I was initially biased against the whole idea of blogging (yep, this is a blog post on blogging: META). I came to it with some fairly misconceived prejudices, and like anyone who looks down on something for being snobby/showy/ arrogant, I was bringing my own fair share of snobbery to the table. You’ve got to position yourself above something to look down on it.
To me, the Blogger seemed to be the cyber generation’s equivalent of the Beige Flasher Mac: the dude who yells his ill-informed opinions down public concourses, his head swollen with self-importance, and his pockets with four pints of Kestrel. In my head, they were something like the information super highway’s answer to the ‘Don’t Be a Sinner, Be a Winner’ guy.
The slightly unhinged preacher used to haunt the crowded streets of London, condemning passing shoppers to consumerist Hell. Until he was slapped with an ASBO and ordered to refrain from vocalising his unsolicited opinions in public. But on the grimy streets of the inter-web, no such intervention takes place; there is no anti-social behaviour order to silence the deafening cacophony of the Ethernet. And sure, no one’s making me read the words of the Bristol-based fashion blogger who feels uninspired because, and I quote: “when I’m in London/Paris/NYC, I nearly always put in more of an effort. Unfortunately for moi, fashion-speaking anyway, I am in Bristol, which I personally do not find the most fashionably inspirational place in the world”. The poor love. This has led this cruelly misused flogger (that’s fashion blogger, for the non-portmanteau savvy. Yes I made it up- I’m a woman of the interwebs now) to feel “fashionably depressed”. Get that girl some Valium, and a public platform to air her woes immediately. This stuff’s for sharing.
So I’d read two or three bad blogs and took from it the implied arrogance of blogging ― the assumption that anyone actually wants to read the unedited, unpublished opinions of a rampant self-publicist― which sat uneasily with me. Armed with this meagre understanding, a copy of Thomas Pynchon and the kind of confidence that only comes with ignorance, I went on my merry way like a burnt-out junkie: shooting myself in the foot.
Since then, I’ve chilled my boots, suspended my judgement and discovered some amazing blogs from the well-known like Vagenda and Hyperbole and a Half, to the stylings of some of my lovely wordsmith friends. (treat yourself to a look at Joyriding the Storm by Vanessa Kisuule, performance poet extraordinaire and all-round bro whose words I have in the past paid to listen to, so I think I can give em ten minutes of screen time). Maybe the blogosphere is about earning your stripes, proving your worth before you go on to more gainful publication. And for those who don’t make the cut, I don’t have to trawl through their misspelt verbal excrement until I have a rage haemorrhage. If I really want to get my anger fix, there’s always the comment section of the Daily Mail’s website.
In fact, blogging might be the ultimate democratiser. The People vote with their mouse as to which blogs make it into the public consciousness, and which are consigned to the ‘should have saved it for your feelings journal’ pile. All of this sets up a bit of a dilemma for an aspiring writer with a low cringe-threshold for Blogs Etc. So I’m swallowing my pride, stepping away from angry cynicism (my old friend, you keep me so warm at night), and plunging into blogocrisy. And who knows, maybe you’ll think my words are worth reading too.*
*If not, maybe I can offer you one of my three other talents: I can make gyoza from scratch, I can tie my hair up with my own hair, and I can do this.
That is all.