Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Role of the Blog

I think the title can finally speak for one of these.
When looking at this specific form of art, you have to create a new checklist. You can’t view it as a book or a tape, a film or a poem. This is something else entirely. The most important part to note is the speed. Straight from my hands to the potential eyes of a constant reader in seconds. The blog as an information super highway.

But that’s not specific enough. That what the entire internet is for. This blog, I will not go so far as to say all blogs, is for a cataloguing of a different sort. A frame of reference, yes, for my mind, later when these ideas no longer occur, because ideas are fragile and short-lived and any number have already come to me and left me, without giving me a chance to work with them. In one ear and out the other.

The blog, then, is a level playing field. Anyone can start one and call him or herself “journalist,” as people are statistically wont to do. I can feel the allure only so much. No, this is not the correct way of going about it, because, for me, the title of “journalist” is not appealing. I had one year of journalism in high school. I don’t like people well enough to enter that field.

Life, ultimately, is always a form of narcissism. Until we have created a post-scarcity economy, this’ll be true. Every time you take in some form of nutrient, you have taken it away from someone else. You can’t get through it without caring about yourself just a little bit. It’s a survival function and one that is very difficult to break. If broken, I’d have to proscribe a psychiatrist, because this is not my particular focus of interest.

I deal more in why I write than why we write. And I’ve been trying to detail that for quite a while now. It’s a question that even outdates these writings: a question that has its roots up in the upper peninsula of Michigan, when this whole game changed for me. When I began to think of myself as someone else; as a writer.

Someone else, because it was not something I had considered myself to be, not because I am different than you in any serious or useful way. We are all the same, essentially, which is why we only get by because of so much self-love. That said, the world of me, me, me, is obviously a problem. Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what you can do for the world. We get so nearsighted sometimes. Staring at trees, we miss the forest.

Blogging is a form of finding yourself in much the same way as any type of writing is, but with the added feeling of stage fright; the whole point is for what you are writing to be made available for others to read. It’s a way of making it less about you, a necessary action at times.

A more stable form of memory as well as a thinking process: writing had to have been the best new thing since sliced bread, when it first came out. A debate to be had: which comes first, the thoughts or the language? Because we don’t remember what it was like to not be able to talk. That’s what these are for, somewhat. Filling in the blanks. You make the production costs zero and everyone’s in the race. There is no question of mainstream; you never have to worry about following a trend.

Globalization is the homogenization of opportunity. (I stole that from somewhere.) You have just as much choice as I do and oh how many choices do we all have! Making everyone even more the same. Making all the differences things you create yourself. That’s what blogs are for, in a sense, cataloguing those differences, explaining the you that is unique.

It’s a little too poetic, I know, we are never the slightest bit unique just doesn’t have the same ring to it. The same feeling. The fact of the matter is, if I think about my own lack of originality too much, then I just give up at what I’m doing. This is not something you can force. I’m no supporter of plagiarism, but you have to remember as you write that nothing you come up with is actually new. That coming up with ideas solely because of their newness is a useless way of working.

The autobiography is you in your own words. It isn’t a categorization and it’s not based on any ambiguity at all. Sure, you could lie, but the lies that you’d tell would say things about yourself. The autobiography, however, cannot be written with any seriousness until you have half-a-century on this earth. And even then, it’s so much of a thing of looking back on life. Even when you aren’t old, you’ll have dealt with some tragic course of action, you’ll be reflecting on it.

The blog is the opposite: packing all the wallop of such, it is the sort of thing that does not read well in the none-literary past tense. By which I mean to say that the tense isn’t the point, but that way of writing is. You write a blog and you get older and you keep writing it: that’s a marker of change. That’s a way to catalogue who you once were and who you are now in order to predict how you will be.

Autobiographies in the present tense, they give the scenes more color and less slant, and even long-time remembrances are given a date. The reasons for talking about a specific scene become questionable; for the autobiography, the writer can simply say that it was important to them. The blog adds a new element—this was important to you on such-and-such a date. Why? All of the questions that one could ask are undoubtedly getting better, slowly and not without the occasional step backwards, but we must remember that the man who goes two ahead while also going one back with eventually get to the other side of the room.

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