Time passes in a library, at home as we read, even on the internet – though it might seem as if we’ve slipped into timelessness.
And the people we meet on the internet grow older, their lives change, or they wander away, or lose interest, or can die and are lost to us like a closed book.
Recently I was brought up short by a death notice on a blog I have visited from time to time: The Baggage Handler. His blog was an account of his life as an informant for the DEA; how he’d become involved; how he’d been flipped; plus the back story of his life. Abandoning Miami and his family in an effort to free himself from the habits of his past, he apparently died at a fairly young age of pneumonia in Minnesota.
Some bloggers, I think, are swallowed up by the despair of their situation – such as those ensnared in their own chronic pain or mental illness – and disappear. Or others, I think, eventually despair for their subject. For example, The Chronicle of Artistic Failure in America, I found compelling reading, until it seemed the author stopped publishing. His interviews of failed artists living alone, in their dingy basement/studio/living quarters, failed marriages, or in deteriorating lofts stuffed with years of artistic toil and inventions, dust devils and mounds of old dried tubes of paint, and living left to suppurate in their health problems, in debt and/or swirling down the drain of their ingrown mental constructions: crotchety, suspicious, bewildered or embittered by a vanished audience. It was like reading Of Human Bondage over and over again – and just the good parts.
A science teacher living in Peking, who wrote lovely scientific and mathematical examinations of emerging notions – spawned a lot of the ‘emerging notions’ in my own serial fiction, The Cognitive Web. However, the Chinese government and the smog – (he remained indoors, kept his doors and windows closed, and still his thinking was getting ‘hazy’) – finally got too much to bear. The last of that blog had him hop scotching to Germany to get some air, and his life back.
Bloggers pass by my blog, and when they leave a ‘like’ or a note, I visit them. Kind of like a hobo scratching an ‘X’ on the gatepost where a sandwich will be offered.
I regularly visit a fashion column, I Love Green Inspiration, by an Italian woman just to oogle beauty: the clothes, fantastic settings and women. It’s a quick lick of a lollipop.
A Brazilian blogger, The Talking Violin, with a deep sonorous voice, regularly posts a minute sound bite, along with an interesting photo, of what’s making the news in this former portion of the Portuguese Empire.
And a fellow from Bangkok (Thailand Footprint), regularly follows the local culture and expat ‘crime noir’. I’d read a little too much of that, I think, as I anticipated our upcoming re-visit there with our adopted Thai son.
A current favorite of mine is The Culture Monk. The blogger, Kenneth Justice, is on a “One Hundred Coffee Shops” stop of America. He flies, drives, takes a train, or walks, I suppose, to major cities around our country and blogs – of wherever he can herd his jittery fingers. It’s a morning’s cup of philosophy, religion, and culture via chance encounters. He takes the American pulse, with vague stabs at the Great Questions. But he’s liberal, like most of the people’s blogs I visit; like everybody, it would seem, out there. So we argue.
Then, of course, we all have to visit our friend’s blogs, to see what they’ve written. Scot Bastian’s “Do Ya Think?” is devoted to skepticism. (Those damned people have to be so sure of everything. We argue all of the time.) And Dan Green’s “Dangblog” is a very well written perusal of current Ballard /Seattle existence. But as he recently voted for a Socialist, (which I think is like voting for a Tapeworm – why would you do that?), here again we argue.
And now I’ve just thought of another blogger I follow who is currently dying of pancreatic cancer! He writes a very good blog about art called, Robert Genn’s Twice Weekly Letter – and currently from bed, so that his daughter is partly carrying on the letter in his stead.
But we don’t argue! (Yet.) J
Photos by Carl Nelson and Google