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ALEX BEAM

Why I don't blog

Four years ago, John Ellis, Globe columnist turned Internet golf savant turned venture capitalist, called me a ``future blogger." I know he meant it as a compliment, but my reaction then and now was: I think not.

You know the old adage: Sausage tastes great, but you don't want to see how it is made. And there are some minds you don't want to get inside of. Here, for instance, are some hypothetical blog entries from recent days:

Thursday, May 18: Back from New York, I am scrambling for an idea for my impossibly old-fashioned newspaper column. There are about 30 hours until deadline. I think of calling former BU president John Silber, to see what he thinks about the BU administration leaking details of his recent, $6 million pay package before they've even filed them with the IRS. Last year a similar story ended up buried in the back pages in June, when reporters finally found the relevant filings. Maybe someone has it in for John.

In the middle of my reverie, a guy phones to suggest I write a column about the misguided kayak safety laws making their way through the Legislature. I'm sure he's right on the facts, but kayaking isn't really my thing. In fact, I despise kayaks, which clutter up the Charles River when I'm roaring past Brandeis in my tricked-out single shell. As if.

Friday, May 19: Now the deadline is just a few hours away. Maybe I'll write a réplique to Steve Almond's ridiculous, overheated op-ed commentary, in which he resigned his nothingburger teaching job at Boston College to protest its selection of Condoleezza Rice as commencement speaker. I could inform BC that I'm available to teach the class, but of course I lack the hipster cred of a contributor to porn-lite websites. (Op. cit.: ``Bad Sex With Steve Almond." ) Also, I'd want quadruple his paycheck.

Then I think, no, it might be more fun to mock Bono's attempts at editing a newspaper. Earlier in the week, the Sunglassed One guest-edited the London Independent, with predictable results: a blizzard of verbiage about diseased and starving Africans, and not nearly enough information about the Arsenal soccer team and Posh Spice. Who wants to read that paper?

I even had a headline: ``Baron, not Bono." (Marty Baron is the editor of the Globe.) My friends thought this was an inane idea. And making fun of Bono is like fishing with dynamite.

I end up taking a column off the shelf. I bet my editors wouldn't mind taking a peek at that shelf.

Saturday, May 20: I send out my usual blizzard of e-mails, hardly any of which will be answered until people arrive at work on Monday, to waste their employers' time, not their own, answering me.

In the afternoon, I attend an office party, which turns out to be a lot of fun. After only one beer, I am promoting my idea of a gender-discrimination suit against The Boston Globe for providing unequal bathroom facilities to men and women. A colleague reminds me of a recent jewelry sale that took place in the capacious women's bathroom, from which I was barred, for obvious reasons. It's not just women who buy jewelry, OK? I ask about the luxurious sofa inside their bathroom, to which an editor responds, ``We faint a lot." I think she was Maureen Dowding me, i.e. being sarcastic.

Sunday, May 21: I commune with the God of the Israelites and of the New Testament, who tells me: ``Alex, don't start a blog. You'll just get in trouble." I think she is right.

Monday, May 22: Omigod, another deadline looms. I call Silber to ask about the leak of his compensation data. He has no idea why BU leaked the figures; they didn't consult him. I was told they were hoping to keep the story local but failed. Whatever the case, Silber hated The New York Times' s headline: ``Boston U niversity Gave Ex-Chief $6.1 Million." ``They didn't `give' me anything," Silber said. ``I earned that money."

Wait! This is journalism, not blogging! I'll never get the hang of this.

Tuesday, May 23: At the last minute, I remember the purpose of having a blog: To hype your long-out-of-print books! Use this link, or go to abebooks.com .

I have to leave town again. I'll resume blogging . . . maybe never.

Alex Beam is a Globe columnist.His e-dress is beam@globe.com.

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