January 13, 2005
I start a blog.
Coincidentally, I’ve seen two news stories in the past several days about bloggers who resigned or were fired from their jobs over their blog content. One was a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch who resigned after being suspended for using his blog to poke fun at various initiatives sponsored by his employer. These initiatives included a Christmas "100 Neediest Cases"project of which he noted that some of these cases could be prevented by a "well-placed prophylactic." The other was a Waterstone’s employee in the UK, who was fired after his employers read his blog and its allusions to "Bastardstone’s" and "Evil Boss."
The Waterstone’s story was accompanied by several related links, including one about "the infamous Washingtonienne," who was fired from her Senate job on Capitol Hill for comments made in her blog. Of course I had to check this out, having once worked on the Hill myself, and knowing how ripe that atmosphere is for savvy, witty commentary on the sometimes amusing, sometimes appalling hijinks engendered by the overstuffed egos of our elected representatives and the bright young things they hire (there is, of course, good public work going on there as well, but, you can’t make an entertaining blog out of that stuff).
Instead of savvy, witty commentary, however, I found the vapid musings (no, actually, musings implies too much thought, rather, the vapid records) of a young woman who supplemented her Senate receptionist salary ($25,000/year) with casual prostitution (sample entries: "I just took a long lunch with F and made a quick $400" and "Most of my living expenses are thankfully subsidized by a few generous older gentlemen. I’m sure I am not the only one who makes money on the side this way: how can anybody live on $25K/year??".
Although branded "infamous,""notorious," and “shocking,” The Washingtonienne’s blog brought this word to my mind: boring. Oh, and a complete sentence came to mind as well: I don’t miss my twenties.
I’m not gonna link to it. You’ll have to Google.
So this is blogging?
As I’m self-employed, I can probably avoid the first pitfall of making impolitic remarks about my boss. Still, I do have clients. Whom I won’t mention here. Regarding the second pitfall of presuming that the daily ups and downs of my sex life hold great cosmic interest for the blog-consuming masses, I think I can manage to spare ye. Blogs are personal, but, well, a bit of taste and decency, eh? Lacking that, wit at the very least.
My vague plan for this blog is to use my American-Irish perspective
(see About to find out how I’ve acquired this perspective) to talk about things American, things Irish, how each side views the other, items one or the other might find funny or annoying, or, just random bits of info that amuse, engage or anger me and possibly you (unidentified reader). I’ll also post photos, trying out a new hobby.
A second reason for starting this blog is to stay in better touch with family and friends who are very far away and not getting any closer.
By the way, my first Hill salary, when I was 23, was $11,500 and my last, roughly 3 years later, when I left to go to grad school, was $17,500 (for the economists among you who wish to render those figures into current dollars, that was between 1984 and 1987). I and my fellow young, impoverished Hill rats working in the maze of paper-strewn cubicle dens known as the House Office Buildings, lived in crumbling group houses on Capitol Hill (before it was discovered and gentrified, ohon…) and ate as many free meals as possible at lobby group receptions.We lived by that reception schedule.
Thinking that, perhaps, under the current highly ethical Republican leadership these lobbyist receptions are now taboo, I did a brief Google search, which led me to the Hill Zoo, an online publication for Capitol Hill staffers. A column for interns shows that the reception culture still flourishes.
Perhaps no one gave The Washingtonienne the schedule.