Tuesday, August 17, 2004

“All right, Mr. DeMille. I’m ready for my close-up.”

The Movie: Sunset Blvd., 1950 (Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder, screenwriters; Billy Wilder, dir.)
Who says it: Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond, a silent movie star
The context: Desmond’s lover, hack screenwriter Joe Gillis (William Holden), has just been found dead in Desmond’s swimming pool; Desmond mistakes the newsreel cameras for a movie set.
How to use it: To admit that you’re probably deceiving yourself about your central role in any given situation.

The big danger of having a blog is thinking that anyone is paying attention. I didn't stop to think, when I set this up, that it would make me part of an emerging subculture, and I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that. I guess it's flattering to be getting comments from total strangers who happen upon the blog, but I feel the same way I'd feel if someone came up to me in a store and made an off-color remark, or started swearing without checking to make sure I wouldn't mind. So hey: if I don't know you, please don't make suggestive comments, and less of the f-word, please. My mom reads this.

Yesterday I read an angry column by an author I admire, in which he postulated that only losers need websites, and the bigger the website, the bigger the loser (I'm paraphrasing). Of course I immediately felt that I should send this man an e-mail to apologize and justify my own website (early training dies hard). I didn't, because I don't know him and he doesn't know me. But I still feel anxious about it.

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