CBS: “President Bush’s approval rating has fallen to an all-time low of 34 percent.”
Earlier this month I was interviewed by Ed Cone at CIO Insight about RSS, podcasting, blogs and what’s next.
Iced Coffee & A Bagel: “I think New Orleans is now one of the most technologically advanced cities in the U.S.”
I’ve seen reports from OPML Editor/Mac users that they aren’t seeing icons on outline headings. It’s a known problem, and a workaround was found in September. The 1.0 release of the editor won’t have this problem.
Terry Heaton: Public Broadcasting needs a new name.
Keith Teare: Edgeio has launched.
I just got through a Joan Crawford binge, the best you can do at Netflix, which isn’t very good, compared to a Joan Crawford Month on Turner Classic Movies. Netflix has just two old-time Crawford movies, there are probably about a dozen really good ones, and I like the mediocre ones too. Basically I like anything with Joan Crawford, before 1950 or so, when she turned into a horror movie actress, and looked the part. Most people don’t know that she was a real cutie in the 20s and 30s, and then hardened into a great dramatic actress in the 40s. Born in 1908, her age tracked the year of the century, minus eight.
I’ve also heard a lot of the hearsay of Crawford the person, that she was always in character, a promiscuous party girl, a dancer and flapper, and she was devoted to her fans. She always was gracious signing autographs, visited with her fan clubs, thought of her fans as the reason for her success. More power to her, maybe that’s why I like her movies so much, even though, of course I never met her, she was past her prime before I was born.
In public when a star acts like a person, the fan can become quite abusive, I know I’ve seen it with my own eyes. And these days they have their own publications (blogs, duh) so their opinions are heard much more widely. I didn’t realize this until very recently, on returning to the Bay Area, where my celebrity is at its maximum, that’s why I’ve come to dislike public tech events more and more over time, and go to fewer. I’d like to be treated like a person, I really don’t like being a celebrity, I am not an actor.
What’s the difference? I’m willing to sell you my ideas, but I’m not out to sell you me. I keep that for myself. So when you ask me what I think, I tell you. I don’t tell you what I think you want to hear. I do that because that’s what I want, I want to know what people think. Not about stupid stuff, like your or my quality as a human being, that’s so childish. I want to know what you think. I want the product of your intellect. I want to create together, I ache to create together. Instead what I’ve been able to find so far is a world that criticizes me for not being enough of a movie star. Arrrgh! I’m not a fucking movie star.
I guess what I want to say is that blogging really is different. It’s a temporary abberration that there is such a thing as an A-list. That’s going to go away. They (we) will get disintermediated just like everything else that the Internet touches. It was never my intention to get in anyone’s way. I will get out of the way eventually, when my work is finished, and I think that’s pretty soon, but that doesn’t mean you will get to take my place (that seems to be what so many want). This stuff is more like telephones and cars, lots of people have one, and no one is a gatekeeper for the others. That there are stars is, I think, a vestige of the world we’re leaving behind.
If you saw me in a restaurant while I’m eating dinner, and overheard part of my story, but not the whole thing, and then proceeded to address the whole restaurant, claiming I was wrong, and immoral, and not a nice fellow, and I should stop eating right now and go fix the problem (even though you didn’t hear the whole story) I wouldn’t say “Now wait a minute Dave, he’s just like a customer and you’d better not tell him he’s wrong.” Instead, I’d say to my companion, this guy doesn’t trust me, and I’d be being generous at that.
In my world the writer is a person who tells you what he thinks and lets everything else fall off from there. This is not television, these are not bedtime stories, they aren’t about you. If you can’t be bothered to actually read a three paragraph short story, and get it right, then I’m sure not going to pretend you’re right. Instead, you become part of the randomness, the art, the world that’s too busy to listen.
In my world, the reader is an adult who is responsible for what he or she says. I write for a person who is college educated, probably a few semesters of literature. You can’t just skim my essays and get the point, if you do, and then comment, you’ll probably have missed something important. That doesn’t seem to stop most people who do comment, I’ve observed.