Why (not) me
Where does a writer’s authority come from? Where does my authority come from? (Susan Sontag)
From having written, presumably. I’ve read less than I might’ve, and watched more TV — though more and less than most, respectively — but I sit down to turn what I’ve seen into something new, for you (everything you’ve read of mine was for you) to see without seeing.
‘Where does my authority come from?’ doesn’t interest me. It doesn’t even occur to me to ask. Lucky me. You read and like, or don’t, or love or hate or don’t, I dunno. Or even click away. There are listicles; there are image galleries, largely counterfeit or stolen. There’re the great works of thousands of years. All I can do is write a thing and hope you like it.
I don’t even need to write ‘as well as I can,’ though I imagine you can tell when I do so. Not now, for instance. Tossing this off. Outboard thought is the thing, I think. Maybe authority comes from generating a mode of thought (thought is contagious) partly through writing, hanging out in bars or nerd stores, actually sitting and thinking, riding a bike, taking care of people, wondering about the climate, buying a computer once every few years, knowing how to build cool things with Legos, disliking certain kinds of music, dismissing Lindsey Graham as a bit of a moron, losing a bit of weight. Obesity and dreams are contagious, I hear. Though not equally so, over the Internet at least.
This could’ve been worse. I’m not sure how, but I’m sure of it.