Monday, March 21, 2005


The weird thing about blogging is not necessarily the fact that you have to create this online, virtual version of yourself that somehow represents and encapsulates the sum and total of how you view the world (and thus how it views you), all through the medium of a highly literate, supremely witty prose that highlights your intelligence and plays down your less palatable characteristics, the worst of which is your tendency to hum The Brady Bunch theme song when you're really, really nervous.

(Actually, that does sound weird enough for most people, doesn't it. And I don't hum that theme song in tense situations. I swear. In those cases, nine times out of ten, I opt for Diff'rent Strokes. Facts of Life, maybe.)

But the weirder thing, in my view, is that it's not really that strange at all, this new-age practice of posting your thoughts for the world to see, instantly letting the mostly-indifferent denizens of the planet know what they really weren't that interested in hearing about anyways.

Yout get a blog, and you start writing, and you try to nail down a 'voice'.

Very similar to writing fiction, really, only in fiction the voice is either a) some omniscient narrator, so your 'voice' has to be kind of an all-knowing, all-seeing sage type of deal, or b) a first person narrator, which is not really 'you' but the voice of the character who is telling the story, which means that you have to write it the way that he/she would write it. (Or even how 'they' would write, if you're referring to this really cool novel by Joyce Carol Oates called Broke-Heart Blues, and I urge you, implore you to read it, as it encapsulates the high school experience better than most books I've ever read, viewing it from the teenage perspective and the middle-age perspective, and the cool thing is, it does so by using a 'they' narrator -- a group of people, a collective, nameless 'they' that shouldn't work but does, wickedly so.)

Not that you really have to think of your 'voice' too much, but it's usually there, nonetheless, this insistent rumbling in the back of your brain that's telling you how to write what it is that you want to write about.

It's new, this voice, this blogging voice, at least to me; before last, what, last October, I guess, it didn't exist.

Kind of like learning a new sport, or another language. The cool thing about learning Japanese was realizing, after awhile, that a new-me had been created, a Japanese-speaking-me that literally was not in existence before I went to Japan. (Not that I'm fluent or anything, but still, being able to hold a minimal conversation in a language that you didn't know only two, three years before is a little freaky -- it's the birth of a whole new aspect of yourself.)

So it's best to look at blogging, I guess, as a kind of endeavor that is at least the equal of learning how to scuba dive or play contract bridge. (Not that I know how to do either. Not that I even know what contract bridge is, exactly, because for years I thought it was an actual bridge in England, because in Empire of the Sun the young boy, Jim, tells his mother at bedtime that he's writing a book about contract bridge, only I thought he was talking about an edifice, not a game, so there you go.)

You figure out how to do it, and you do it.

Only in blogging, there's no rules, because anybody can post anything they want. Film reviews, book reviews, naked pictures of infamous people -- the game is open, 'cuz the forum is yours, the voice is yours.

Yours to birth, develop, hone or disregard; this new aspect of yourself has at least the possibility of being as interesting as the 'you' that talks to your parents, tells off your brother, calms down your neighbour.

And yours to discover, as the Ontario license plates say -- a daily, weekly, monthly discovery. For you and you alone to judge (negative posters be damned).

Shouldn't all life be as accessible as this?

(Or maybe it already is.)

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