My last journal was a book, and it had the bad luck to be inside a backpack that was stolen out of my car, last Friday night. The theft made me think a little about the illusion of privacy — an illusion we’re changing faster than we can even argue about it, these days — but bad luck always leaves me reading for omens, too. I was in a good mood to begin with, so once my brain had finally processed the spray of broken glass across the seat where my backpack had been, I granted the occasion a minor expletive, then shrugged off the loss, trying to weigh how much it really changed anything in my life. A new window later, I can say ‘not much’. But being journal-less did seem like a good omen to start up a blog again.
I’ve talked to friends before about my on-again, off-again relationship with blogs, reaching back to the earliest days of LiveJournal. By my usual arithmetic, I have two choices. One is blogging, and having to edit, cut and polish entries in order to share them with a tiny audience of friends and family. The other is keeping a ‘real’ journal, in which I can say anything I want, for a sympathetic audience of one. (Backpack thieves excepted.) But I do notice the flaw in that reasoning: We’re all still busy triangulating what, exactly, a blog should be, but it’s certainly not an alternative to a paper journal. So, my intent here is to share myself with friends and readers, in a blog that can stalk culture from the blinds of travel, music, literature and technology. But like any journal, this will take its own shape over time. Who knows where it will end up?
“Culture lag”, by the way, is an anthropologist’s term. In William Ogburn’s theory that technology has deterministic effects on culture, there are necessarily periods of adjustment whenever cultures grow to fill the expanding boundaries of their own technology. And “lag”, by itself, is a video gamer’s term. It’s any latency in processing that intrudes on the illusion.
Welcome, and thanks for reading.