Sunday, July 12, 2009

Slow Brain Food

It has always amazed me how I will read something at one point and then, in what seems like moments later, will read something else that reaffirms it.

Yesterday I came upon a post by a friend of mine that talked about how her writing style could never really fit the Twitter format. I myself used to utilize Twitter as something to text when it seemed that my friends weren't listening, but now I feel as though Twitter is just a bigger silent audience for me. I feed to it on my blog as something that changes even when I haven't posted an in-depth blog post for some time, but I have found that I can't, like my friend, keep to the 140 characters either--what usually happens is I'll post about five "tweets" at a stretch that are all of the same theme. Why five? Because five shows up on the feed on my blog.

Still, even with five, the venue seems to be lacking. Five sentences and there's my day? When just last year I was working to post on this blog daily? It's the fast food, the fast junk food, of my own production. I seem to try to perfect THAT format because who is going to read a whole BLOG POST, for Pete's sake? Lord knows this is an abuse of a LOT more than 140 characters. If a majority or all of my readers prefer, only have time for, or only have the attention span for "tweets," then blogging on a full-blown scale is a bit arrogant, right?

But isn't writing itself a strong belief in oneself to start with? Aren't I being arrogant to assume that someone will even read the tweets?

Later on yesterday I picked up an August edition of the Oprah magazine at the supermarket and leafed through it on the way home. In each issue they have a celebrity talk about their favorite books, and in this issue they talked with "Mad Men" star Jon Hamm. Hamm is a guy all strong jaw and authority and brooding on the show--I know this because sadly enough for this reader I am addicted to another frickin' television show. I feel guilt when I say I like a television show, even if I try to temper it by saying "it's well-written." Remarkably, Hamm sort of addresses that in the article, as he also addresses Twitter and attention span:
I know that reading isn't as easy to do as turning on a television or
getting on the Internet or twittering or whatever else you have ot do in this
modern society, but it's way more rewarding. It's calming. It's
edifying, and even as it has become less popular as the options have grown for
instant-gratification entertainment, most of the books that appeal to me...take
a while to have their effect. Once you give them that time, it's paid back
times a million...when you've got 500 pages to explore something, you're going
to go deeper into it than if you've got 23 minutes and commercial breaks.

Gutsy for a guy who makes his living off of 48 minutes and commercial breaks, but he is a man who seems to recognize all forms of the culture, all wonders of the universe and not just the high intellect ones. My friend and Hamm solidified something...that even though Twitter is there and fast and wonderful and I'm not giving it up, I don't have to be good at it or even give up my long conversations on the blog. Someone wants the 500 pages. Maybe less so than before, but someone does.

Read on, dear reader.

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