Friday, August 21, 2009

I would so buy this right now if it weren't for all the books that will be on sale at Rising Tide.

I think more and more these days about what keeps me blogging, and about how to keep myself interested, forget other readers. Believe me, if this ain't all it's cracking up to be thus far for me, I'll certainly be stepping off the virtual map for a time.

The other day, however, after I was interviewed by a certain hyphenated writer and instantly confronted with something along the lines of "Sooo, you're the only female in with all these guys. How does that feel?", and after setting the record straight by pointing out other folks such as Sophmom, Dangerblond, Lisa P, and NOLA Slate who are busting their butts for Rising Tide this year as well, I then had to think about the things that can keep some people more than others from posting as much on this entity called the blogosphere.
  • This is not a paying job. A few years ago, at the first Rising Tide, Christopher Cooper, co-author of the book Disaster: Hurricane Katrina and the Failure of Homeland Security, reportedly mentioned that the only difference between a professional journalist like himself and a blogger is that he has a 401(k) (of course, that was back in 2006; who knows if that 401(k) is still worth much). The no-money thing is quite a downside, especially in this day and age, when the profile of the blogosphere is more prominent than ever. Now, one really has to watch what one posts, because you never know what will come up in a Google search.
  • Also, at the end of a hard day at another job, there's only so much the mind can be willing to muster and post. That's just life. Many of us in New Orleans began blogging because of the insanity of the events of 8-29-05 and after, and keeping up that kind of anger can be exhausting and unhealthy in an environment that is already somewhat unhealthy as it is for many reasons.
  • A member of the blogpocheh expressed amazement the other day at how we have mananged to get an entity such as the RT conference together each year despite the pressures of our daily lives offline. Very few of us post every day as it is. Once again, that is just life.
  • And it also speaks to the flexibility of the interwebs. Like I've taken to saying, barring a major electromagnetic pulse that knocks out everything electronic on the face of the earth, the internet ain't going nowhere.
  • Twitter and Facebook are also taking people's online time more than they used to, but when folks have something to say that is going to take more than 140 characters or will get more of a public audience, the blogs will be there.
  • DO NOT get me started on men blogging vs. women blogging. Not today anyway. Whole 'nother post coming on that one, I'm sure. Nothing like casting the battles of the sexes in yet another light....maybe black light... that would be cool...
ANYway, one of the people that happened to pop into my head in the midst of all this thinking too damn hard about what makes us all blog and not blog (ultimate answer being stuff happens), is a certain Harry I've been wild about for years: Herschele Goldhirsch, otherwise known as Harry Golden, editor and principal writer of The Carolina Israelite and author of many books. Yes, he brought a lot of his newspaper experience into founding, writing, and publishing the Israelite, but it has certain touches that could possibly be described as precursors to blogging if one carefully looks at the passages here: some folksiness in the way certain subjects are treated - note a "newspapermen tell me that" in there; an article entitled "Holding That Hemline" that starts with "I seem to see more knees around town than ever before" (well, it was 1965), and a good dose of what helped put Golden on the map, which were his views on segregation and race that were very much minority views in the North Carolina of the '40's through the late '60's (even among the Jewish people in N.C.), when Golden concluded the publication of the Israelite.

An example of one of his most famous suggestions concerning segregation, circa 1957:
Explaining his Golden Vertical Negro Plan in the Israelite, Golden deadpanned: "The South, voluntarily, has all but eliminated vertical segregation. The white and Negro stand at the same grocery and supermarket counters, deposit money at the same bank teller's window, pay phone and light bills to the same clerk. It is only when the Negro 'sets' that the fur begins to fly." Urged Golden: "Provide only desks in all the public schools of our state; no seats." Though the lawmakers passed up Golden's suggestion, readers ordered 10,000 reprints of the Vertical Negro editorial.
Having a voice that took up sixteen printed pages twice a month and having the chutzpah to keep commenting like this on race in print and to lawmakers' faces for over twenty years takes some kinda crazy courage, and Golden had it. But at the Israelite's heart was most certainly personal expression. I have little doubt that, if he were still around today, Golden would be either embracing or satirizing the interwebs in the way only he could...which puts what is sometimes derided by all of us blogging folk at one time or another as "vanity blogging" in a different light.

Hell, it all started - ultimately - with me, this whole business of my blog, and it still comes back around to me, right?

Which brings me to my final Rising Tide contest question (rules here). Looks like only droudy ventured to put in an answer to yesterday's question, and the implication was there that I had indeed rode out a hurricane - which is true. The storm I rode out, however, was Hurricane Alicia, the eye of which passed over my house when I was growing up in Houston. Partial credit in the form of $2.50 goes out to you, madame!

Harry Golden would place some folksy anecdotes, old-time cures, and other bits of lore into The Carolina Israelite, and I am no exception in terms of what I'll post here on occasion. Last night, my six-year-old little guy tried a new vegetable he picked out himself, but the jury's still out on how much he really likes it, as he couldn't quite figure out how to eat it.

Was the vegetable:
  1. a spaghetti squash
  2. asparagus
  3. a long-stemmed artichoke
  4. purple caulifower

Leave your answer below, and I hope to see you at the Avenue Pub tonight!


lunanola said...

Sadly enough, I haven't the foggiest idea what the little guy would choose...

So with the hope that he's a devotee of the subtly pervasive purple/green/gold motif of our city, I'll go with the purple cauliflower as my best guess ;)

(Even if I suspect the true answer is "NONE," but that's not an option you've offered.)

G Bitch said...

Long-stemmed artichoke

chrissie said...

Just wondering how you felt about being introduced as a "mommy blogger?"

Leigh C. said...

No big whoop. I am a mom, and it does tend to dictate how my life goes quite a bit these days, but it isn't all that I am, and I trust that most folks who check out this blog will get that.

If they can't get beyond that "mommy blog" label, then they'll be missing out, and I'll simply kill 'em with some Jewish guilt at some point. ;-)

chrissie said...

Good. It bugged me to hear you introduced that way--so true in some ways, but so INCOMPLETE--but I figured you would take it with a grain of salt.

Good seeing you :)