If Anne Frank Had a Computer
I think I’ve lost 2008.
It was a good year, an interesting year. As much as I remember of it.
It was a journal I lost. Part of a collection I’ve acquired since I was 12. I don’t remember taking 2008 anyplace. I don’t remember using it for any specific reference. But it seems to be gone. And I’m going crazy looking for it.
I rarely reread my old journals – maybe once a decade and only for a few pages. So why do I care about losing a book I’ll probably never read?
Bigger question is, why do I still keep a journal – less regularly these days but still?
I have no idea.
I’m writing this from Cologne, Germany where RUSH has been filming for the past week or so. I’ve been to the city’s only two tourist attractions: a magnificent cathedral and the world’s only 12-story brothel. A true journal keeper would’ve been eager to write about these wonders, process them on paper. A true journalist-publicist would’ve wanted to chronicle the process of this production – which has the potential to be something special: a film about the fierce rivalry of two iconic real-life characters set against the backdrop of Formula 1 racing in the 1970s; Ron Howard directing with skill and passion from a script by the great Peter Morgan.
I’ll get around to it.
It’s the Tristam Shandy syndrome: how do you write about a life when your life keeps running ahead of your pen?
Why even bother?
I pour out most of my thoughts online these days – in emails, in Facebook chats, in this blog. If I want to remember what happened two months or two years ago, I just scroll down in my email. If Samuel Pepys were around today, wouldn’t he be taping his life on YouTube?
Who cares whether I find my journal? My sons – who love me – will not be interested in reading them. Maybe my youngest might seek out passages from the ‘60s and ‘70s because those are romantic eras and he’s a romantic. Maybe my eldest will seek out passages about him – though he probably can’t read my handwriting. Maybe my wife will keep them as a legacy – gathering dust in an attic somewhere. Maybe my ex-wife might appreciate them as fuel for a bonfire.
Why does anyone keep a journal in this day of electronic storage?
That’s another thing – storage. I have a few years of journals with me in London but the bulk of them are in a trunk back in our garage in L.A. The garage could leak – thus destroying the last 50 years of my life!
Why do I continue adding to a pile of what could become paper-mache in a heavy rainstorm? Why does the threat of their destruction fill me with dread?
If no one cares, if you don’t use it for reference, if electronic navel-gazing (preferably to 1000 of your closest friends) is the most accessible, easily preserved and efficacious means of journaling available, why would anyone persist in this archaic practice of writing things in a book that will never be read?
I think I do it because it’s one of the few good habits I have.
And because no one but my journal needs to know what went on in Cologne’s 12-story brothel.
And who knows, 2008 may still show up.
6/4/2012 01:51:57 pm
Rob might I suggest mini storage for these journals? Now I am worried about those journals in your garage!!
6/4/2012 08:24:52 pm
Maybe THAT'S why we became buddies all those years ago. I'm an inveterate journal keeper too! Started when I was 12 years old. Never stopped.
6/5/2012 06:13:26 am
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. - J. Lennon
6/7/2012 01:22:14 pm
I think I found your 2008 in my sock drawer. Letter coming your way.
5/29/2013 07:31:15 pm
This is a amazing post. Content such as this usually are awesome in the worldwide web.It was a good year, an interesting year. As much as I remember of it.
7/22/2013 08:30:40 pm
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7/25/2014 06:42:01 pm
Nice and effective post. Nice sharing.
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Anything and Everything that has Nothing to Do with the Movies
Sometimes, we go to a movie to get away from the world and sometimes we go to see what’s going on in the world. This blog will offer comments on the world, the movies and their occasional overlap.