So I pretty much started this blog in order to keep the writing muscle in shape. I could keep a journal but I'm way too insecure for that. What's the use of writing if no one's reading it? Who's going to give you the approval you so desperately crave? I figure a few friends would read it as well as the occasional stranger stumbling across the transom or someone who knew my work, somehow wanted to see more of it, and googled me. But then more friends started reading it. Then my family. Then my extended family. Latest horrific discovery: lots of people at my old college are reading it too.
That's where I am now. Back at the college. Whitman College of Walla Walla, Washington (they use the buildings vacated when the Wishy Washy Washing Machine Company shut down). I gave a talk here yesterday to loads of students who showed up for some reason (McSweeney's? Boredom?) and a few professors I had when I was here. Many seem to have read the blog.
I've always kind of avoided the relentless self promotion that some of my contemporaries practice on their blogs because I guess I've been sustaining this idea of this being a more personal side away from the book and the radio. But then again, the book was really mostly about me and loads of stuff on the radio is about me.
I'm sitting in the big Campus Center building. "Dancing in the Dark" is playing. "Man, I ain't nothing but tired / I'm just tired and bored with myself". Screw you, Springsteen. I don't need your ham-fisted soundtrack. Why does he appear so chipper in that video anyway? And when will Ben Gibbard cover this song? Tomorrow please?
Anyway, I had a lovely visit to Whitman College, something I would have said even if I didn't know people from there may be reading this. Among the advice nuggets I gave to students (often without provocation):
- Don't go directly to grad school.
- Don't ever go to journalism school.
- Attend a lecture on something you're not interested in.
- Everything you do in college will be on the final. Except the final is life. And it's not a test. But everything will be on the final.
- It doesn't matter what you major in.
College boys look like they're from the 1970s these days.
I'm all, "where's your dune buggy?"
I'm all, "when does Frampton next come alive?"
I'm all, "where is the innocence as to the eventual brutal cost of your excesses?"
Oh, there it is.