21st Century Thanksgiving
Thursday, November 28, 2002 by Dave Winer.
My record on most things is mixed, but on this subject, Thanksgiving essays, it's perfect. I've never missed one, and while my writing frequency is down this year, I won't let this great holiday pass without marking it with a few stories and more gratitude than ever before.
In November 1995, shortly after I started writing on the Web, I did a piece called New Cave Needs Curtain. The Web was filling with masculine energy, the essay was a request for more feminine energy. I said "Guys, let the women mess up your hair. You'll see, it's fun!"
Like many of my pieces it was a bit of a metaphor. Male energy digs the hole, finds the cave. Female energy makes it work, makes it a nice place to live, and now seven years later, the curtains are going up. There are women everywhere, and that's so cool. In some ways, in some places, they act just like men. But elsewhere, in different contexts, a new balance is being created, and it really is new, because in cyberspace, women's bodies are just as strong as men's. Electronic strength is in the intellect, not in the muscles, on the Web it's the thought that counts.
Today, the NY Times ran an article on the women of bloggerdom, and several of our friends, women and men, got recognition. Mazel tov, onward and upward. And since this is Thanksgiving, thank you.
The Times said that men tend not to write about themselves. I've been trying to change that. As it's safe on the Web for women to be strong, it's also safe for men to be themselves. Some of our traditions cross over into the new medium, and thankfully, some don't. Men's silence, a tradition that goes way back, may now be obsolete. We can only hope.
It's much-maligned, perhaps deservedly so, but this year I have deep personal gratitude to the American health care system for saving my life.
I had a real big scare in June, in retrospect, there was a good chance that I would not have made it to July, but I got myself to the doctor in time and luckily they had a cure for the disease I have. They opened my chest, fixed the bug, closed me up and sent me home. Now over five months later, I have resumed my life almost as if it had never happened. This is the miracle of medicine in the early 21st century. My ancestors, who had the same artery-clogging genes, had to settle for dying young. This Thanksgiving, I'm thankful simply for being alive.
Meanwhile, my father, Dr Leon Winer, age 73, son of Sima, is fighting for his life at a hospital in NYC. We're thankful he's doing better now, and especially thankful to the people whose prayers have been with the professor and the family. Thank you. This has been a challenging year for our family. But we're better for it, no doubt about that.
There are so many things and people to be thankful for and to. Let me list some of them here, knowing that I can't list them all.
Thanks to all the bloggers who inspired me in 2002. Many of them are in the left-edge on Scripting News, also know as the blogroll.
A special thanks to Macromedia for getting on the weblog network as a company.
Thanks to Murphy and his Law for being a universal constant.
Thanks to Mitch Kapor, for rejoining the software world in an active role designing new apps.
Thanks to all the Frontier and Radio developers who keep pouring their creativity into my humble platform. Thanks to all ex-UserLanders who keep developing wonderful software where ever they may be.
Thanks to the San Francisco Giants for stealing my heart this year. Sixteen runs in one game. Wow!
Thanks to the US Department of Justice for letting Microsoft keep the browser monopoly they stole. I'm still looking for reasons why I'm thankful for this. ;->
Thanks to Jeru Kabbal for teaching me that I survived my birth and am no longer a helpless infant, and for teaching me that the ability to express gratitude is something to be thankful for.
Thanks to the surgeons, doctors, physicians assistants, nurses and everyone else at Sequoia Hospital for taking such great care of me this summer. Thanks to Phillip Morris for letting me off the hook. 167 days smoke-free. Ain't never going back.
Thanks to my friends and family who cared of me in my hour of need. Thanks to my nieces and nephew, my brother and sister-in-law, my mother and father, for being patient and fun and friendly, most of the time. ;->
A special thanks to Dave Jacobs, my very good friend, a virtual brother.
Thanks to my friends on the Web for the music-giving present of the iPod. I listen to it every day. It's changed how I use music forever. It also serves as a reminder that I am appreciated for what I do. That means so much to me. Thank you.