Thursday, November 17, 2005 | Here’s a line that I like, and believe in. It is from David Carr, writing this week in the “Technology” section of The New York Times:
“The great thing about the Web is that people can say almost anything they please. But it will only mature as a medium if people see that as less of a license than as a burden.”
He was referring mainly to blogs, which in the main are stream-of-consciousness daily (or hourly) journals streaming from every imaginable kind of mind. There are thousands, or maybe even millions, of them, worldwide, posted by people who were amazed, and tickled, that a global voice could be theirs for $20 a month. It didn’t make any difference what they had to say. They had the power to say it, for anyone to read, and that was all that mattered. Most of the blogs would have run their course quickly, as the novelty wore off, both on behalf of the author and the reader, and they moved on before everyone died of boredom.
But then some of these blogs attracted advertisers, who are interested in hit rates as opposed to content. Some of these blogs have made their authors rich, which gives the others incentives to stick around for awhile.
There’s nothing wrong with that. I hope my blog makes money someday. If there is a demographic for a blog that is mostly completed essays, it will. If it means I have to pour my life’s hourly minutiae into a computer, then it won’t, because I won’t go there.
That being said, I do have to follow up on an experiment I had proposed in the blog the other night, to dress up hamburger patties in onions, garlic, green pepper and Trader Joe’s enchilada sauce (the best) served over rice. But I also had a steak that I had cut from a piece of filet mignon in the bag, selling at Costco for $7.99 a pound, and I decided to use it. I made the sauce in one skillet, and I need to say that when the onions, green peppers and garlic were getting soft, I poured in a quarter-cup of coffee left over from breakfast and let it bubble down to a glaze. If there is any, I always add a little leftover coffee to sauces, but that’s another story.
I cut the steak into half-inch slices and sautéed them quickly in a little olive oil to brown them but leave them medium-rare. These I placed on the rice and poured the sauce over. Not bad. I had the half-pound of thawed hamburger, of course, and these I shaped into two one-inch-thick patties and seasoned with salt and pepper. I browned them thoroughly in a hot cast-iron skillet, then turned down the heat and let them cook until they were quite dry, just like my grandmother Susie used to make them. I don’t think she did this for artistic purposes. She cooked meat of any kind until it was well-done, period. I liked it. It brought out a certain flavor. Now, as then, the hamburger patties develop their own glaze. You eat them like a big hard beef cookie, and they are delicious.
These are the kinds of things I think is OK to say in a blog. The Web is an absolutely democratic medium, so others can say what they want, too, and that’s all right. There’s infinite space for it – they are only files in a computer – and no doubt a readership for whatever gets written and mistaken for writing. For that reason, the Web will always support a vast community of the immature, or the immaterial.
And I will be here, too. I love to write, as long as there is a little feel of burden to it.
Journalist, author and educator Michael Grant has been putting his spin on San Diego, and the city putting its spin on him, since 1972. His Web site is at