Archives for May 2001
to the May 29th entry over at Ed’s site, Blork Blog to read a very typical story about life here in Montreal. Even odder, Ed and I are very good friends now but in fact we first “met” online. We were both “founding” hosts at Cafe Utne. When he introduced himself in the private Hosts forum, I replied by saying, “I bet you $10 we have friends in common!” And of course we did, and our circles finally overlapped a couple of weeks later. But the overlap in the story on his site – that’s much deeper, and international to boot. Cool.
I want to write, except that writing it will draw attention to something that doesn’t need attention drawn to it, and is so impeccably beautiful, but also terribly sad and most certainly true, that I feel that making the link will trivialize it. Which is a complicated way of saying that sometimes, even today, I can be deeply moved by something I read on the web.
Jon Udell’s Telling A Story – The Weblog as a Project-Management Tool through calebos.org and CamWorld in the past couple of days, and as was the case with both of them, I found the article very compelling. I’ve frankly had enough of talking and thinking about grand schemes of leveraging heavy tech in the service of getting things done. It’s far preferable, to me, to bring things to the basic level: email and a simple website. Much more than that is overkill, and mitigates against adoption of whatever tool is under consideration – which makes it (whatever “it” might be) a no-go. As the article says so clearly, the tools are secondary, and I will add, boring. It’s the work, and more importantly the people doing the work, that are important. And the quickest, easiest possible way to help that happen is the best way to try. That’s the hidden power of weblogs for personal publishing and in this context, I think.
a copy of a new edition of John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces [excerpt], a novel I’d always avoided. I don’t exactly remember why I avoided it – all that remains is a shadowy idea that I was afraid the story behind the book would be more compelling than the work itself. If you’re unaware of the story, the novel was written by a young writer named John Kennedy Toole who committed suicide – with the manuscript still unpublished among his papers – and only later did his mother submit it for consideration to an English professor she met.
In any case, I’ve been reading it for the past few days, and I’m really glad I got over my avoidance – it’s simply beautiful. Confederacy features one of the oddest protagonists since (oddly enough) the Scarlet and the Black, a guy who has really gotten under my skin – who I want to hold by the shoulders and physically shake before he frustrates me any more. But it’s not the writing that’s frustrating – it’s the character, well-drawn.