Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"Leave It to Beaver"

When I was attending the University of Wisconsin in the late 1970s, we used to watch late afternoon reruns of "Leave It to Beaver" in Curt Haensel's dorm room before heading over to the commons for dinner. We called it "our daily dose of morals." If you're familiar with the TV show, which originally ran from 1957 to 1963, you know that every episode presented a lesson to be learned from Theodore "the Beaver" Cleaver's misadventures, usually explained to him in knowing tones by father Ward, played by real-life pastor Hugh Beaumont, and mother June.

Blogging frequently reminds me of an episode in which the Beaver decided to keep a diary. His problem was that his life was so ordinary that he didn't have anything to write about. So he started doing crazy things to provide himself with subject matter. Of course, he got into trouble and had to confess to his parents what he was up to. The lesson was contained in Ward and June's reaction: "Oh, Theodore! You don't need to impress us. We love you just the way you are."

The connection between living life and writing about it is intriguing. If we were required to write about every aspect of our lives, we might live a little differently, maybe a little larger and more honestly. Being able to pick and choose the events we share allows us to present ourselves in a better light, to craft a persona of our own choosing. Does it go to the Beaver's extreme, where we do something just to write about it, or is it a more subtle influence, where we know in the back of our minds that there is a possible blog entry in everything we do?

No comments: