Tuesday, September 29, 2009

How long is that in blog years?

As of today this blog is a year old. Break out the champagne!

Or at least the scissor-sharp left-literary analysis. Let's show 'em what red readers are made of.

That, or something like it, is what I set out to do a year ago, and what I mean to do every time I log in here and start typing. But oh how far short I fall. I didn't get enough sleep the night before. I've only got a half-hour to spend here. I'm bleary-eyed from staring at the computer screen all day at work. I'm haunted by how far behind I've fallen in the hoped-for progress on my novel. I'm wracked with guilt at no longer being active in my union, and riddled with dread at the prospect that I may have to reinsert myself come next contract talks. I'm hoping to go, as I do so much less often than I should and used to, to today's vitally important protest demonstration. I'm hoping to make it home to the couch and a mindless night of TV watching. I just want to read. All I can think about is how wonderful it would be to get one single decent night's sleep.

And so this blog, for which I had and still have high ambition, slogs along, only rarely reaching toward what it ought to be. I'm aware of how often my posts start and end with apologies for not being as sharp as I'd wish; of how frequently lists of links substitute for my own commentary; of how limited my sources of news and information are -- well, that's not my fault, I live in this society like everyone else -- and how often I sink into a sort of default mode of grumbly old sourpuss snarling at the bourgeois establishment and lamenting the limitations of any attempt to live another kind of literary life.

The unanswered question at this point is what purpose Read Red serves. I've toyed with discontinuing it, figuring well that was fun for a year, but I wasn't able to do with it what I'd wished, and it never garnered more than the slightest modicum of interest, so this would be a chronologically neat moment to stop. If it's an ego exercise, well, okay, I got that out of my system, now let's move on. If it isn't only an ego exercise -- if I think a blog like this fulfills some broader purpose as a communist literary outpost on the worldwide bourgeois-literary web -- isn't that a preposterous and therefore ego-driven claim in itself?

Or is it a challenge to which I should keep trying to rise?

To tell the truth, I'm not sure yet. Though I suspect I'll slog on for at least a while longer.

For now, I'm off to Union Square to stand with the Honduran sisters and brothers fighting for the downfall of the fascist coup in their country. Which in the scheme of things matters a millionfold more than anything in the blogosphere.