Fresh Starts…

Okay, so there’s a blog section on the site now, and nothing in it to this point, which tells me that I ought to be thinking about something to say, to kick this page off. I have no idea what I’m going to write in here, but my understanding is that blogging is like keeping a personal notebook–almost like a diary, but less formal; not quite so regimented and not so date-specific, and other people get to share in your musings and ruminations… I’ve done a little blogging in the past, on the Penguin Canada web site, but hardly enough even to approach becoming proficient at what seems to be resolving/evolving rapidly into something of an art form. I’m constantly bewildered by the efficiency and expertise being bandied about by extrememly young, bright people who seem to have mastered all the individual elements of bloggery and cyperspace communications, including astonishing graphics and remarkable photographic effects… Where do these people find enought time to do these things? There aren’t enough hours in the day for me as it is, and when I’m not writing nowadays I seem to be constantly editing and proofreading . . . and with the schedule I’m facing nowadays, that’s not going to get any better in the time ahead…

Talking of time, I read a great quote today from Doris Day . . . please tell me you remember who she is/was… the quintessential girl-next-door in almost every American movie made during the Fifties, Sixties and at least half of the Seventies. Doris never struck me as being much of a humorist, but apparently she once said, "The scariest thing about middle age is that you know you’ll grow out of it…" That’s really funny, I thought, until I examined it too closely.

Well, it’s been pretty hectic, news-wise, these last few weeks, and Hurricane Katrina, I think it’s safe to day, has altered all our lives in one way or another. Wrasslin’ an end-of-this-month deadline, I haven’t spent nearly as much time in front of the TV as some of my friends have, but I’ve still seen enough to set me thinking seriously about a number of matters that, in the normal course of things, would not generally signify on my radar screen. Now that the emergency seems to be abating, although nothing will even come close to approximating what used to be normal for a long long time, the finger pointing and the blame-allocating is getting under way. All the people who think they might remotely run a risk of being blamed for any aspect of the Great American Debacle–and it was pretty much a boondoggle for days, by anyone’s standards–are hyperventilating now in their efforts to step aside and pass whatever buck seems appropriate.

Quite apart from the harrowing images of the storm’s effects, however, the most memorable comment I heard came from the leader of the African American Caucus, when he took Wolf Blitzer of CNN to task, with all the other Media, for calling the surviving victims "refugees". "These are not refugees," he said, "And I resent the Media speaking of them as refugees. These are American citizens, suffering disaster in their own city and their own country."

Then, of course, there’s the open letter from Michael Moore (purportedly) that’s doing the rounds on the net. I was going to post the Link for those of you who haven’t come across that one yet, but I can’t find it, so I guess I must have deleted it.

One sad little irony that has been bugging me recently is that I received a Harry Conick Jr. album from a friend about a month ago–it might have been six weeks–but the song that caught my attention as being the best on the album is a bittersweet ballad called, Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans? Boy, what a change in significance in the space of a few weeks!

Well, that’s my first blog entry, and I can tell you that I won’t be writing one of those every day . . . that length, I mean . . . at least, I don’t plan to at this moment. I suppose it will all depend on what transpires, and how much attention and interaction gets provoked. I’m presuming that any of you who wish to respond will be able to do so without great difficulty, so I’ll be looking forward to seeing what happens….