January 13, 2013

by jkatejohnston

Dear Max,

I’m still thinking about the trouble with the blogs and facebook and how they are social and that’s what’s wrong with them.

I never read blogs partly because who’s got the fucking time, but mostly because I don’t know where I am, and it just makes me anxious.  I can comment at the end, so am I in a conversation?  Am I supposed to say something?  If so, how much?  And since anyone can read the comments, who am I talking to?  And on facebook (which I refuse to capitalize), if I don’t “like” something does that mean I didn’t like it?

I just want to read.  And when I read, I want to be alone.

And then the writing part.  Since people can comment, I can’t help checking to see if they have.

Also, there’s some competitive part of me that resents all the newcomers.  I was saying inappropriate things about myself in public before blogs were even invented.  (See 1995 diary above, or (I guess) below.

Of course all this is terribly ungrateful.  The technology is free and voluntary.  And it seems to fit nicely with my life’s ambition to become notorious.  I guess I’m still getting used to it.

And what about Johnson, who was his smartest and best around people, who didn’t want to be alone.  If he’d had a blog and a facebook account he probably would have been a way better writer.  And imagine a blog by Boswell with Johnson leaving comments.

So I take back my misanthropic remarks.  Comment away!


Another subject:  I just read the John McPhee article in this week’s New Yorker about writing structure, whatever that is.  I had no idea what he was talking about most of the time, especially the illustrations with all the boxes and arrows.  But I adore the shop talk of writers.  Anything about what they do physically is fascinating.


 Teresa asked me, “Do you say thanks to your Spanx?”