|A savage journey
into "new journalism"
|Nathan Arizona had a
raison d'etre. So do I!
So... if it’s so hard, why do I keep doing it? I am a firm believer in “if you no longer enjoy doing something (unless it’s a vital duty, of course)... then STOP doing it. Like when I used to go to a gym and began to hate it. At first I thought, “But I’m paying for it!” But then I realized that i didn’t have to be miserable AND pay for it! I could just eat my gym fees and enjoy myself exercising at home! So I guess I could carry this blog workout to a similar conclusion, but the truth is, I do get a bang out of writing it... even if it IS hard sometimes.
|Hunter S. Thompson,
Another blogger I love, my friend Ginny, posed the “Why am I doing this” question in her blog just today! Also freaky, right? Her point was, why blog if there’s already a bunch of great blogs to read - all written by women who are MUCH more together than we seem to be... Also a good point.
As I told Ginny, I’d much rather read about someone who is a similar mess than someone who is canning their own preserves and raising kiss-ass children. I'm hoping you would to! If not, you can always tune into one of those Martha Stewarts instead of us!
|...sometimes played in the
movies by Johnny Depp
I also wonder sometimes if blogging is just plain self serving navel gazing. Maybe it is. But I hope it’s also fun and honest and at least a little entertaining for the reader. Most of all, I hope it points to my sweet and gracious God. ‘Cos He's my raison d’etre. (Pronounce it: “raisin detter” like Nathan Arizona does in Raising Arizona)
Plus, it’s actually the fulfillment of an old secret longing. See, when I was in college and had to pick a major, my mom was all, “I’ll pay for four years, then you have to get a job.” This (reasonable) ultimatum doesn’t exactly scream “English major,” does it? Literature was my passion, but as I also had a lot of encouragement from writing teachers, I pursued journalism. Sadly, it didn’t occur to me that my personality doesn’t exactly lend itself to inserting myself into newsmaking situations and badgering people with questions. Yeah... that’s not me at all.
Anyway, even way back when in J-school, I envisioned writing in a completely different way than your basic third-person / lead-followed-by-inverted-pyramid arrangement. I am completely able to WRITE that way, but, as I mentioned, the reporting aspect doesn’t suit my temperament. Additionally, even though the writing style serves an important purpose, I find it a little dry. I long to bust out of its straight jacket in favor of a much looser, whimsical style... kind of like what they call(ed) "new journalism," back in the day.
Yep, I love how guys like the late Hunter S. Thompson and Tom Wolfe string words and thoughts together. Thing is, I am not likely to travel with “my attorney” (unless you mean my husband Tom) across the desert with a trunk full of illegal substances to cover the Mint 400 race. Nor am I going to have the opportunity to go “furthur” on a bus full of acid-dropping merry pranksters. But I do have my own brand of adventures... in life, faith and in my own head. Because that’s a magical mystery tour unto itself. Who needs to drop acid to entertain surreal thoughts?!
|tried to take us "FURTHUR"
According to Wikipedia the following are features of “New Journalism” as practiced by those guys: subjectivism, activism, emphasis on form, emphasizing “truth” over “facts,” saturation reporting (the writer is as much part of his story as is the subject)... to name a few. It’s not unlike my blog-style, is it? It’s exactly how I imagined communicating with whoever would give my words the time of day. I wanted to write in a breezy, conversational style... giving my own voice to whimsical reflections on pop culture, human nature and eternal truth. I guess the closest thing to this that I could imagine at the time was being a columnist. Now it’s called blogging, and anyone can do it. They just have to want to. And as difficult as it is sometimes, I do want to. So here’s MY new journalism - dig it deeply!