Movin’ On Down the Road

I’ve been posting in this space for four years now.

Freeway Offramps

Sometime last month was the anniversary. I meant to make a big deal of it, but, like all the other years, I forgot. I suppose it’s actually not such a big deal, anyway.

I must be a lonely guy, to do this blogging thing. I mean, I don’t have a lot to say of great import, and I can’t scoop the real news organizations or even the Big Blogs, so in the end the whole endeavor is inconsequential, and what the heck am I doing? I started out just hoping to hook up — virtually — with people I didn’t already know. That part has worked out pretty well, and I’m grateful to the Precious Few who are my bloggin’ buddies. I read your blogs more than I write my own. I know you think I don’t, because your hit trackers aren’t tracking me, but that’s because I read your RSS feeds instead of logging on to your actual blogs. That way I get all of you in the same place, and it’s more like a party.

When I started, it was just weeks before the 2004 presidential election. Holy shit, did that turn out badly! I thought the aberration of George Bush in the White House would end that year, now that people had a chance to see what a dimwit he is. I won’t comment here on the technical validity of that election, but because of what transpired, the life of revision99 closely tracks Bush’s second term.

Thank God that’s almost over now, and let’s hope I’ll be able to continue writing here without paying so much attention to politics (or politix, as it’s categorized in my sidebar).

I think of a lot of things I’d like to write about here, but I can’t seem to get up the energy to do it. If you could all just come and sit in my kitchen I could tell you my thoughts as they occur, without having to get them organized and spell everything correctly. I could also interrupt you when you object to some faulty logic in my rant. That way I wouldn’t have to do any fact checking before I post. Let me know when you want to stop by, and who takes cream or sugar.

Seriously, I want to post less political stuff and more personal stuff, and I want to try to express true, honest thoughts, the better to look back some day and see what I was thinking when I was a young impetuous blogger. I’ll have to walk a careful line, because I know there are some readers who know me in meatspace, and I don’t want to alarm or offend anyone. I probably should have remained totally anonymous right from the start, but I guess it’s too late for that now.

Unless I start a new, totally anonymous blog someplace else. That would free me to be more honest about things, but at the cost of losing all my current bloggin’ buddies. Let me think about that.

I guess the thing that has depressed me the most about my blog has been the gradual realization that I’m not much of a writer. Seriously, there are such good writers out there, unpublished bloggers who are smart, inventive, funny, touching, insightful and compelling. You expect that level of professionalism in a book or a magazine, because there are editors and because the writers are getting paid to do a good job. But it still boggles me how many really great writers there are “out there,” just tossing off post after post after dynamite post, while I struggle just to make sense. I want so much to be good like that, but I’m just not.

I have thought about what I might be really good at, and I believe I can say with some assurance that I am great at driving on the Los Angeles freeway system. This may seem like a small thing to others, but I’m quite proud of it. I rarely bump into anyone, and I am never panicked into getting off at the wrong exit, or getting on in the wrong direction. In the 1960’s, back before Steve Allen became a pompous stuffed shirt, which was a few years before he died, he used to take questions from his studio audience. One tourist asked him what you should do if you miss your exit from a Los Angeles freeway, and without missing a beat his deadpan answer was “Find a girl, get married and settle down, because you’ll never get back to where you were going.”

He was right, and that is totally not me, because I got these freeways wired.

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13 Replies to “Movin’ On Down the Road”

  1. Ah, at lasst, some weird dude who shares my opinion of Steve Allen. You ever try to read his “Barbarians at the Gate” book? No matter, no one else I know did, either!

    Keep on writing, or at least keep the pencil in case you need to scratch your ass.

  2. Larry! I LOVE hanging out here because I DO feel like we are all gabbing in your kitchen. Your writing is warm, friendly, and analytical all at once.

    Happy blogging anniversary, buddy.

  3. Larry, Larry, Larry. What’s all this about not being a “good” writer? Maybe my opinion isn’t worth very much, but I think you’re an excellent writer or I wouldn’t be checking back once a day or so to see if you’ve written another treat for me to read and think about.

    I do understand your lament, however. There are lots of other excellent writers out there, and like you, I’m sure I’ll never reach that level of talent, concise, crisp thinking and sparkling ability to weave words into glorious tapestries of … what’s the word? Um… Well, you get my drift.

    Fact is, those of us who take up this odd pastime called “blogging” already have some innate talent with words or we’d never have chosen it. We’d be knitting or pasting together scrapbooks or attempting to paint. So just by virtue of doing it, we’re working at being writers, hoping someday to find that perfect mental place that allows the words we write on the page to sing and make a difference.

    It takes practice. It takes doing. But most of all, writing is fun. I’m looking forward to reading what you write for as long as you choose to do it, because reading is fun, too. And you always make me think, which means I always learn.

    Write on, will you?

  4. I don’t stop by often enough lately, but I love knowing you’re here. You’re my oldest blog friend. I’ve learned great things from you and you’ve been with me through enormous changes in my life. At times, you’ve given me courage and guidance, even when you didn’t intend to. Thank you for sharing yourself so generously. I hope you continue to write and read as long as it gives you happiness.

    Larry, you can drive me anywhere you want!

  5. Thanks, everyone. I’m not saying that I don’t know how to spell, or write complete sentences, or support my opinions. After all, I have a degree in “Communications!” I just mean that my writing disappoints me. It’s just not… transcendent, as some of yours is. I can handle this sad realization better today than I could have a couple of years ago, because I have come to know that there are some things I do exceedingly well (rock’n’roll guitar, for example). But, hey, after four years, I hope I’m getting better at writing. Let’s reevaluate next year, shall we?

  6. And how about this, Larry: As a veteran, I agree with your every word, and I dream of that peaceful world, too. I wish I could believe in it, but the pragmatist in me says that “peace” is only one part of what we are as human beings. There will always be greedy people, violent people, people who care nothing for others but only for themselves. And because of them, we’re cursed to always have wars.

    Heh. Beautiful words, m’man. And you think you can’t write.

  7. I guess the thing that has depressed me the most about my blog has been the gradual realization that I’m not much of a writer.

    Uh, well, you’re wrong about that. I think you’re a great writer. I’ve even emailed your blog link to friends saying, “Check out this guy. He’s a great writer! And he’s got a degree in Communications!”

    But, my real life friends think blogging is weird and probably never clicked over. Ah well, at least I tried.

    Happy Blogoversary, Larry! Here’s to another year of great writing and great driving.

  8. Wren – I know you know we’ve all heard that argument, and it might be true that we are a violent race and nothing will ever stop it. But I know you can’t go to war to end war. Also, are you one of those drunk veterans who comments late at night on the wrong post?

    Blue Girl – I am NOT wrong! I have a DEGREE!! You CAN’T win!!! (You’ve told your friends about us? Jeez…)

    kStyle – I wonder if “top” and “bottom” had the same connotations when Mr. Porter was writing his song?

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