Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Contributing A Verse

I confess: the uptick in readership for this blog unnerves me, even though I've put it out there, big time. I think I know who's reading it (well some of you, anyway, my hit counter shows more than 60 returning visitors) but, hunh, I suddenly feel some responsibility, wouldn't you know. For what? Oh, I dunno, to keeping it personal and honest without being too bloody solipsistic, curious about the world outside of my own thin skull, not too self-serving. It's a blog. For most bloggers--for me--it's a confessional form--a genre with long history--and articulates our hunger for exculpation; we bloggers (and memoirists) are like stand-up comics, but not as funny.

Exculpation doesn't come from asking our readers to forgive us our innumerable and ultimately boring sins, however. It comes from bearing witness to our own experience in a way that (hopefully) exculpates our readers, too. That's the goal of all story telling and the result of all good memoir. But, for it to work, you gotta 'keep it real.' On the one hand, you can't hold back; on the other, you can't take unfair advantage or indulge in intentional dishonesty--good rules of thumb for acting (in life and on stage) as well as blogging.

I'm optimistic about the advent and literary populism of the blogosphere. It seems good for literacy, open debate, and exercise of the mutually re-enforcing habits of intellectual self-reliance and openness to others. As the man said (in the film, "Hustle & Flow), "every man has the right to contribute a verse." I guess this is mine. What's yours?


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