Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Portrait of the artist as a young insomniac

I can't sleep. Not just now; I can't sleep ever. I've tried going a few days without sleep medication... usually on the fourth or fifth night I finally pass out from exhaustion. This evening I took my sleeping pills, and nothing happened... 4 hours sitting here wishing I could sleep, but knowing it will not come. I was reading the blog of a friend, and I got this great idea: I'll make a blog. I've been pretty scornful of the proliferation of techniques for allowing people to communicate without actual live interaction; I think that I rely quite a bit on body language and facial expression to determine what the other person is saying, and I am wary of less personal media that give people the freedom to pretend to be something they are not.

So why make a blog? First, most of my interpersonal relationships seem to take place over email as it is, so apparently I am willing to accept a certain amount of risk regarding the lack of face-to-face communication. Second, I am not too worried that I will misrepresent myself; you'll see, no one would willingly pretend to be me.

Most importantly, I guess, is the recent revelation I have had regarding communities, be they blogs or villages or whatever. My friend Scott Vice (link above) was one of the most beautiful people I have ever known, and after his death I was stunned by the number of people, most of whom he had never met in meatspace, who came by his blog to express their shock and sorrow and stories. I didn't even know he had a blog; I didn't find out about it til after he was gone, and I was really blown away by the whole thing... his random notes, the story of his life in shortform... and the love he was getting from all of his cyberfriends.

I am truly grateful that I have the opportunity to read Scott's thoughts... he always had a tremendous sense of joy and mischievousness, and his intellect was unbounded. He turned me on to more books, movies, and music than anyone I have ever met. He was a rennaissance man.

I don't know if anyone will ever be grateful that my thoughts are posted here... if nothing else this will give me an excuse to sit down every so often and collect my thoughts into a coherent bundle, which isn't a bad thing to do, blog or no.

So: hi. I am Michael. This is my life. It's Groundhog Day... again.