INSITEVIEW- - tom shugart's weblog

Monday, April 21, 2003

Catching Up

A new week is here and it's high time I tried to breathe some life back into this blog. The early part of last week was totally lost in the quagmire of tax preparation. Tuesday Apr. 15 was the lowest hit count I've ever had on a weekday. I must have had some company in the tax grind.

Then followed Passover. We hosted a big Seder this year and it was a lot of effort, but very much worth it. Jill puts on a damn fine Seder, I must say. People raved about it. She's written her own Haggadah (the text for the ceremonial dinner), and given her bent, it 's heavily oriented toward the psychology of liberation, and the historical event of the Exodus as metaphor for the personal.

It adds a lot of meaning and significance to the occasion and people appreciate it--especially this year. There was a lot of mixed emotion at the table--happiness for the liberation of the people of Iraq; sadness over the death and destruction; anger over the disturbing new directions of this country's foreign policy. The famous question that the Seder asks, "why is this night different from all other nights?" could have had a companion question this year: "why is this Seder different from all other Seders?" One word answer, Iraq.

What a great thing it is to create your own Haggadah--to shape it in ways that bring special meaning to your life as you're living it now. If you're going to celebrate liberation, as this holiday does, where better to start than freedom from orthodoxy?

Adina Levin weighs in very eloquently on this:

"With cheap printing, photocopying, and now internet connections, there's a new tradition of compiling custom Haggadahs.

Humans interpret and remake culture. That's what we do to make life interesting and meaningful.

Except (under the current US legal scheme), where a few people have copyrights on the myths of our culture, can extend those copyrights forever, and can prosecute people who want to share and modify their culture.

Imagine if the Rabbis took a copyright on the Haggadah, and the copyright was extended forever.

Passover's a festival of liberation.

Next year, free culture."

Hear, hear, Adina!

Well, I have a lot of catching up to do in the Blogosphere. Among other things, that would include more Alpha Male talk from Halley and an absorbing discussion between Jonathon Delacour, Dorothea Salo, Shelley Powers, Steve Himmer, and others, on persona, fact vs. fiction, and context in blogging. This conversation had its genesis a while back with Steve’s look at blogging as literature.

And speaking of catching up, Steve’s been another one of those unexplained absences from my blogroll. Onepotmeal is a great blog. Sorry for the oversight. On the roll it goes.


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