If a blog falls in the forest, will anybody hear?
By Rose Simpson
I spent the day yesterday reading Julie Powell’s wonderful book Julie and Julia.
It’s not at all what I expected. I thought it would just be a summary of her blogs (yech) or a more Julie version of Julie and Julie, the movie. I was wrong.
It is actually an entertainingly terrific deck-surfing read about how Julie Powell became this blogging phenom, and how she went from secretary at the World Trade Center disaster office to the subject of a major motion picture starring Meryl Streep, oh yes, and Amy Adams. In the movie, Julie’s story gets shortshrift. The tale of the little blogger who could is buried up the rump of the burgeoning elephantine personalities that are Julia Child, oh yes, and Meryl Streep.
If it had been my book, I’d be weeping all the way to the bank. Norah Ephron basically took a thirty second sound clip from a very good story and melded it with Julia Child’s story about how she went from being a midlevel bureaucrat spy to the world’s most famous television chef. There should have been two movies, in my opinion, because Julie Powell’s story is one that is resonating with an entire generation of hopeful writers.
But, I suppose if Hollywood comes ‘a callin’, you either say no or allow them to rape your own product for money.
So that’s what she allowed them to do.
Truth be told, I would probably have done the same thing. After all, a person gets pretty tired of struggling for their art. I’m sure Julie Powell now lives in a very nice house somewhere in Queen’s, far away from her dingy little pile in Long Island City. And I see she is now a regular contributor to the New York Times Style Section. In addition, she’s making millions (as opposed to best selling authors in Canada who make thousands) with sales of her own little book.
Good for her.
The best gem in her book concerned blogging and why we do it. She wrote about the parallel between those who were diarists in the early days and those who are bloggers today. The diarist wrote to fulfill a need in himself to document every single moment of his life. Doing so made him feel a little more important, as if his travails mattered somehow.
A bloggers does the same.
The only difference is that the diarist wrote for his own pleasure, while bloggers put it out there for the world to see. Incredibly, even the most ridiculous and self-centred of us somehow find a loyal readership, however small.
Here’s my take. I write for therapy — it’s cheaper than the professional kind — and I write for my own amusement. I am always thrilled to see that sometimes up to seventy five people are reading The $10 Life. Makes me feel I’m connecting somehow. What’s great about blogging is that you can actually see how many people are reading, and you therefore know if your subject matter blows or not.
What’s the point of this blog today? Nothing in particular, as always.