One of my biggest pet peeves about blogs is how amnesiac they are; they place such a primacy on the latest post--indeed, in the case of the majority of blogs who fixate on political headlines or personal minutiae, the only value in what they post is how up-to-the-minute they are--that once a post slides down the screen and into the archives, it's effectively flushed out of existence.
As I write at left, this blog tries to avoid the "news cycle" mentality, and instead be more randomly and consistently curious and informative. That's why I string together certain categories of this blog (such as Places and History) with "Previous" tags. And that's why I'm starting this Recycle Bin feature--digging through my archives and finding something that's worth reading now as much as when it was written. I'm not saying this first entry is anything earth-shattering, I'm just trying to question the conventional wisdom that weblog writing must be inherently ephemeral, here one moment and gone the next, with no lasting weight. Ideas and observations are powerful not for their immediacy but for their historical resonance. (Now, to the minutiae...)
July 19, 2002
Seen in a Skokie courtroom this morning while waiting 19 hours (as it seemed) for a case I'm covering to come up: a court reporter scratching her ear. I must say, I've never thought about that before. What happens when you're clackety-clacking away while the judge or an attorney is droning on and then--uh oh--you're seized by the urge to cough or scratch your nose? It must be one of the great underrated human dramas; in fact, with my limited knowledge of court shows, I would guess this has never been addressed on prime time television. Maybe this is slightly overblowing it. I've posted this site before, but here 'tis again, promising, "Find a Court Reporter" [near you]. For what? Transcripts of a celebrity roast you're planning? Records of a tense first date? Is everything a for-hire service now?