The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

30 May 2005

Random hiss levels

It's "so much noise," says Jeff Brokaw as he folds his tent and steals away into the night:

Bloggers themselves, for the most part, have gotten boring. A good blogger needs at least one of these two things: kick-ass writing talent, or voluminous content. Most bloggers, sad to say, are just not that interesting as writers, or, not that voluminous as content providers. Think about it. If they were, you would only need to read three or four bloggers every day instead of 15 or 20. There are rare exceptions to this, of course. Hog on Ice. Ace of Spades. Orrin Judd. Tony Woodlief, Lileks and American Digest. A few others. But mostly, it's a part time gig, and it shows. Which is OK, I guess, since people do have lives to lead and mortgages to pay. But I really think we are kidding ourselves if we think most of this bilge amounts to anything important, that will stand the test of time.

For some reason, this made me think of American composer Charles Ives, who earned his keep by selling insurance and writing music in his spare time. His "part time gig" won him a Pulitzer Prize in 1947.

I don't think for a moment that anything I've written is much more than pop ephemera, nor do I envision that I could make a living with these words of mine. If anything, I lean toward Thoreau's thinking:

I too had woven a kind of basket of a delicate texture, but I had not made it worth any one's while to buy them. Yet not the less, in my case, did I think it worth my while to weave them, and instead of studying how to make it worth men's while to buy my baskets, I studied rather how to avoid the necessity of selling them. The life which men praise and regard as successful is but one kind. Why should we exaggerate any one kind at the expense of the others?

And I don't pretend that I'm in the same league with the favored few: I'll never be as funny as Steve, either as hard-hitting or as whimsical as Lileks, as pointed as Ace. (I am, however, probably as fat as The Fat Guy.)

Still, my lack of accomplishment hasn't driven me out of blogdom yet. In a more orderly world, perhaps it would have. I think Jeff and I just disagree on the actual threshold. And it's been quite a long time since I could get through a day with reading only 15 or 20 blogs.

Posted at 11:20 AM to Blogorrhea


I'm happy with reading 5 or 6 blogs. I try to make a point NOT to read the blogs that follow every comment by every radio talk show host or cable gabfest. I avoid those that feel it necessary to be unfairly cruel and use juvenile poison words to write about things they know so little about. There are a few - and I mean a FEW - that make for great reading. Which is where Dustbury comes in....

I have always been a lover of journals, diaries, daybooks, commonplace books, and the like. I have always kept a journal and have read dozens upon dozens of journals. To me, Dustbury is closer to Pepys than Instapundit. Chaz, you have a way of weaving daily life in with the news and events of current interest that may not be "news" but is interesting nonetheless.

I read the full entry of Jeff Brokaw's "Closing Up Shop" post and I think he's right in so many ways about the countless blogs which react, react and react - and usually with vapid posts that add nothing but gasoline to a cyberfire of anger.

Jeff mentioned the quality of writing and the content of blogs and here is where this blog shines. Chaz, you're too modest to begin to believe it, but honestly, this blog is as well-written as anything on the Internet today. The original content is creative and I have never read a post written merely to hurt another. The quality is simply amazing.

I have a feeling if there was no blog - Charles would still be writing. Writing for the sake of writing and a need to capture the moments that make up a life. I thank you for choosing to share it with us.

Posted by: Mike Sw... at 12:32 PM on 30 May 2005

I think that guy has missed the point. Writing a blog is a part-time gig. The other part of that time is spent reading other people's blogs (be it 4 or 15 or, in my case 70 thanks to RSS.) It's a community before it's much of anything else. Folks that just read, without jumping into themselves, tend to stick to the uber-popular blogs--which are generally well-written and/or prolific.

Posted by: aldahlia at 2:24 PM on 30 May 2005

Your blog contains many interesting (as well as some things of no interest to me, personally-but, that's of no consequence-these things make up who YOU are) items that you comment on where -they pertain to YOU- and your thoughts concerning that interaction. Most of your comments are thought-provoking and even though I may not agree with some (initially, anyway) of your comments, your common sense approach (and common sense is neither) inspires instrospection, even among those of us (me!) not prone to do so.

In my opinion, your best feature is that you do not go into a rage with the associated venom and vitriol some do because things don't go your way on each and every subject. You have an open mind and you USE it. Your thoughts are rarely (in practice, on the verge of "never") "off the cuff" or knee-jerk responses, regardless of the topic, unless so stated.

What most do not realize is that things RARELY go the way they want them to go. Though I try to be more optimist than pessimist, I -expect- things to not go my way, and try to be prepared for it. I'm surprised when things DO, but then, I've always marched to the beat of a different drummer.

Posted by: unimpressed at 3:08 PM on 30 May 2005

You get out of it what you put into it. I have 105 blogs over at bloglines. Some are snark blogs, some news blogs, some diary blogs, a lot of writing and reviewing blogs (I'm a heavy reader plus an unpublished novelist). I do a lot of skimming, and sometimes I wonder what I take away from all this reading, but it seems it's better than sitting in front of the TV all that time.

Posted by: Bill Peschel at 3:19 PM on 30 May 2005

OK, I hope I didn't just open a can of worms here ...

CG, you were one of those in the "oops, I forgot to mention THAT one" category, but hopefully the tagline "and a few others" buys me a pass. Narrowing down a list of who is "good" is always trouble.

I agree with the above that CG is one of the better writers in the blogging world, at least, of those I visit.

The ideas in that post of mine have been clattering around in my head for months now. Maybe I'm weird, but I feel all this pressure to post, which produces a need to read incessantly and keep up to date on the latest utterance of every politician, media figure, blogger, and other savants. I just grew so freaking tired of the whole thing. Maybe I was just never meant to even dip my toe into that particular pool; others seem to really thrive on that. It nearly drove me crazy, and I'm only exaggerating by half. I'm glad others like it, so I can read some of their stuff. I've decided I need to get back to living my life.

I started blogging to WRITE. I ended up becoming a never-ending commenter. Or, I felt like one. I do think I wrote some decent stuff; if you can go back months later and read something you wrote and say to yourself, "that's pretty good", then you've done something useful.

And, I'll still be reading here, CG, you can't get rid of me that easily ;-)

Posted by: Jeff Brokaw at 10:04 PM on 30 May 2005

CG? Charles Gregory? How'd he know that?

Posted by: paulsmos at 11:55 PM on 30 May 2005

oops...he doesn't..

Posted by: paulsmos at 11:56 PM on 30 May 2005

He does now.

Actually, I reread about two thousand posts last week, and some of them weren't half bad. (Some of them, however, were about 80 or 90 percent bad.)

Posted by: CGHill at 11:44 AM on 31 May 2005

Mr. Hill - you never seem to get vitriolic about the issues of the day - you are always well grounded and a sane corner of the internet for me. Not all that you write pertains to my interests, but so what! I really enjoy your local coverage of OKC issues - my sis lives there, and I enjoy visiting your city. While the rants and raves of most of my daily blog list are enjoyable to me, I appreciate the cooler attitude that you display.

You are a talented writer, and I appreciate your efforts.

Posted by: Jeffro at 2:15 AM on 1 June 2005