Yesterday I listened to Terry Gross's interview with Michael Chabon on the Fresh Air podcast. Chabon was pimping his book Manhood for Amateurs, a collection of personal essays about being a father and a son and a husband.
I've read Wonder Boys a couple times and tried to get through Kavalier and Clay a couple times. I'll try again. Chabon makes me jealous -- he makes it seem so easy that I think I can do what he does. My desire to assume his identity is compounded by the fact that he seems to have a similar mentality to me: he said that what motivates his writing is a desire for human connection, and that he has neither the motivation nor the facility for those connections in real life. His stories become an idealized form of human interaction, a fantasy world in which the reader gets all his jokes and shares all his arcane interests.
I suppose that's why I've resurrected this blog after a long hiatus, why geocaching appealed to me, why I like teaching mathematics, why I like -- with some embarrassment -- online role-playing games like World of Warcraft, why I read tech blogs and listen to podcasts. They are all forms of connection with other humans, but it's all abstracted. Topics and facts and silly achievements give us something to talk about, without really talking about anything.
So, thanks, Mike, for getting me back on my blog horse, even if only for one time. In exchange, maybe I'll go buy your book and talk about it on the internet. I'm pissed that it's not on the Kindle yet -- I'll have to interface with a physical book. That makes me slightly uncomfortable.