In my previous post, I invoked the well-known slogan of Marshal Mcluhan, "The medium is the message," by which I understand him to have meant that the form of a communication ["the medium"] so constrains and dominates the communication ["the message"] that it comes virtually to be the message communicated. After putting up that post, whose purpose it was to explain my reaction to televised discussions of the Trayvon Martin case, I reflected that it was also quite apposite to my experience as a blogger.
I took to blogging, at the suggestion of my son, Patrick, when the prospect of retirement loomed frighteningly before me. It is not for me a natural form of writing, anymore than is Face Book or YouTube or Twitter. In April 2010, I thought I had found a way of bending the blog to my natural inclinations. I began a lengthy autobiography, posted seriatim. When I had brought that to conclusion [by writing the story of my life up to the moment in which I was writing it], I was loath to give up the genre of the extended essay, and launched a series of tutorials, mini-tutorials, and "appreciations" on a very wide range of subjects. By April 2012, the autobiography and tutorials together had run to more than 400,000 words, the equivalent of three good sized books [or eight doctoral dissertations!]
But even the most indefatigable of writers run out of themes sooner or later [leaving to one side such phenomena as Georges Simenon and Agatha Christie], and the form of the blog has defeated me. I have been reduced to comments on the passing scene and navel gazing musings like this one. One might have expected that having had my say, I would simply fall silent, but having told my name the live long day to an admiring blog, I am compelled to continue.