The Beiderbecke Affair picks up the same comment from Christopher Althouse that I quoted here -- "If writing is your escape from dying, blogging is the last format you should use" -- and takes issue with any blogger who worries overmuch about post preservation:
This form is not about permanence or destination, but about movement. It’s not about orgasm [ ... ] but about sex. [It's like] jazz[, which] prides itself on impermanence & unknowing. “One of the things I like about jazz, kid,” Bix Beiderbecke told his fellow cornetist Jimmy McPartland, “is I don’t know what’s going to happen next. Do you?”
Brendan quotes a marvelous passage from a 1956 essay by one John A.Kouwenhoven, saying that this openness and dynamism is quintessentially American:
[F]or a variety of reasons people living in America have, on the whole, been better able to relish process than those who have lived under the imposing shadow of the arts and institutions which Western man created in his tragic search for permanence and perfection—for a “closed system.”
Back in the '50s the Beat poets made the connection between African-based jazz, with its improvisatory, risk-all, create-in-the-moment tradition, and Japanese Zen, with its meditative resolve to be utterly in the present. These two traditions fused with the frontier restlessness and entrepreneurial dynamism of America. It's wonderful to think of blogging being connected to those bloodstreams. As born-to-blog Ann Althouse wrote in her contribution to the lawprofs' Bloggership conference:
I love the simple, time-stamped structure of the blog, with each new item posted at the top. How seductive! How like life itself. In life, you can’t skip backwards and forwards in time. You can only live in the present. A blog is like living, living in writing. What fun!
So I will indulge this now-overwhelming preference of mine to live freely in writing. [...]
Blogging is life -- in writing, in public. It's not a job or a break from a job. It's everything you might think about. Blogging is art.