A couple of days ago, I was talking to someone about the reaction to Sunday’s Dilettante column – it currently is the most-commented recent article. I was expressing frustration that the comments all seemed to reference each other rather than the column (and, thus, me – me, me, me). The person I was talking to thought I was being grandiose in thinking that the column made a bit of difference to anyone but myself. That I was, perhaps, overly in love with my own opinion and the sound of my own voice.
Hhmmm. That was an interesting concept. Does what I write matter? Why do I do it? I feel compelled to write more and more as time goes on. I make my living writing to foundations and the gubment asking for money for the theatre. I write random bullshit to you in this blog almost daily. The Dilettante column is every week and sometimes is topical. Sometimes I’m just trying to make people laugh. And then the playwriting – such an odd and wonderful way to communicate. I put the shit out there, and it’s up to each individual as to whether or not they take it in. But there can be no doubt that I have to communicate with you. “You” being anyone who’s not me. That’s a lot of people.
But he wasn’t specifically addressing the exchange – he was saying that he doesn’t believe that what I’m writing actually makes a difference to anyone. And it got me thinking about the things that I read and whether or not they make a difference to me. I can’t say that I’ve ever read something and felt like my entire life was changed after reading it. Nor have I ever suggested that my bullshit 500-word Dilettante column is having that effect. Come on. But the sum impact of what I read does add up. And that matters. So, I guess in the grand scheme of things, I’m just trying to add my voice to the chorus of bullshit that we all ingest every day, hoping that it will eventually add up with the other shit. I don’t think that’s grandiose. I think if I didn’t have that as a goal, what would be the point? If I didn’t hope to have an impact (and believe that an impact was possible), I’d just write my manifesto in the cabin in the woods and lock it in a trunk when I was done.
Anyway, I had a dream about Bill Clinton last night. He invited me to get frozen yogurt.