I’m finding that the importance of dating these files can not be overstated. Among all the damned word files, open office files, notebook transcriptions, text files and related effluvia from 35+ years of writing on computers have long lost their timestamps, leaving me to guess what epoch of life they belong to from contextual cues.
Sure I can do a reasonable job at that. But I’d like to put the timeline together a bit more cohesively than that. Maybe it doesn’t matter. But it would be nice to see.
It’s interesting that the primary complaint I have about blogging, that things disappear into the soup of time, actually holds the very answer to this problem.
So I could take a desktop plain text blogging platform and stuff textified writing into that and jam the date into the metadata.
I’ve re-downloaded blosxom and pulled pyblosxom to see if they fit the bill. They might not. But who cares. If they don’t I can always roll something that will as an HHC plug in. I suppose I could format the entries as RFC822 messages. Then I could just jam whatever metadata I needed into X- headers. Hell, that’d actually be a great way to support tag clouds and such. Yeah okay, I’ll plan on that.
But enough of that crap for now.
The reason that came up in my mind is that I’ve been going through some of this stuff and there’s more of it than I remember, and during the dig I came across a couple versions of my 9/11 account, which triggered me to send a link ( http://iwilson.net/15-years-really/ ) last week to http://twitter.com/cigargoyle_, who read it on his live stream last Wednesday night (9/9.) It’s gotten… a lot of feedback.
I vacillated back and forth on whether to watch. But figured if he was going to put himself out there by reading it, the very fucking least I could do would be to watch the damned thing.
Now, a mild confession about it: I haven’t really been able to read the thing in its entirety in years. So I knew I was in for a ride once someone who actually did voicing work got ahold of it.
I picked up and put down a bottle of bourbon a few times in the few minutes leading up to the live event, eventually settling on Monkey Shoulder instead.
It was fascinating and soul sucking to watch and listen to it. Interesting in the parts he chose to inflect and how, and how much it differed in places from the way I hear it in my head. Horrifying to listen to it unfolding in real time, knowing what’s coming, like a fucking truck with me sitting in the highway just drinking scotch waiting for it to hit me.
I got up and paced around the room yelling ‘FUCK’ now and again, as suits my character. It’s just a bleeder valve for stress that almost works.
It’s good and you should go watch it if you’re inclined: https://t.co/b7fsq7abX8?amp=1
BUT it highlighted to me how badly it’s written. I blasted that out in a couple/few hours in a single sitting back in ’03. (The “15 years really” post wasn’t the original. It was me reflecting and reposting it on the “new” blog since Radio Userland is LONG gone.)
I know I know “badly WRITTEN, DUDE!”
People point to it as my best piece of writing. But frankly that’s a function of exposure. It’s not and not only is it not the best, it’s not even in the top third. I see all the damned repetition, screwy phrasing, placeholders where I was going to expand it, etc.
Sure we’re all our own worst critics. But that’s the only way we get better at anything. You wouldn’t believe how I trash talk my sourdough baguettes.
So the question comes up about editing. It’s a 17 year old document. Is it something I should edit? I suppose the fact that I still cringe when I think about it implies an answer, but I’m not sure that wouldn’t be true of it in any state.
The right thing MIGHT just be to do a follow-up. As it sits, it ends on such a dour note. But…maybe that simply is what it is.
As I sit here, having been screwing around for an hour I’m thinking I should open a new document, turn on editing annotations in word (an excellent and remarkably underused feature) and just start hacking away at it, saving it under “911-0.2” and see what I can do with it, as an exercise in editing if nothing else.
Alright. Here we go…