Wednesday, December 29, 2004


That's what most blogs are, just a vanity license plate.

See the similarities. The basic message is either so esoteric it leaves you puzzled and disturbed, or so simplistic you are offended by the poverty of imagination and execution, the fact the investment (money for plates; time for blogs) has come to so little. Each has a huge potential audience but, though glanced at by many, almost all are instantly dismissed. Is this an invidious comparison showing too little respect to the blog? I think perhaps the random license plate gives more pleasure than the random blog. In any event, one is delighted by the fact that, with luck, such plates and such blogs are stumbled upon never to be encountered again. (Our next-door neighbor has such a plate and parks his car in our field of vision. Our friend is a blogger and harries us with invitations to come and share. Sigh.)

The engine that drives each is ravening self-importance, which life among the masses has not fed. Each of these manifestations of anomie is attached to a seminal machine, one that makes modern life possible, but whose possibilities -- the escape, the exploration, the endless roadtrip, the novel or screenplay or sonnet sequence -- are never used to those ends, certainly not by the the typical platester or blogster. Indeed, the power of the auto and the computer seem to mock us, leaving us both literally and metaphorically stuck in traffic. The auto and the computer so often seem to emphasize our conformity, not our autonomy. The image is glamorous, the reality mundane, imprisoning not liberating.

And so we chirp: a vanity plate, a blog.


And isn't somebody within a hundred miles of this blog in a bit of a Dover Beach mood tonight? You gots a booboo, DC?

(But isn't that site where I found Dover Beach a delicious link for poem lyrics? A fine poem, a great poem, embedded in a sea of screaming consumerist crap. I like tacky so much. Must reread Sontag on Camp soonest. I'm feeling better.)

Just another drive-by blogging. Nothing to see. Keep moving.


Happy said...

Please help the quake victims here! Thanks!

cbeck said...

the cruicial problem in your argument is as such:

Liscence plates are much quicker to read. Man.

And sometimes pretty.

Nathan Frampton said...

Interesting blog. You may want to check out my blog "Framptonia" at . I have a few contributors and there are some great discussions.

You may also want to try blog explosion to get more readers on your blog. I have a blog explosion link on my blog if you are interested.

G Pabst said...

A redesign!
Roger Black lives (and prospers)!

....J.Michael Robertson said...

Strange speller has a point -- a license plate is by mandate of the state a quick read. But based on my sitemeter data, to most browsers my blog is a very quick read. It's not required by law, though. Come in and set a while, stranger.