Today was the Day of the Blogger. I did do some non-blog-related things today, though, such as buying a couple more books and attending a few sessions. I will be nominating Michael Drout’s paper on Vainglory for an Oscar, in the category of “Best Paper Using Plastic Animals from the Burgess Shale.” Nevertheless, the day was dominated, from beginning to end, with blogging.
Breakfast was the blogger get-together. I’m not sure how much I should say about that event, since many (most?) of the bloggers there were anonymous or pseudonymous. Suffice it to say that I met a lot of nice and interesting people. A few seemed very shy, perhaps worried about outing themselves. Don’t worry -- there won’t be any outing going on here. A huzzah to Dr. Virago for organizing it.
Our blogging panel was fine in terms of content, but was poorly attended. I don’t think it was the subject matter, because we had more people at the early-morning get-together. There were a lot of other sessions running concurrently that no doubt drained people away -- indeed, I had to skip my own student’s paper. I was the nay-sayer in the group, but the truth is that our positions weren’t very different. I was skeptical of the use of blogs as pedagogical tools, but the others there shared the exact same concerns I did -- at the end of the day, it was a matter of different judgment calls.
Afterward, a small group of us got together for dinner and drinks. Mac Stone, Shana Worthen, Lisa Spangenberg, and my new friend Teresa Nielsen Hayden of Making Light talked well into the night. By sheer luck, Eileen Joy was seated at the table right next to us, which was a delight.* At some point I realized that I was the guest of honor at this little shindig, and when I asked why, I was treated to the most flattering praise of my public intellectualism project. It was pretty humbling, since I’m not sure I can quite live up to their high expectations, but I’ll do my best. If you are wondering how someone can simultaneously be both humbled and flattered, well, I can’t explain it, but there it is.
*As soon as she saw me, Eileen (who was rather drunk at the time), shouted obscenities at me and lunged at me with a knife. Fortunately, the wealthy Italian bodybuilder / race car driver / astronaut who happened to be her date accidentally got in the way and got a butter knife in the eye. He lost one eye, but that new eyepatch he wears only makes him look all the more exotic as he rips the bodice of the baron's nubile young daughter on the windswept heath. An absolutely true story. You ain't callin' me a liar, are ya?