Thursday, August 24

The Life and Times of the Blog

Maeree and Arcadia both got me thinking about the concept of blogging this week. About the role it plays it adding depth to that ethereal sense of virtual community.

I was a late starter to the whole blogging thing and I quite like it. It’s home to all those little opinioned pieces that enjoy dialogue - in the limited sense of dialogue that my subject pieces allow - and that would be lost and lonely in the dark recesses of my journal.

But it does bring to question a few relevant issues for me, of which the exhibitionist nature of divulgence of whatever kind - physical, emotional, opinion - and blogging as a natural progression in media and communication interest me the most. The fact that there are entire sites dedicated to ‘normal’ people posturing face and fanny online and even more who feel a need to express themselves - and gain recognition - to and from a mostly faceless audience requires less a disparaging attitude of ‘the masses as opposed to the real artistes’ and more of a serious consideration of this phenomenon (of blogging) as an aspect of generational communication that stands as descendent to the Gutenberg press.

If limited and time consuming media served as an ideological stronghold of the religious and political oligarchies in the past, surely blogging and the global exchange of information on the web by the indiscriminate masses is something to be revered in the present day?

Maybe in our ‘free and fair’ society we have succumbed to the saccharine pleasures of online self-indulgence, but if blogging and the power of mass discontent having a voice was without tooth and claw, it would be difficult to understand why places like China bar or monitor the practice.

Even in South Africa bloggers were the first to question the absurdity of Zuma raping an HIV woman without a condom and then proclaiming that he was HIV free.

Huh?

The papers couldn’t run that. Maybe editorials could allude to the fact, but they couldn’t say outright: Zuma you dumb fuck: 1+1=2.

As for the literati - and my god I hate that word - being the only ‘group’ whose mutterings and quiverings about life are privy to exposure of whatever kind, I say this: humans are communicative, social creatures that will use whatever tools available to connect and express their own personal sense of divinity. The singular point of Being Published in a Book, and thus gaining access to that inner circle of Intellectuals and Artistes, has less to do with talent than it does with business acumen and marketing; and it has nothing to do with what should be deemed valuable.

I’m not saying that there aren’t works that have left indelible prints on culture and the collective consciousness, but making a change in somebody’s life with words is a power that we all have, that we exercise every day, and is hardly limited to the inside of a book cover.

I guess people like Marianne Thamm feel that the nebulous and thoroughly intangible online world diminishes the importance and structure of conveyed knowledge. Maybe it does - here today, deleted tomorrow hardly carries the weight of a universal, incorruptible message. But that in itself is the nature of our times. It seems out of place that there are those that still worship at the feet of Ozymandian concepts about art and literature.

6 comments:

gm said...

Blogging is baie introspektief. Ek het op 'n stadium opgehou om Ars Blogging posts te lees, want my opinie is "if something is worth doing, do it, don't talk about it".

Mense het opinies. Blogging gee mense geleentheid om dit uit te druk. Wat is verkeerd daarmee? Nie alle blogs is interessant, betekenisvol or goed nie. Moet hulle wees?

Ek dink blogging word oor die algemeen verkeerd verstaan deur joernalistieke denkers. Iewers het iemand die mal idee gekry dat "blogging = journalism". Wat nie die geval is. Ek dink dit verduidelik sommige joernaliste se ekstreme opinie oor blogging.

En Thamm wat dink dat "skryf slegs ernstig is"? WTF.

Maar ek het wel 'n kleintjie weg vir die ander kant van die spektrum: bloggers wat blogs te ernstig opneem (domkop.blogspot.com is vir my die beste en arroganste voorbeeld).

dorothy said...

OH MY WORD!! that site leaves me feeling like something cold and clammy just crawled up my skirt

spasticfantastic said...

no amount of conversation about the nature of water can quench your thirst.

Pienk Zuit said...

Hoekom kan blogging nie maar joernalistiek wees nie? Dis net soveel joernalistiek as wat Van Alle Kante joernalistiek is, dis 'n uiting vir iemand se mening. Die feit dat my blog dan swak joernalistiek is sal ek mee saamstem, en dis oraait, want ek het nie baie lesers nie. 'n Blog is vir my soos 'n journal, 'n baie unsecret journal. Ek skryf eintlik vir die blog wat ek dink, ander mense kan dit net ook toevallig lees.

Do Kwang said...

I like getting my thoughts in order, and I find blogging is a nice way of getting your thoughts in order in dialogue with other people. Which is healthy.
Also, I enjoy the contact with fun people, like yourself me. Dorothy.
And I believe if you want to read the blogs of others, it is your duty to offer something to the blogosphere as well - I can't understand those anonymous people who write whole essay length comments on other people's blogs, but won't start their own.

spasticfantastic said...

Trying to police blogging is as silly as thinking blogs only exist on blogspot.com

I agree with gm that the only real danger is taking it too seriously, thats what separates us from he animals. The ones that blog. On blogspot.