WEATHER »

Shibboleth critiques himself.

A couple days ago when I pressed the key that officially posted my first blog entry I remember doing it with a vague sense of forboding, as if I was opening a can of something even slimier and more distasteful than worms. Next, I looked at the piece as it appeared on the Independent website and, to the site-designers credit, it was beautiful, it was beautiful...um...to look at. In fact, if blogs were meant to be admired for their aesthetic value, for their symmetry and balance and...font, why, I had a winner on my hands. However, If you're anything like me or the other several billion people on this planet, when you find yourself confronted by printed material you probably experience an almost pathological urge to read it and it is in the reading that one discovers the fundamental problem with my blog: It stinks.
I'd somehow convinced myself that by examining my subject (The Afghan conflict) through the lens of ancient-history I could somehow foist an old story off as something new and make our former President look stupid in the bargain but I was mistaken. Why? Because you can place the obvious in practically any context you like and it will still remain obvious to almost everybody who sees it. That it was only obvious to me in hindsight is embarassing enough, yes, but the fact that I had failed to make Mr. Bush look stupid was almost unbearable; It had looked so easy.
I was new at this game but not without pluck. Whatever was lacking in the first attempt I vowed to multiply on my second and I would have too, if I had only known what that was. I may as well just lay it all out right here: I produced another hideous essay, something about tourists, I don't know for sure, I didn't read it but it was just more blogging gimcrack and when I realized what I'd done I shut off my machine and went to bed at ten in the morning.
I lay there feeling hot over my entire body, I was so ashamed. Lunchtime came and I lay sweating, wrapped in despair. Dinner came. Despair. At three in the morning I got up and ate some saltines and then went for a walk as I often do. Not a block up State Street, just short of The Hamburger Habit, I stumbled across my error, and my inspiration, and the reason I had wanted to blog to begin with.
It was my friend, Mr.(fictitious name, real person.) Kramer, Jim. He was sitting in the shadows of a doorway doing something with a rolling-paper but I'll be damned if I know what it was because he had no tobacco that I could see: I suppose he was rolling up a strong desire for a cigarette. Whatever he was doing he stopped as I crossed his light and looked up at me with one pale-blue-eye and one sightless-blue-eye and said: "Wayyyne!"
Well, Jim was a genuine Viet-Nam-blind-war-hero-drunk. That's right, all of those and my good buddy too and I had to stop and say Hi or his feelings would be hurt.

(continued)

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