I spent New Year’s Eve at a funeral — the mother of a friend. Seemed appropriate, perhaps moreso than the usual hoo-ha with bubbly and celery sticks. I sat near the back, taking note of the rows of white hair before me. It felt distinctly like a queue — an illusory and self-entitled POV, I realize. “This is all an elaborate hoax,” wrote Roger Ebert. The final words of the dying are almost inevitably ciphers, but given the right conditions I can appreciate a good hoax, even when the last laugh is on me.
I’m whistling past the graveyard, of course. “Glib” is as unattractive as either “smarm” or “snark,” and I’m not particularly gifted at it. “Attention must be paid,” and that’s what I hope to do — to keep doing — with greater resolve in the new year.
I’ve not yet decided what changes I’ll apply to the blog in this my 11th year of blogging, but a template shift is overdue. Not the “dynamic” mode that dazzled me a year ago, but one that at least acknowledges our growing struggle with on-screen text by gently shepherding the beleaguered reader’s focus toward a more civilized and manageable column.