The first time I heard what e-mail was, I was totally non-plussed. So, like, you tie up your phone line, in order to send someone a message? Why don’t you just call the person and say whatever it was you were going to tell them? What’s the point?
I came around and got a Hotmail account in 1998, by which time even the cartoonists who made bad puns from the phrase “information superhighway” were writing HTML code in their spare time. Within three months I was hooked, forwarding “If Microsoft made cars” e-mails with the best of them. But did I learn from my Johnny-Come-Late-ism? No. Since then, I’ve managed to be bemused by such oddball devices as the CD burner, the digital camera, the DVD player, and the cellular phone. My finger is clearly not on the pulse (or tone) of consumer electronics; the last gizmo I correctly recognized as genius was the Nintendo Entertainment System. I always come around eventually–I own all of the above objects–but not before proving how little vision I have.
So it is with blogs. When I first heard about them, people called them “online journals”–except me; I called them “a stupid idea.” An ONLINE journal? An OPEN diary? It just seemed like a scheme for letting people exercise their egotism–and God knows nothing like that has ever made any money.
I’ve had about three and a half years to appreciate them since then, and it’s time for me to squeeze onto the bandwagon (or caboose). The main reasons are simple: 1) it seems like a really good way to let my friends know what I’m up to, and 2) I like to read my own writing. If I’m feeling intellectual, I might admit that I’ve had plenty of time to be fascinated by blogs on a societal level: the way they combine a monologue with a message board, creating bodiless, time-delayed discussions and arguments, so that almost every blog entry is simultaneously narcissistic (look at what I think!) and democratic (what do you guys think of that?). It’s the kind of thing Roland Barthes would be really interested in, especially if he needed to keep in touch with his long-distance friends. (By the way, I reserve the right to wax pretentious like this every few entries. I’ve earned it by living in Orange County.)
So, welcome, everyone, to the fifth-from-the-last blog in the world. I’ll give you all a couple days to soak up the above wisdom, then I’ll post a super-long entry about what I’ve been up to in the five weeks since I’ve gotten here. After that, one to two entries a week should be about right. Mostly I’ll just talk about what I’m up to, maybe mix it up with a little scintillating commentary or links to funny websites. I’ll play it by ear. Thanks for coming, and I hope you keep coming back.