"Guest blogger" wouldn't feel like such strange designation if I had ever done this before; but reader, you are currently hurtling toward the end of the first sentence I have ever blogged. I will try to enjoy myself and not give in to feelings of fraudulence. Don't get me wrong, I can and do waste time on the Internet with the best of them, but in some respects I am an embarrassingly analog guy. I am not on Facebook. I write whole books on yellow legal pads. I do not own a cell phone.
Who am I? I am the author of five novels, the most recent of which is titled The Privileges. It is about a family. Because the young patriarch of this family ends up a hedge-fund billionaire, the book has gotten some attention as a novel about the lifestyles of the obscenely rich, which it sort of is, but mostly not. Money does not make this guy who he is — who he is makes him money.
I have grown a little sensitive about the cell-phone thing, actually. The great Jonathan Richman has a new song called "You Can Have A Cell Phone That's OK But Not For Me," and while it may not be another "Roadrunner," he is, as ever, on to something. For better or worse, I just don't live a life where people need to get ahold of me right away. But then, about a year ago, there was a front-page story in the New York Times headlined something like, "So Who Are Those People Who Still Don't Have Cell Phones?" The answer, it turns out, is smug, obnoxious, holier-than-thou hipster technophobes; and I realized that if I did not want it assumed that I belonged to or in any way endorsed this subculture, I had better get a cell phone pronto. I still don't have one, though. But that is laziness, not Luddism.
Anyway, while I am not exactly touring in support of The Privileges at the moment, I will be hitting the road on Tuesday and Wednesday for a reading in Gettysburg, PA, the Cradle of Liberty. That's not what it's actually called, but I have decided to get into the blogging spirit by approximating references I can't quite remember, instead of stopping to look them up.
Here is what I am not going to do: I am not going to go to a restaurant, take pictures of my food, download them, and call that a blog. That is beyond the pale. The Internet is such a bazaar of self-indulgences that I don't know why that particular one should bug me so much. But it really does.