Friday, October 03, 2008

Coming Day

I've had very little time to devote to this blog lately, just as I predicted, though in truth the frequency in posting isn't much different than it has always been. Recent posts haven't been exactly doing it for me. I don't mean that I shouldn't have posted any of them. I mean that they haven't quite scratched the itch to speak. About what? About so much. They--these recent posts--are placeholders, in a sense. At best they merely touch on larger issues. And they fill some superficial need I feel as opposed to that deeper need, if only the superficial, vaguely pathetic, need to not go too long without a post.

Why did I feel the need to write a post about David Foster Wallace in the wake of his suicide? I'm not sorry about the post--that's not it--by what was the need? Like others, I was saddened. Like others, I read post after post, remembrances and tributes, trying to make sense of it, perhaps; really just wanting to keep it alive, keep him alive, through the words of others, leading back to his own words. I wanted to record that Wallace was, literarily speaking, affinity-wise, Friend of The Existence Machine, just as our favorite books are friends. I'd written about his work before, once in the form of a defense. I wanted to speak out, again, for the much-maligned and, I feel, misunderstood later short stories. I wanted to say a little bit--very little--about how I viewed his literary project. I wanted to say he would be missed. Was this necessary? With each passing day, blogging being what it is--that is, blogging being whatever we want it to be, and yet there still being the pressure, however resisted, of the timely, even for a blog as rarely updated as this one--with each passing day I felt the gratuitousness of such a gesture would be more apparent. As if one could not wait. So I pushed out something which only touched on what I'd wanted to say. Though perhaps by touching on it I'd said all I really could say.

Why did I feel the need to post something about the financial crisis, the bailout plan? Here we have a topic close to this blog's (this blogger's) heart: financial collapse, the inherent wrongness of capitalism, the irrationality of money, the destructiveness of the system, the arbitrariness of power, etc. Close to this blog's heart, yes, but it's not as if I consistently blog about such matters, and it's certainly not as if I have the time, have ever had the time, to keep a timely--there's that word again--political log. I can't do the kind of thing done so well at American Leftist, Lenin's Tomb, Left I on the News, etc., though sometimes I think I want to, there being so much wrong to address. As I wrote then, things move so quickly and are so complicated, that, I suspected, given my inability to blog in real time, any post of mine would immediately be rendered suspect, dated, pointless. Perhaps I simply wanted to record, recognize, add my voice, however muted, to the din. (As if for posterity's sake?--illusory posterity, where there might be an intelligence capable of making note of who said what when, not to mention interested in the collective babble of millions of bloggers.) Though it's not as if I'm going to post consistent follow-up entries, with links to further up-to-date analyses. Unless of course I do.

Whenever something happens in the news that I want to speak about, I feel a time pressure. If I don't say something within a certain (undefined) period, I will have missed the window of acceptability. Hence, I either pass over things occupying my mind, saying nothing, or I cobble something together, which just barely addresses my concerns, possibly also saying nothing. Plus still I am weighted down by the need for thoroughness, the need to cover all possible bases. Paralyzing. I continue to operate as if it were true that, if I find the right combination of information, I'll be able to persuade people, people will see. But that will never happen, not because of anything I do or say.

Meanwhile, other items get pushed aside, remain sketches, blog fragments, half-essays awaiting my attention, awaiting time, waiting. There are all these books I've been reading. . . deferred posts, deferred writing . . . there is absurdity after absurdity . . . there is life as a new father, the child's being in the world . . . there is America in decline, Americans in denial, and the crash-landing to come, to come . . . Coming day, coming day, come.

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