Leverett Butts - Musings of a Bored English Teacher

Occasional web log from Southern writer Leverett Butts.

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Location: Temple, Georgia, United States

English Professor in Georgia. Writer of Southern lit

Thursday, October 30, 2003

First of all, this is all very new to me. Several of my friends keep weblogs and far more of my complete and total strangers do, too. One of my best and oldest friends, Scott Thompson, has been pestering me for a couple of years now to keep a one, but I never thought I would. In fact, had Scott not just gone ahead and created one for me, I'd probably just spend this morning examining and then deleting the internet porn junk mail I keep getting on one of my email accounts (a few words of advice here: NEVER give your students your personal email address if you can at all help it, or barring that, try not check your email in a public library or while advising other students).

I've tried offline journals and diaries before. Remember those? They were actual notebooks, sometimes spiral bound, sometimes leather-bound. For the extremely private (or paranoid) diarist, a few even had little locks that could be picked with a straight pin after an agonizing three seconds. I had one of those when I was in sixth grade, and I tried desperately to keep up with it. Only I never remembered to write in it unless my step-father had recently scolded me for some greater or minor infraction of familial decorum.

At this point, I would skulk back to my room and write furiously about how I had been ill-used and under-appreciated. I'd wax poetic and describe in excruciating detail all the painful and horrifying things I wished would happen to my semi-parent, so I could stand above him and simply smile as he begged for help in the name of common human dignity. My entries, sparse as they were, would most likely have made the Columbine kids look like Dr. Seuss with a hangover. I painstakingly illustrated them, too, for the benefit of the illiterate members of my phantom audience.

My step-brother found this tome one afternoon on his bookshelf (to this day I have no memory of leaving it there when I stole his copy of The Amazing Spider-man #196 [in which we saw the first of many deaths of Aunt May]). Be that as it may, my step-sibling lost no time (well, three agonizing seconds) in opening my little jewel of fantastic fiction. So impressed was he with my command of the mother tongue that he almost immediately brought my literary genius to the attention of his father.

I kept no diary after that.

And therein lies my problem with weblogs. They're essentially diaries which are housed in cyber-space and effectively open to anyone who knows the address (you don't even need to purchase such intricate tools as a straight-pin). As I understand it, the purpose of a diary (and, therefore a weblog) is to provide one with a forum within which he can express his innermost feelings, fears, and plans for revenge. If anyone and their step-father can read the weblog (or blog, as I'm informed the youngsters are calling it these days) it seems to me that the whole purpose is defeated.

You simply can't be yourself on a weblog; you still have to keep secrets. For instance, if I told you that a certain friend of mine, whose initials are ST, used to of an afternoon dress in underwear, tie a purple towel around his neck, grab his skateboard, and under the name of Super-Scooter, tear down the neighborhood streets protecting the citizenry from the evils of the world , he might get upset that I had not only embarrassed him publicly, but had exposed his crime-fighting alter-ego to the knowledge of dastardly villains everywhere.

Similarly, if I were to muse on the underlying meanings of the dream I had last night in which I wandered about a cotton mill relieving myself on haystacks and furiously trying to copulate with Smurfette, I might find it embarrassing especially if my wife and child were to come across the entry.

In short, weblogs are not true journals in that we have to censor ourselves somewhat, not from strangers (for who really gives a rat's ass what strangers think?), but from our own nearest and dearest and more importantly from ourselves.

Be that as it may, Scott has created for me a blog, and I will, to the best of my ability keep it up. I hope you enjoy it.

Oh, yeah, the dream was made up.

Super-Scooter was real, though.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Leverett Butts

This is the daily web log of Lev Butts. Lev is a writer that lived in Newnan, Georgia - Coweta County for a while and now he doesn't.
Ok, Lev. Just post crap like above - only deeper - or not.
Lev Butts
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