Sunday, 30 June 2013
Blog on hiatus for month of July
I made a bad shipmate anyway. I was too impatient with covering local events. I wanted to go beyond stereotypes of left and right. I wanted to write about things like peak oil or climate change. And when I tried to practice what I preached – moving to rural Ireland and studying traditional ways of life – I began writing a column about it for a newspaper here, and I began this blog.
The blog has been going for five years this week - this is the 700th post -- and the column for seven years. Besides reprinting the column, this blog features:
• Interviews with elderly neighbours here in rural Ireland.
• Articles about traditional ways of life, here or in my native Missouri.
• Articles I wrote for the American Conservative, the Dallas Morning News, the Columbia Daily Tribune, the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Front Porch Republic or Energy Bulletin.
• Photos of landscapes and buildings around us, preserved from an earlier era.
• Vintage photos of ways of life most of us have forgotten, and might have to rediscover.
All these threads, I hope, weave around a common idea: Let’s say our modern world of consumerism and mass media has not been entirely beneficial. Let’s say we have lost the self-reliant skills, classical education and common values that were once ubiquitous. Let’s say our consumption grows exponentially, but fossil fuels and carbon sinks turn out to be finite.
Let’s posit a long emergency ahead – not an action-movie apocalypse, but a slow conversion into a more traditional world. And let’s say you have a daughter. What happens next?
My column and this blog set out to answer that question, and I treated it as a daily publication about this project, a different facet each day. Writing for the internet is not, however, as our journalism gurus initially predicted, like a newspaper in fast-forward, for the internet does not have a publication’s sense of forward motion. It is like a trillion rooms that appear and disappear, or a library of books that sit unopened for years and suddenly “go viral” for no apparent reason. It is like shouting into a dark room that may or may not be crowded, filled with readers sympathetic or hostile. You just don’t know.
For many months now I’ve tried to have a new article or photo each day, but in the last week I’ve had technical problems, and I’ve been swamped with my daughter – “The Girl,” I call her here – and our lessons. In a few days we leave for London on holiday.
Thus, I’m putting this blog on hiatus until August 1. Whoever’s reading, set a reminder and I will see you then. In the meantime, The Girl turns nine today – wish her a good one, from wherever you are in the world.
Top photo: The Girl and I around the time I started the blog.
Bottom photo: The Girl today.