I think the title for my Guardian Column (they don’t seem to update the site) is “Our Online Selves.” That can be improved.
Here is the second installment.
“The End of Culture and Truth?”
I am a blogger. Eight years ago, saying this might have conjured up someone doing something disdainful with their finger and nose, or some fascinating example of a field position in some strange British idea of a sport. But now, most people recognize that I maintain a web-published journal or log (“blog” is a contraction of Web-log). Why would I or anyone else write publish a personal journal on the web? Who do we think we are, anyway? Great unwashed masses clogging the for a with our swollen egos. Like so much on the Internet, from the amusing video of Mentos and Diet Coke (google it!) to archives of Saturday morning cartoon characters, the common response is “Who has the time?”
A friend of mine, a professor, told me off-handedly: “I don’t read blogs. I don’t have time for anyone’s unfinished writing.” I was spluttering with annoyance at such a narrow perspective of blogs and blogging. I have kids so I get the “no time” complaint. But unfinished writing? Surely he has heard the idea that no writing is ever finished meaning that all his favorite classics were also “unfinished writing.” Who knows what undiscovered Shakespeares and Toni Morrisons are out there? I think what he really meant was that he preferred writing that had already been vetted by some authority. He wanted a seal of approval.