Monday, 20 October 2014

Where I Want To Be

In the last two weeks or so I've entered the worlds of Twitter, Facebook, and Netflix. Fun, all of them. But I feel resentment also--for their insistent systems (insistems), for the facts that just googling a single letter, f or n, calls up two of them (twitter coming third after TSN and something else). With f and t, I wonder why I'm there. With n, and the others, I resent the constant prompts to give up even more info than they already have so they can profile me more deeply.
I'll get over all that, I suppose. What I really resent is that f and t tend to divert me from this blog, the social medium in which I'm most at home. With hardly any followers and only you, Uncle Ford and Aunt Chevy, as readers.
I'll carry on.
As I was saying in the last couple of entries, I think every day about how long I'll do my day job. Yesterday in the pub while I was reading The Catcher in the Rye, two different people spotted the book in my hands and came over to talk about it, in that wistful voice people use as they pet your Golden Lab, say, and remember their own Golden from years ago.
Today I told my students that story, on the way to reminding them that the novel stays with its readers who commit to it. And as the only book, of many I've ready in a public place, to attract strangers the way Catcher  did yesterday--while the Rider game was on, no less--maybe this novel deserves our respect. One of the people in the pub told me that Lee Harvey Oswald had a copy of Catcher in his room. "But not just assassins read it," I told my students.
Their next essay calls for more first-person informal writing in a voice like, or inspired by, Holden Caulfield. They're going to have to read it out loud. They're going to have to speak from the heart. If they don't, they'll hear the voice of Holden, or me, calling them "phony".

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