No, I'm not really giving up the blog for Twitter. Some of you missed the date, based on the number of emails I've received involving polar bears dying of heat exhaustion and stuff like that. It was April 1st.
And FWIW, I can say things in 200 characters or less. I do a lot of that at work. Mostly, my work involves legal and policy commentary, along with some "primary" drafting of briefs and counseling memos. I'm *really* good at that kind of writing. Were you to read it, you'd understand what I am talking about even though the topics are usually pretty specialized and arcane. In addition to being strong on style, there isn't a spare word in any of my writing at work, and I edit a couple dozen other people's work so that humans may, some day in the future, be able to read and understand what they are trying to say. Unless the subject is brutally uncooperative, what I write at work always makes good reading. Yes, I could make you look forward to reading a short commentary on the different types of Federal preemption problems likely to arise undere a new regulation.
So why do I blog and ramble on so? I blog because what I do for a living, or 50% of my living, is an incredibly disciplined style of writing that chokes the very breath out of me. I write well because I am creative and love using words to do things, as J.L. Austin put it. Done right, my writing at work reads effortlessly and convinces you not only that my views are correct, but that there can be no other way. (Unless I leave you an out, which I commonly do because I'm not a fascist, and I genuinely believe reasonable people can disagree).
But making writing that both reads effortlessly and also does stuff is the hardest damn thing in the world, other than dieting while doing intensity training on the bike. Combine the intense discipline and difficulty of what I do with the full armor, cover-your-ass mode that I live in at work (keeping my actual thoughts (versus professional opinions) obscured), and it chokes the life out of me.
Like most people who can write well, when I write for pleasure I do it because I have a busy mind and I enjoy dumping the thoughts out, and trying to say interesting stuff in interesting ways. If you can write well and also do good quality legal writing, it's like being a sprinter on a grand tour team. You get occasional chances too strut your stuff, but even in a year where the G.C. contenders stink your personal abilities are only fodder for the sideshow. So I sit there at work some days writing about some policy issue and discussing trends in the law and what oughtta be done... and while the left brain is doing that nuts and bolts stuff, the right brain is thinking, "Damn. I could really easily write this in rhyming couplets. That'd blow 'em, away..."
So I blog to let the right brain fly its freak flag. Sometimes I work hard at it, usually it's slapdash and the writing is a bit flabby because I have used up the day's quota of Angry Anal Retentive Legal Editor Guy. I apologize for that because sometimes I burn off more of your time than I should with wandering bullshit. I'm trying to do better with that but some days, particularly the ones where I've worked 12 hours already, Mr. Discipline just isn't going to take another pull.
Anyhow, that's some insight on why I do this. Thanks for making me think about it.
So this weekend I'm traveling up in the 'Cuse for the weekend and right now I'm getting ready to hit the road for 25 miles of chilly goodness on the cross bike. Funny that bike doesn't have a name the way my Haole Hauler does. What should I name it? Scheisswagen would be a fitting name considering that half the time it's covered in mud; cowshit from some farmer's field or a horse pen, hauling poo and mud around a cross course at low speed. I'm still getting mud out of that thing from Lake Reston... Mistwagen would be the technically correct term for it. That's the tanker that German farmers use to fertilize their fields. It usually contains liquified pig crap, some chemical additives, and a smell that has to be breathed to be believed.
Anyway, short blog entry today with respect to the music. Gotta get my ride in. Since it's Easter, have a little Kirsten Flagstad singing Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring. My parents wanted this played at their wedding in the 60's and the organist - my mom's aunt who was the organist at the Cathedral for many years - agreed. The bishop damn near excommunicated them for it when he found out about it. Bach was a big protestant, you know... a really flagrant protestant at that. But then after that it became the rage in my folks' hometown. Nice piece of music, and Flagstad is an unbelievably amazing singer.
Have a good weekend y'all, and happy Easter, Passover, or just another weekend, as appropriate to your belief system.