Thursday, May 24, 2007

Misc. Wee Hour Publishing Thoughts

Really shouldn't have napped on that flight back from Chicago. Now my sleep schedule is all screwy.

Nic Sebastian asked if I'd respond to Eric Melbye's (editor of Segue) take on publishing "blog-posted" poems. If you read this blog, you already know my general stance. My specific response to some of Eric's comments appears here.

Here I'll share some of my personal experiences with tradition and cause that's the way it's done, damn it. It consists of Livingston family lore and since my old man is a reader of this blog, I expect an e-mail correcting an inaccuracy or two. Luckily I'm a poet, not a journalist.

* * *

In the old days (second half of the 20th century) the Livingstons, like many Americans, celebrated the Fourth of July with a big family picnic. Hamburgers, hot dogs, a fruit salad presented in fancy cut watermelon rind, a slew of mayonaise-based salads, usual picnic dishes. But we didn't eat one big meal, no we ate TWO big meals -- now before you go on about that being just another example of gluttoness Americans eating hog-wild Disney-style, it wasn't like that. Well, it kind of was, but with good reason, initially. Back then all the men worked shifts in the steel mills, even on a holiday like Independence Day. So to make sure all the men from all the shifts were fed and got a chance to particpate in the festivities, my people prepared two full meals. By the late 70's nobody worked in the mills and by the mid 80's the mills were torn down, but we still ate two meals. Cause it was tradition, habit, it never occurred to anyone to question two big ass meals on Independence Day.

That is until my father, legendary Livingston family picnic trailblazer, took over once it became too much for my grandmother. His first decision: axe the second meal. It's redundant! What? One meal on the Fourth of July, but we always . . .. Second decision: Allow beer and wine. Pop is for kids!

Needless to say, those two changes were a long time coming and greatly improved our holiday. Less work, less bloating, more time for horseshoes and singe-your-eye-out metal sparklers. Win win.

* * *

My grandmother was a very traditional woman, didn't get a color TV until the mid 80's when her thousand year old b&w one broke and you couldn't buy them anymore. Didn't have a coffeemaker until someone bought her one in 1990. Before that she made coffee by, hell, I'm not even sure, I think in a pot on the stove. Basically anything new only found acceptance if there was no other option. Very resistant to change, and understandably so and her right to be. But let me tell you, we didn't wait for her to come around and sanction how we went about our lives -- we all had our color TVs, coffeemakers, push button phones -- and the rest of us women-folk learned how to drive a car, and none followed her style of dress, although two daughters did have remarkably similar hairdos and that kind of freaked me, but I digress . . .

Her ways worked for her, what she grew up with, they made sense in her world -- and while the argument could be made that her life could have been easier or better if she just did _________, it really wasn't anyone's place to tell her.

At the same time, it would not behoove future generations to model their lives after hers -- which is not say there there wasn't much to learn and build on, sure, definitely.

Change is not disrepect. Neither is it ignorance. Every generation, every evolution must address how things were and how they are now and what direction they're moving and what still works and what no longer does. Being a stenographer (something I had to look up in the dictionary when she suggested it) until I found a man who'd agree to marry wasn't a good strategy for my success. Also, my suede coat was definitely not much too fancy, let me assure you it was a very smart investment. It looked fabulous.

No doubt my own granddaughter will be a spoiled little tart with dopey pie-in-the-sky ideas. I'll probably suggest something ridiculously quaint, like how she should write a blog and find her community. She'll make fun of my granny-panties and I'll be all I got these at Victoria's Secret! and she'll be all Um, obviously, that's granny skivvy headquarters.

Labels: ,


At 12:35 PM, Blogger shann said...

I'm still annoyed by the whole thing- when I had a web counter on my blog I could see who visited me. Friends, local poets, a few poets in the state, and a handful out-of-state, never more than thirty on any given day and most 'accidental' visitors clicked off quickly and never came back.

I know there are blogs who get a lot more visitors, maybe then it's an issue, but geez- published?

I suppose if I ever became a 'hot blogger' it might pose a problem, but I'm not holding my virtual breath.

I wouldn't submit to Segue anyway- he sounds a lot like a whiner-


Post a Comment

<< Home