Yes, it's the beginning of a new semester, and I, for one, am feeling way behind already and am super stressed. I don't know if I'm capable of thinking big thoughts, much less espousing them in the blogosphere. My last comment on a post of Karl's--something to the effect of "sometimes people eat meat just because they are hungry"--in retrospect, strikes me as "lame" with a capital "L." I can't even blame it on wine or bourbon, but could it be blog ennui? The world, including the blogosphere, is just moving too fast for me, and I sometimes frankly despair. Everytime I log on to my Apple.com start page, I realize that Apple has launched yet another amazing product that I don't have time to learn to use and which will make the lives of other people who are sleeker and quicker than me better. The Democrats in control of Congress have made a ridiculous promise to pass all sorts of legislation in under 100 hours, as if the speed of the congressional process is what supposedly matters to those of us who want change, although I imagine it might matter if part of the Antarctic ice shelf has already melted away. The President wants to escalate the war effort, so that we can speed up the process of eliminating enemies, and somewhere in Colorado a traffic engineer has actually removed all stop signs and stop lights which, believe it or not, has actually caused people to slow down. Speaking of slow, I am getting more slow as I age, and somehow, preparing the exact same syllabus for the same ENG101 course I teach every year is taking twice as long. It's taking me longer to get ready for work in the morning and to get home in the evening. My friends tell me I drive like someone's elderly grandmother, and yet, at the same time, people tell me they can't believe how much I do every week. Call me the Illusionist. Speaking of movies, I can't seem to get to them anymore. While I spend hours every evening sunk into my sleeping porch couch watching DVD after DVD of tasteless serials like Footballers' Wives and Nip/Tuck, I can't seem to make it to the theater, even though I want to see literally everything. While I have allowed myself to get about two months behind in my New Yorker reading, I am completely current with my Entertainment Weekly. I am three months behind on a book review and am already trying to make up excuses to give my department chair as to why I can't take job candidates out to dinner. I cast about in my mind for an interesting post for In The Middle, and the only thing jumping over my neuron synapses are flashes of the cast of Grey's Anatomy, Tony Soprano in a coma, and Hello Kitty. I am getting stupider and stupider. In short, I am overwhelmed, stuck in a rut, and feeling anxious, which brings me to . . .
. . . my main subject here: Ancrene Wiseass's recent post, where she indicates she will be taking a leave of absence, or perhaps a permanent hiaus, from her blog. As to why, she writes:
"The blogosphere has changed--becoming something rather more official, high-profile, and authoritative than it used to be--and while I'm pleased and inappropriately proud to see many blogs coming into their own, I'm not sure that mine either is or can be one of them."
Many people have posted comments, of course, letting A.W. know how much her blog has been appreciated and even asking her to reconsider but also understanding that, with a dissertation to complete, she has more pressing concerns. But I am concerned about A.W.'s obvious dis-ease with what she terms the blogosphere's supposedly increasingly "more official, high-profile, and authoritative" status. What might this mean, more precisely, and how might it be a problem? Thoughts, anyone?