Sunday, November 23, 2008

Slow Blogging

Today's NY Times had an article about "slow blogging" as opposed to what ...? I thought blogs were designed not for immediate gratification or feedback but more as a meditative exercise in the sense that what i have to say i can say (or write) and put it out here to be read by anyone who cares to do so. I can leave it as long as i like or change it every so often. I can write what may or may not pass as a poem simply b/c that's what i want to do and not b/c anyone else cares one way or another. I understand there are those who blog for others, and some who blog with an eye toward some particular community, cause, profession, calling, etc. but the democracy of the net allows those like me with nothing to say to say it the same as those with important things to say. Sure i'd heard of blogs like huffington post and such but those seem to me to fall into a different class than blogs for the sake of blogs ... and otherwise it never occurred to me there was any need for a "slow blog" movement. Then again, i never really got the "slow food" movement either since i've always grown at least some of my food, picking berries, canning excess, trolling at the local farmers' market. I guess maybe i'm kind of naive, esp. considering most of my life i've lived in the 4th largest metro and tend to think i keep up with the world as well or better than most. But it never occurred to me that we needed someone to tell us where food came from, what was entailed in its production and transport farm to market, that we could pay less and eat better if we grew/picked our own ... and here's an idea, how about we cook It ourselves too? I read another article about the pre-made home meal replacements where you go and spend too much for something someone else in a factory setting put together so you can take it home and put it in the oven -- or probably the microwave -- and then have a "home-cooked meal." It would be "home cooked" yes, but but not home-made. I don't really get it, other than perhaps the "take and bake" pizza (it takes a good 30 min to make pizza dough). Along the same line, what happened to supper? I saw BB King at House of Blues on Friday -- he's not playing so much but what he plays he plays like no one else; more than that he has lots of fun. We'd been talking the other day about what ever happened to supper -- it disappeared. Now it's breakfast (i understand that's what some people eat in the morning), lunch (an excuse to leave your work mid-day to eat) and dinner (in the evening). Growing up we generally had breakfast (aka cereal), lunch and supper. When we lived in the country we had breakfast (eggs we got that morning or the day before from the chickens), dinner and supper. Dinner was the midday meal when we'd been working in the fields, in the garden, and with the chickens -- unless i was killing chickens that day dinner was the main meal and usually hot, with meat, veggies we'd grown and probably just picked, some sort of bread and milk/tea. Not that we had much time to eat -- esp in hay season we had to get back to work fast to bale or move hay to the barn before rain or night came. Today if i ate like that in the heat i'd probably get sick but then it worked; we were exhausted and hungry, no fears of dying if we ate [that's for another time or never] and then we went out and worked 'til dark at which point we came for supper --a light meal of whatever was left over from dinner. BB talked about it as a cultural thing -- at his hotel they told him they served breakfast, lunch and dinner; since he was being polite he never asked why they had lunch and dinner but no supper but recounted that in mississippi they have breakfast, dinner and supper. I never lived in mississippi but i also never ate dinner at night 'til i was past grown up; we grew up having supper and so did all the other people i knew.
Somehow this is all connected - things were simpler even when they were harder. The slow food movement says fast food destroys local traditions and healthy eating habits; that food should be local, organic and seasonal. Anyone who ever ate a store-bought tomato or was tempted to buy $3/lb mealy peaches in the winter already gets it -- or should. The slow bloggers are said to believe that "news-driven blogs" are the equivalent of fast-food chains in that they meet some need for instant something but cannot sustain us; seems to me if i'm looking to a blog for sustenanace i'm already in trouble. Todd Seiling wrote a "Slow Blog Manifesto" in 2006 stating such wisdom as "slow blogging is a rejection of immediacy" and an "affirmation that not all things worth reading are written quickly." As Homer Simpson might say: "D'oh!" Did we really need any slow movement to tell us any of these things? Are we really so afraid to think for ourselves, so lacking in ablity to discern, form our own opinions or employ common sense that we need people to tell us to slow down, to think before we write, to choose what we eat and read? Apparently, since an article on "slow blogging" gets an entire page in the Sunday Times. Me? I guess i'm happy i don't really get it, and sad for the world that people apparently need to be told such basic life principles. And since i blog for me [though readers, comments and some sort of connecting via blogging would be nice] i won't need to worry about immediacy or sustaining others or any other tenets of the slow blogging manifesto.
I'll just go pick some tomatoes and basil and chives and make a little supper.

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houston, tx, United States

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