Death and Blogging

I can’t help but think about the relationship between writing, blogging, and death. Not to get all gnarly (my daughter’s new favorite word, which I think is so funny), but traditionally, it is often difficult for others to locate the work of artists and writers who die. In fact, it can take years and years of research, discovery, and sweat to figure out the location and locale of artworks, the dates they were produced, and the methods used in producing specific pieces. Not an easy task, but it does accomodate many academics’ employment opportunities, which is nice.
But, and here’s the but, blogging makes this all so easy. There is no difficulty in finding a bloggers’ work — it’s all sitting on a server somewhere, perhaps and hopefully in a pretty MySQL database. Death makes the writing or postings of a blogger final, yes — but also solid, organized, total. It’s this totality that kind of makes me think that blogging is the ultimate life-in-death. It’s so hyper-organized, so data-driven, so efficient that rather than laughing at death and its ultimate finality, it equates itself with it, cozies itself up to it, makes death seem nice and tidy. In other words, what I’m thinking is that blogging makes others’ lives easier but it also makes the death of an individual easier to read and understand as the cataloging is done, pre-facto.
It’s messy stuff, though. You might ask what about those people who don’t only use the weblog for aesthetic expression – say they use the computer, the typewriter, the canvas, or the video screen. And I would way that you’re right — blogging may be life-in-death but it’s also only one component of the soul’s divine shedding of self to the world. A researcher of an individual’s life would still need to collect the odd detritus of a life lived, the old corn flakes, the CD collection, the crumbs of crap that once accumulated under the paper files, in order to understand the life of a blogger.

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