Blogging and Privacy

I want to complain more about the job conditions. The worst thing about blogging is that it sets up this interior surveillance. We all complain about the increases in surveillance in our exterior lives, or we should complain—all the cameras and cops in public spaces. Well blogging is the interior equivalent. There is no such thing as a private thought, or you are not sure anymore what is public and what is private. The lighthouse light must be constantly sweeping the interior horizon, looking for news like fugitives. There are no idle thoughts on this landscape.

Last night for instance I had a great dream about John Mearsheimer, the co-author of the important paper on the Israel lobby in the London Review of Books. Do I report it, or not? I suppose I do. I had sought out Mearsheimer for an interview yesterday in real life and then last night I was having it. We were at a very elite college room, oakpanelled, and he was wearing a beautiful figured vest and jewelry, sort of a donnish Robert Bly character, and sitting in his chair telling me about his feelings about Israel and his commitment to moral causes, that had begun when he was reading a poem or a Biblical verse at 10. He read the poem to me in Greek. Then he was wearing these gogglelike eyeglasses, like scientist’s eyeglasses, and crying. I was taking notes and not really hearing him. The feeling I had for him was on the one hand hugely impressed; here was an elite professor at an elite chamber of a university, the elite into which my own people have clambered. And then there was also a kind of Jewish pity, rachmones. Of course the people in dreams are not people but yourself. I suppose the Robert Bly stuff and the scientific eyeglasses mean that it is about my father. I think that’s where I got my moral sense, such as it is, from my poetic scientist father, and also there is some wound there too. My dad and I didn’t always get along.

And more than that—who cares.

Blogging and Privacy