The first light of morning is about to jump-start the city and a new day waits just 10 minutes outside the open upper floor window. Framed in the window (you’ll have to pretend there is no screen), a figure can be seen standing near somebody else staring up affectionately on the sill beside him. Who are they? What is the man furiously writing? A single light burns, a beacon, an eternal flame, first reflected in the window. Now, inside the room, you see me standing at the open window collecting my thoughts—the single light burning in my high-rise apartment while my loyal RagaMuffin cat poses beside me. I have been working all night, a wasted night, to reach this dawn with him, writing draft upon draft of a list of my intentions for this blog: It should be honest; it has to be perfect; it must be personal.
Finally I speak aloud—earnestly, idealistically, alas derivatively, but forcefully—to my cat lying on my desk near the computer monitor that rises just above the window sill—something is still missing—you know what this means—four times and we’ll have to re-make it again! My white cat opens his blue eyes and stares at me lovingly. Stretching as he rolls onto his back, he shoots me a knowing look, before he dismisses me and goes back to his own thoughts.
You’re damn right, I reply to him—using the personal pronoun “I” twice much less every time will let readers know who is responsible. Will I make promises I cannot keep? No. Will I be honest? Yes. Will I be entertaining? I’ll try. Will I be an advocate for my readers as citizens and human beings? Isn’t everybody so on the net? Aren’t web entries founded on their maker’s moral responsibility to honesty and accuracy? Aren’t all critics online informed, altruistic, productive, and vetted? Isn’t the web constructed as a creative arena born of aesthetics by, for, and with artistic tastemakers? Isn’t blogging a genre with intrinsic intellectual value? Aren’t we all citizens of the cyber world—isn’t every student entering college today therefore already educated by/in the media about how to think critically? And consequently weren’t we clever in the higher education curriculum to institute new “hands-on” and skill classes about how to blog, text, film, and video instead of forcing students to continue to take yesterday’s content courses—courses that these college customers simply do not like?
I am the other blogger and my blog will be about movies, architecture, fashion, theater, education, and yesterday. Mostly about movies. And about Memory told “Dimly and in Flashes” —as F. Scott Fitzgerald described the cadence of the movies. My cat opens his eyes and stares at me—does he taunt that “dimly” might also be perceived as the description of my intellectual acumen? Feline, I have already made my peace about employing this double-sided term. Yet my cat still stares at me. He suspects my proclaiming any agenda for this blog is mere affectation. OK, actually, the cat makes a good point. My blog will be about anything I choose. But every reader of this blog will know my interests as well as my identity. Could anybody fail to identify Miss Dove or Mr. Chips in a police line-up? Could anyone fail to recognize the Sondheim devotee slumped in the back row of Hamilton’s mezzanine? Who couldn’t whistle-blow the fellow who checks into Ian Schrager’s Public in Chicago chasing the police chasing the bad guys chasing Roger O. Thornhill into the lobby of the Ambassador East?
I’m aware that a blog is not like the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, or Jed Leland’s first report card at school. And ironically another blog is probably just as essential to the city today as the gas in that gaslight. And thus the crucial question: Will I sign my Declaration of Principles? Hell no. But headlines will be big enough. And I invite you to create the scenario with me. And if you are game, and they try to stop us, let’s just tell them that you are from the Central Office. Later scene. Same interior. Same gaslight.