Monday, June 05, 2006

The Photos - they are here and so am I

In case any of my readers think I've been absent since Thursday, look again -- at the tiny number at the bottom of the last posting entitled Photos Coming Soon. Yes, if you click on the comments section you'll see that I've been writing away as much as ever, responding to a reader's thoughts. I adore it when people write in!

Here are the controversial photos that go with the whole messy story.
First, the broom & mob bike-cart. Ta Da!

and now the weaver's bike-cart:

So there you have it. And there's still more coming about my Mexico trip!


At 6:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Griping Anonymous again ....You're back! What a
relief. I had visions of the bike, little rubber
elf and all, being taken up the Gorge and ridden
in a beautiful arc into the drink. It didn't seem
likely, but you never know. Writing can, as we
know, have unforseen effects. I'm glad to see the
blog is progressing. I felt just like when Di and
Dodi bought it in that tunnel in Paris: cut off in
mid-soap, between episodes. I'm relieved I don't
have to pile up flowers and teddybears at your
front gate in Blogland to propitiate the gods.

Great pics. And gorgeous brooms. I'm surprised
you could resist buying one, but I suppose it's
not the sort of thing you want to get on the plane
with. On the other hand, given the nature of your
second bike, couldn't you have flown it back
yourself? It would have made a handsome addition
to your stable. Think you missed an opportunity

On the blogging ethics issue, it looks like there
was a certain amount of unanimity among the
readership. I couldn't have put it better myself.
(I mean, I literally couldn't. I can't
tell you how much I envy the limpid brevity of
anonymous #2, and still more #3. Wish I could
write like that. Seems my native language is
cognate to Mr. Salinger's Glass family speech, in
which "the shortest distance between two points is
a fullish circle". I've been doing a hamster
number in that circle all my adult life. Speaking
of hamsters, did you read about the hamster who
got caught in the recycling machine? ... No, no,
some other time.) Getting back to the point, the
"I don't seem to have an extra mind" test isn't
decisive: you needn't have appropriated the extra
mind, simply ignored it or thrown it away which,
though I didn't mean to put it quite so brutally,
is rather what happened when you spoke
for the woman, no? At least,
(attempting, unsuccessfully, to climb out of
Metaphor Hell) you did temporarily use it without
permission. There seems to be agreement on that.
There's all the difference in the world between
reporting someone else's ideas and speculating on
them. The one is good journalism and the other is
joining the sociologists (apologies in advance to
all sociologists everywhere) without even wearing
a labcoat and carrying a clipboard to warn your
subject of what you were up to. In plain English,
"presumptuous ... it felt presumptuous". (Thank
you, #3. You saved me just in time. Do you give

In your litany of choices, I'd say that none of
them actually hits the mark. My choice would go:

I shouldn't have mentioned the
photographing-the-kids episode at all.

Incidentally (or not) this is the choice that gets
you out from under Epimenides, too. Of course,
you would have had to give up or change the rest
of the blog post too, but that's the deal. Which
brings us back to the wider Ethics of Blogging
issues. Does anyone else think that blogging has
its own rules, not necessarily covered by the
rules of journalism? I personally am finding it
poignant, to say the least, that anyone should be
excluded, for economic or any other reason, from
participating in such a democratic and, above-all
interactive, process. As for the rest of your
litany, I'll admit at this stage that the dollar
motif was mostly pure misdirection, designed to
goad you a bit (though hopefully not off the edge
of the Gorge) and because I couldn't resist the
the pithy exit line it gave me. For the record, I
think you paid fair and square for the opportunity
to picture the bike. Had that been the end of the
story (is there any end in sight?) I wouldn't have
mentioned it. However, I still think the ethics
issue does clearly have an economic dimension, in
the wider sense.

Now for the tricky bit: What about your mother?
Well, here too there are some possibilities:

1) One's own mother is fair game. If you don't
mind, why should we?

2) Any mother would be charmed to be understood by
her offspring, even for a second.

3) "What's that, dear? A bolg? How
clever! Come and show Grandma your nice bolg.

4) In a relationship extending, by your own
admission, well past your spring-chickenage, it's
just possible that the subject of dirty children
has come up between you. Your public sincerely
hopes it was resolved amicably but feels that in
any case you would therefore know what your
mother's opinion was and would be able to report
it to us without violating the rules.

5) In the event that the subject never arose, then
we're covered by clause 1.

The honest answer is that it is tricky, I
admit it. Clearly, to go too far would be to
prevent any writing that got inside people's
heads, an obvious disaster. But there is, equally
clearly, a line. Speaking as one who consumes a
lot of writing to find out about the world, I'd
like to know where that line is.

(I thought you'd want to know that no
were harmed in the preparation of this comment.
I'm less sure about sociologists.)

At 7:39 AM, Blogger kate gawf said...

This response was posted in the wrong place so I'm re-posting it here. Kate

Clarification: Anonymous #2 and #3 are one and the same. I just couldn't think of the precise word when I posted the first comment.

I am enjoying this discussion tremendously, btw. It has made me examine my own thoughts on the subject as well as my own prejudices. Gracias.

Posted by Anonymous to Ride My Handlebars at 6/07/2006 07:47:32 AM

At 7:44 AM, Blogger kate gawf said...

Ha! One reader agreed with you – one. That hardly constitutes unanimity. I do have more than one other reader, thank you very much. And thank you, #2 and 3 for your clarification. Very responsible of you.

And as for the broom idea – I had already thought of that—buying another vehicle to ride home on – but my aunt doesn’t know about that side of me, and I didn’t want to shock her.

What sociologists wear lab coats and carry clipboards and discuss what they’re up to with their subjects? But really, the whole idea of being “studied” or “observed” is repugnant, that’s what – being studied by someone coming from the outside. Like all those studies that were always being done on gay people by experts who were hetero. Guaranteed to make offensive reading, in which few gay people recognized themselves.

Once I attended a sort of support group of people who’d spent most of their lives outside their native country. The woman who organized it had a psychiatrist friend who claimed interest and she invited him to attend, telling us he was studying this phenomenon. After two or three meetings with him sitting there like Mr. Potatohead, not saying a word (because he had nothing to say, having never lived abroad himself) and jotting down notes, I quit in disgust.

Like you, I too am left completely baffled by where that line you mention is. But I know how you could explore this further: you could start your own blog. It’s obvious that’s what you should be doing with your life.

Yes, blogging is developing its own rules. One of them is that frequency is required. It’s like a letter writing relationship in that as soon as one side drops the ball, the other side stops taking their turn. As long as you keep writing, you readers will keep checking in.

The next rule is brevity. I can look up a little chart that shows me what times of day people tend to visit, and most of it happens during working hours. They’re playing hooky from work to do it, so they can’t take all day reading it. They need to read it in furtive spurts here and there. Besides, if you write long-windedly, you’ll soon burn out on doing it. So if you really want to learn the art of brevity as you say you do, blogging would teach you that as well.

There are other rules I’ve discovered that I’ll save for another day. But you should really try it! You’d love it. It’s a very explorative type of writing. Let me know when you launch and I’ll definitely put you on my list of blogs that I read.

At 8:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would you mind providing a list of blogs that you read?

In reference to your comment that most of your readers read during working hours I would say that there's no way to tell when a person works because people are working 24/7.

At 7:59 AM, Blogger kate gawf said...

Yes, I would like to post a list of blogs that I read and have been meaning to do it for some time but I haven't yet figured out how. One of these days I will. Thanks for reminding me.
As for people's blog-reading hours, you're right of course, people have all kinds of work schedules. I can only make a guess, by observing that most of the readers in my time zone read between 8 and 5, which are the most common work hours.


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