Sunday, January 28, 2007

Le Blog Bérubé, we hardly knew ye

On of the defining features of this smoking shambling excuse for a blog is a consistent ability to get around to things far, far too late. While tidying my cyber-shelves, I find this draft claiming it's about time I hooted and pointed at Le Blog Bérubé. So, now, a month after it slipped beneath the waves and the last bubbles popped upon the surface, the time is ripe for me to make grand prancing motions towards it. Obviously "introducing" a Koufax winner (OK, runner-up) to my non-existent readership is akin to dramatically disclosing the existence of Nelson's Column to Londoners, or the night sky or the tendency of things to fall towards the earth, but that's pretty much the purpose of BongoLudo - tardily re-exposing what everyone already knew with a queeny gasp and antic gestures of profound revelation.

Setting aside Bérubé's new opus "What's Liberal About The Liberal Arts?", let me count my debts to him and his "web" "log". Pre-Firstly and leastly, he did me a permanent solid by using the term "The InterNets" (instantly misappropriated and bandied about by me, here and elsewhere), but he provides an enviable Trifecta of webbery.

Firstly, Bérubé is a proponent of pointy-headed Literary Theory who actually appears to love books, and literature. This has proved a massive challenge to me, my clothes still shredded and smoking from my escape from the Clutches of Theory, but I hope I'm man enough to not actually change any of my cherished beliefs and admit there might be something to it.

Secondly, he's an actual participant in what I don't really want to think of as being the front lines of the culture wars - entering into disputation with various luminaries I don't want to specify, because naming calls, you understand? (said with squinty eyes, like Kevin McNally in the wretched Pirates Of The Caribbean cash dairy infomercials), thus actually doing what hardly any folks dare do - stop rolling their eyes, roll up their sleeves and actually engage in debate/abuse/parcheesi.

And thirdly, lastly, and by no means leastly, as well as the Byzantine politics and back-lit lit crit, he write enormously touching accounts of his life as the proud parent of Jamie, a smashing sounding urchin who has Down's syndrome. Nice to see that his other offspring Nick gets the odd mention also.

The Jamie stuff has me piping my eyes and emitting strange sighs and I can't add anything evey remotely useful. The added piquancy, I guess, is that Bérubé is a fully-fledged Literary Theory Person, a species I'd given up all hopes of being inspired by. I speak from a veritable pedestal of ignorance: my grip on po-mo literary theory is akin to that of a pair of tin sugar tongs on the pelt of a galloping mammoth – it simply affords insufficient purchase for any useful purpose. His blog is the first thing I've read that made my check my headlong flight, if not actually retrace my steps or meekly submit my neck to the yoke again.

Anyway, kudos, au revoir and thanks to the Bérubatollah. The web's a duller (if faster) place without ye.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

Now I'm all H&B because you talked about literary theory!

*fans self*