writing as conversation

Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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13 Responses

  1. Jaybird says:


    It always comes down to “what are my goals?”

    Do I see myself akin to a preacher who is giving a sermon to the faithful?
    Do I see myself akin to a preacher who is giving a sermon to the heathen?
    Do I see myself akin to a preacher in a bar in the booth in the corner kvetching with preacher/minister/priest/rabbi/imam friends about those freakin’ faithful/heathen?

    When I was at redstate (full disclosure: banned, etc), I had essays where I rephrased a sentence once, twice, thrice… then deleted the paragraph in which it sat. Not because the sentence was not germane to the essay (quite the contrary!), it’s that I knew that I was trying to convert the heathen.

    Here? Well, I don’t know that I’m trying to convert, per se… (maybe reflexively) but I’m hanging with my rabbi buddies.

    We don’t agree about the fundamentals but, lord, do we share tribulations.Report

  2. I do the same thing, even from topic to topic. Maybe that’s one of the great skills one has to master as a blogger. The great ones all sort of sound the same whether they are being very, very serious or posting something lighthearted.Report

    • I hadn’t thought of it this way, Mike, but I see what you mean. I suppose it’s somewhat cyclical as well. The more successful you are the more likely your writing will generate that sort of conversation and the easier it is to move from one venue to the next. But that consistent voice is also valuable in becoming successful to begin with….Report

      • Kyle R. Cupp in reply to E.D. Kain says:

        On the other hand, mastering an inconsistent voice would do a fiction writer well as he or she has to write not only in the context of multiple situations, but also from the standpoints of multiple characters.

        Regardless of medium, I don’t see any problem with having an inconsistent voice. Purpose and audience make all the difference.Report

  3. North says:

    Well you also seem to have a very nice cross section of opinionated commenters too. The political spectrum is pretty well represented.Report

  4. Aaron says:

    “I have flip-flopped on entirely too many issues”

    I don’t consider this a fault like you seem to. Sometimes with new information or with a clever argument, we can change our minds. Consistency is overrated.Report

    • E.D. Kain in reply to Aaron says:

      No – not a fault necessarily. I mean, up to a point I think it’s too impulsive at times. I can get carried away and then it comes back to haunt me (or annoy me). But I do think people should be open to new ideas and not stuck in their ideas. Hence the Emerson quote in the footer.Report

  5. Jonathan says:

    Similar – though, arguably, pointless – question: is there a reason that you’re E.D. here but Erik at True/Slant? Is there some grand branding strategy associated with the two monikers, or is that there is an idea of an Erik Kain; some kind of abstraction. But no real you?

    Perhaps depressingly, I actually turned such a question into a blogpost here.Report

    • E.D. Kain in reply to Jonathan says:

      Heh. No, True/Slant is buggy at times and changes my name to Erik from E.D. on its own. I’m “Erik” in real life. I write under my initials for fun. People can use them however they like, interchangeably, etc.Report

  6. Dan Summers says:

    Well, when I write over at my own picayune little blog, I tend to be much more off-the-cuff and sarcastic than in any of the guest pieces I’ve submitted here. (That probably has a lot to do with wanting to get the pieces accepted, and knowing how you Gents roll.) Blogs where there is a known community of commenters, who have a sense of each other and (dare I say?) some form of friendship or communal spirit exemplify what blogging can offer at its best. (I used to waste waaaay too much time in ongoing banter with people I “knew” over at The Plank.)

    Mainly, though, when I comment here I just try to avoid sounding like an idiot.Report