I enjoy Peter Travers movie reviews in Rolling Stone Magazine. However, whenever I see him in person I find him highly annoying. I think Andrew Sullivan is one of the best bloggers there is, that his writing is really thoughtful most of the time, but again in person he can sometimes be grating. There are times when I write some high minded posts, but I’m sure if you hung out with me there are times you would think to yourself that I was one ignorant motherfucker. (And that’s not saying that I don’t occasionally write something that will make you think that as well!)
One of the things that I like about writing is that it slows down the thought process. I think most people are generally more thoughtful in the written word. It is a form of expression that allows at times for the best of ourselves to come out. Often when you are responding to things in the moment there are all kinds of different things at play: There is your body chemistry, which is always a challenge. There is the mind racing about how you are being perceived by the people around you. There is the natural flow of a conversation that often doesn’t allow for deep reflection. Those are just a few of the challenges we face in person to person communication.
Writing, especially longer forms of writing, allow one to slow down and go deep. Someone that may be a neurotic bastard in real life, might be truly thoughtful in writing. They are two different forms of expression and they access different parts of our being. Humans are complicated. The thing that is great about writing or any form of artistic expression is this: Once the neurotic bastard is dead, once the short turbulent complicated lifespan of a human being is over, a good piece of work may live on for a long time, inspiring and doing good, eclipsing all those moments when one wasn’t at their best. That’s not to say that people shouldn’t try to be their best, only that time has a funny way of erasing, or at least sanding down, those human characteristics that we call faults.