About a month ago I was reading Chuck Klosterman’s newest book Eating the Dinosaur, and I came across two sentences that absolutely floored me. In fact, it’s no exaggeration to say that these two sentences completely altered my approach to this blog. Here they are:
There’s one kind of writing that’s always easy: Picking out something obviously stupid and reiterating how stupid it obviously is. This is the lowest form of criticism, easily accomplished by anyone.
The essay was not specifically about blogging (it was about laugh-tracks, actually), but I realized that this was the approach that I took to a lot of my blogging – in particular, my writing about politics. Sure, I write some things that I still think are substantive, but a lot – maybe even most – of it was just, look at those dumb Republicans. And I realized that there are plenty of organizations devoted to reporting how dumb politicians are, and I wasn’t adding a damn thing to the discussion.
So for the last couple of weeks I’ve been trying to only blog on topics I feel I can say something new about. Klosterman was right: it’s harder, and that’s why you might not have been seeing quite as many posts from me recently. And I’m writing a lot more about TV and movies than politics, for better of for worse. But I think that the quality of my blog posts has risen considerably in that time period, and I’m enjoying writing here more than I ever have before.
So! Today, a new look to go along with the new writing style. I modified this theme a bit, but it mostly was designed by George Wiscombe, who is not only an excellent designer but is also willing to answer technical questions from random strangers who can’t get his theme to work right. Comments, as always, are appreciated, on both the writing and the look.