Last night, as I was in the midst of delivering a halting and bullshit-filled lecture from the lectern of a massive classroom, my students discovered unanimously and simultaneously that I was a fraud.
One by one they began to stand from their seats, some confronting me directly, loudly denouncing me for my evident lack of knowledge and the temerity it must have taken for me to accept a position as an instructor. Essentially, “How you ever got to teach a course in anything is totally amazing.”
Other students simply shook their heads in resigned contempt, turning their backs to me, heaving book bags onto their shoulders as they filed out of the hall. The only defense of my position was mounted by a former instructor of mine, an art theory professor on whom I had had an abiding undergraduate crush stood at one of the exits, entreating the pupils to be more generous with me. They wouldn’t listen.
Okay, fine: it was a dream. But famously, no one likes to hear anybody else’s dream stories, and I figured that copping, up front, to wanting to tell one would be an inauspicious way to start a blog. But the dream has a relevance: I had it in the hours right before I woke up to teach a class in Writing for New Media in the Creative Writing department at the University of British Columbia. Like many instructors, I wrestle with periodic bouts of impostor syndrome — but I believe mine to be more acute than others (as evidenced by the fucking dream, for starters), at least partly because most other professors don’t spend their weekends doing stand-up comedy.
My panic is not completely justified: I have a long history of writing for new media: my shrill leftist friends and I used to run a shrill leftist webzine; I’ve done much writing for many good sites; I even took part as a writer/performer in apiece of computer-based, avant-garde, site-specific theatre. This fall, my friends and I are producing a darkish, comedy web series about greed and death that I’ve written, called ‘Will Power.’ And yet, still: beyond my Twitter feed, I have no ongoing, regular new media writing project.
So: fuck it. I’ve decided — like some slightly with-it guy in 2002 — to start a blog. Specifically: this blog. We’ll see what comes up, but I imagine it’ll be the Twitter feed writ large: some funny bits, some shrill politics, some stray cultural criticism. Or maybe, when I become a dad in about two and a half months, it’ll just be an unending feed of cloying parent bullshit. Who can say in these crazy times?
To start with, I’ll be keeping things pretty quiet. I promise that once I’ve written ten posts, I’ll start sharing it. Nine to go.
UPDATE: I might start sharing it sooner.