small cabal of anonymous, presumably uncredentialed attention-hounds run the place, and everyone else jumps around and dispenses "4" ratings to the elect few in the hope of currying a diary recommendation or a reciprocal "4" rating. All that mutual masturbation just got to be too much. Plus, I think it's actually a pretty intellectually vapid place. That's what you get when anyone can post anything. I think my anti-Kos feelings are affecting my feelings about bloggery in general. People who write blogs are vain and presumptuous, by definition. But Kos seems to be little more than an orgy of people reveling in their own vanity and presumptuousness. (All this negativity comes largely, I admit, from the annoying and distasteful reaction of a particular dKos user to the last diary I posted there. I've kind of thrown up my hands about the place.)

2. I only have so much energy, and I've been busy at work.

3. I only have so much energy, and I'm trying to divert some of it to fiction-writing. I've got a couple short stories in nearly finished form. (Or, to paraphrase the quote I read in one of Henry's writings, in nearly "abandoned" form. Who said that, Henry?) I believe I may even send one or both out to be considered for publication. The net effect of that effort will likely be the conversion of several fifteen-page copies of stories into several one-page pieces of paper bearing rejection letters. But, then again, life is like a box of chocolates: It attracts maggots and festering disease, and its outcome is better dreaded than predicted.

4. I only have so much energy, and I'm a lazy prick.

5. The "M" key on my keyboard is broken. No joke. There was a crumb under it, and I tried to pry off the keycap to get at the crumb. I succeeded in removing the keycap and the crumb, but failed in replacing the keycap. It's wedged in at an angle, and every time I try to type an "M", I have go back over it and pound it repeatedly with my finger. This is a disincentive to typing. The people at the Apple Store were too busy to look at my machine, so I have go back this weekend.

I must say, although I hate to because it involves typing the letter "M": It's a nice thing having Joseph K around to carry the full weight of the Banality Fair flag while I go through "a phase." (Hey wait, I didn't have to use "M". AwesoMe!)


Blogger Henry Baum said...

I’ve abandoned Kos as well. All those diaries explaining the rating system and attacking other diaries--seemed a little bit like high school.

I’ve missed you at my blog--especially since I’ve put up music which has made me extra vulnerable, and probably extra presumptuous.

Oh, and I don’t know who said that. My Dad said it to me and he got it from somewhere else. I’ll ask him.

12:42 PM  
Blogger Spiral Stairs said...

I should have posted at Ash Tree what I have been thinking: You have an astonishing amount of musical talent. I haven't listened to all of the songs yet, because I can't do so here at work, which is where a lot of my bloggificating occurs. (I mean, none of it, boss!) I hear more Nirvana in what I've listened to than anything else, and that is an extremely good thing.

Also, as long as you're being vulnerable about being vulnerable, I haven't even started your book yet, so don't take my silence as an invocation of the "If you can't say anything nice" rule. I haven't been reading much at all. Right before I received your book, I bought The Effect of Living Backwards by Heidi Julavits, because it sounded really interesting (based solely on the back cover). I haven't started that one either.

That quote from your dad has been rattling around in my head for a while now. It really ties a string around something I hadn't quite articulated, which had been causing me some anxiety. ("This story will never be perfect; therefore, it sucks.")

3:22 PM  
Blogger Henry Baum said...

Very glad to hear that. Like your worry--"If it’s not perfect, it sucks"--I think the same thing about my blog. If there are no comments, it must suck. I have the habit of making up stories about what people are really thinking when they don’t reply. It’s usually negative and almost always wrong. I think I learned that from my Dad too. He's also a writer.

3:58 PM  
Blogger Henry Baum said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, Spiral Stairs, we meet at last.

And much as your writing style brings a smile to my face, I must now take you to task for your commentary on my blog. I fear it comes to close to the truth and...

Ah who cares? Henry Baum already figured our where I work, so I might as well reveal myself as...

Nam E. Nizagam
Senior Photo Spread Editor
Juggs Magazine

(seriously, thanks for stopping by!)

8:07 PM  
Blogger Nam E. Nizagam said...

PS: Chapter 2 is up!

8:09 PM  
Blogger Spiral Stairs said...

Please, Nam, the pleasure is mine. Seriously. When I saw Banality Fair linked on your page, I assumed Joseph K had somehow hacked into your server and put it there, probably with a message like "Masthead p0wned!! Joseph K roXors!" I didn't see that message though, and I remembered that Joseph K probably doesn't know what those phrases mean. (Neither do I.)

So I came to the conclusion you suffered a fit of half-wittedness when you decided to pollute your site with a link to us. Thanks for the pollution!

9:56 PM  

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