about laborlou.com [update]

Posted on November 24, 2010 by

Not long ago diaries were private matters, rarely read by anyone except the writer.

Grandma dies.  Family members rummage through the trunk in the attic and discover her secret journal.  It reveals personal details of a past life that no one – not even grandpa – imagined.

Or researchers and historians scour through old diaries to glean impressions and facts about the civil war, women’s suffrage and the depression.

But that’s all changed by the internet.  Almost everything is now available and accessible instantly and without much mystery.

Blogs are public diaries in which thoughts and reflections are personal but not private.  They’re edited for content, style and appeal.  We’re looking for an audience.

This blog began early in the “Obama Era” as a way to share my observations, opinions and – quite often – my confusion about modern politics and related issues.

Most bloggers don’t have editors so I apply some discipline of my own to the process.  I always try to get to the point quickly since online readers have such short attention spans.  At times I’ll stray from the topic to reveal something about myself – what I’ve lived through and how I’ve changed.  While personal detail can help tell the story, my inner-editor struggles to keep me on message and is constantly on the lookout for self-indulgence.

Because this post will be housed in the “about laborlou.com” compartment of my blog, I need to compose one or two descriptive paragraphs.

How about something like this:

laborlou.com are ruminations of a long-time observer / activist whose political and cultural roots took form in the protest era (’68 – ‘72), segued through the great nation-state of Vermont (’72 – ’80) and found fertile ground in the cosmopolitan post-modern megalopolis we call L.A (’81 – ?).

laborlou, a.k.a. Lou Siegel, has worked with unions for more than 25 years as a communications specialist, public affairs consultant and fundraiser. He currently teaches a course at Los Angeles Trade-Tech College called “Labor in America.”

Comments regarding his public diary will be warmly received.

Comments (14)


  1. Jeff Polman says:

    Good job on those graphs! I guess it would be too much to sandwich them together. But a punctuation check on graph 2 reveals it should open thusly: “laborlou, a.k.a. Lou Siegel, has worked…”

    I’ll send you the bill.

  2. Hi Lou,

    Since everyone uses the term these days, and often, I’m convinced, without knowing why, describing Los Angeles as “post-modern” means what, exactly?

    • Lou says:

      I’m sure you can answer that better than I can.

      • I can. It means the writer is signaling “I’m in the know” about the requirements for official membership in the intelligentsia, and simultaneously undermining the first claim by using it. Other than that, po-mo is post-fordism in political economy, all-surface-no-depth-plus-montage/collage in art, dissonance plus in music, multi-culti and all about race-gender-sex in politics, anti-teleological in history (i.e. anti-Hegelian and anti-Marxist), and pessimistic about the “West” and its legacy. That about sums it up. Perhaps L.A. is po-mo.

      • Kinsey says:

        Science-fiction writers refer to what we will be come as post-human. Right now that sounds pretty good to me, not that I would want to exist as code but the idea of becoming “more” appeals to me.

  3. We’ll all be post-human in no time at all. So enjoy an extra glass of wine tomorrow with those drumsticks. Epicureans of the world unite; you have nothing to loose but your guilt, and a gut to gain.

  4. Alan Abbey says:

    LaborLou is definitely not po-mo, as that post-Holocaust, post-nuclear war angst/weariness is not in his DNA. Labor Lou may be the last of the “old” liberals, with a bit of libertarian thrown in (the good part of libertarian – live and let live).

  5. Salvador Sanchez says:

    This is a high level intellectual conversation that I don’t dare to participate. I am just wondering what is the intellectual underpinnings of said “intelligentsia that I constantly hear about …..

  6. Nick Eldredge says:

    “po-mo”? . . . You gotta be kidding, K.C. Talk about simultaneous contradictory signals. Reinforced with swift dismissal of any music, art, politics or even history that doesn’t line up with certain preconceptions. Most of us like to feel superior from time to time. But isn’t it possible that the bubbling creative, commercial and cultural cauldron of L.A. is a bit more than “po-mo”? And that maybe the closer we think we are to absolute knowledge, the closer we get to “post-learning”?

  7. Gerry Daley says:

    Brother Lou — long may you blog. A voice of sanity, even (especially?) when I disagree with you (only on matters of policy, never on matters of principle — the how and not the what). Happy Thanksgiving.


  8. Phil Raider says:

    Seems to me that a public dairy is an oxymoron. Dairies are private affairs between the writer and the paper. Blogs by their very nature are public. I’ve written things about you in my dairy that I’d never release to the public!
    BTW po-mo is anything after 1950

  9. [...] November, 2010, I wrote  that “Not long ago, diaries were private matters, rarely read by anyone except the [...]

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