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Adolescent Diary Weblogs and the Unseen Audience

Conversations in the Blogosphere: An Analysis "from the Bottom Up". Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-38) Best Paper Nominee.

Weblogs as a bridging genre

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The Performativity of Naming: Adolescent Weblog Names as Metaphor

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New books are added but reading status is rarely accurate.

July 20, 2005

A community funeral procession

When the deceased is to be interred in the church cemetery, usually located somewhat adjacent to the church itself, the saddest part of the funeral is the procession from the church to the grave side. Today a couple of hundred of us walked the 3/8ths of a mile from the front of the church to Myron's resting place on the hillside, all of us moving in near silence behind the hearse - the tolling of the church bell setting our pace.

As I walked through the cemetery I mentally said a long list of hellos to family members and old family friends whose graves I passed. Some of whom I knew in life: Izzy; Aunt Emily & Uncle Elmer (buried under the cemetery's only tree - there is a family story about the planting of that Ginkgo Tree), little Butch, Uncle Carl, Uncle Bill, Carl R., and Joan to name but a few. Many more of whom I know only from family stories and fables: My great-great-grandparents (my paternal grandmother's family) of whom my g-g-grandmother came to the U.S. from Germany in the 1860's to be a maid for the rich folks in town, my cousin Francis who died in WWII when his ship was torpedoed during their run in the South Pacific and who painted the beautiful landscape painting that hangs over my fireplace, my cousin Dean - my father's best friend - who died at 22 from pancreatic cancer before I was born, and my great-grandfather (my paternal grandfather's family) who argued with the minister to the point that he stopped attending church but would not have stood for burial in the city cemetery. They are all there on the hillside overlooking cornfields and flanked by a truck farm and the highway.

It always hits me how appropriate that cemetery is as a quiet and solitary resting place but directly connected to the world along roads and highways. Today as the minister said his final graveside words I looked up to see two halves of a prefab home glide by on the backs of large semi-trailers. Alongside the ending of one life others are starting new, and hopefully, happy phases of their own lives - two halves of a proper coin.

As the minister spoke and a mockingbird called from Aunt Emily's tree, I couldn't help but look at the assembled crowd and think about community in general. There in the crowd were friends and family I adore and would do anything for, as well as, people, for whom on the average day, I have little time but with whom I have many long connections. People I have known all my life, people whose funerals I will attend or who will attend mine if I should predecease them. People who come from the same place I do, though we often don't see the world through the same tinted glasses. People along with whom, I have inherited my sense of community from our ancestors, common and disparate. People who frame the way I look at life and the ways in which I look at my research. They will always be what I think of when I think of the terrestrial community.

Posted by prolurkr at July 20, 2005 09:10 PM

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