April 26, 2007

Why a blog, though?

Filed under: Self indulgence — duncan @ 5:37 pm

Why a blog, though?  Why now?

Well, for an important practical reason:  I have been cluttering up my friends’ in boxes with repetitive rambling monologues on subjects that they – the friends – often haven’t even the slightest interest in.  This needs to stop, while I have friends left.  The internet is, of course, one huge collaborative rambling monologue; so it seems the ideal forum.

And don’t I have things to say!  I feel like Bellow’s Herzog, my mind possessed by countless pressing thoughts on the most disparate subjects.  “Some people thought he was cracked and for a time he himself had doubted that he was all there.  But now, though he still behaved oddly, he felt confident, cheerful, clairvoyant, and strong.  He had fallen under a spell and was writing letters to everyone under the sun…  Hidden in the country, he wrote endlessly, fanatically, to the newspapers, to people in public life, to friends and relatives and at last to the dead, his own obscure dead, and finally the famous dead.”

Herzog wrote letters.  But that’s only because he didn’t have a blog.  If Bellow were writing today, there wouldn’t be even a whiff of madness about Herzog’s endeavour.  He would be the darling of MySpace.  (The thinking man’s geriatric1927.)

April 25, 2007


Filed under: Self indulgence — duncan @ 5:20 pm

Doesn’t that mean action not words?
Isn’t a blog pretty much the opposite of praxis?

But you’re forgetting.

1) The internet is the new grassroots.  This is where you’ll hear the righteous roar of the new middle class proletariat.  Disenfranchisement is a franchise and the revolution will be digitised.

2) Anyway, Praxis doesn’t mean action.  The word has only ever been used by thirty-something media studies postgraduate students.  Anyone who uses the word praxis has so little idea of what real political action might be that the word doesn’t even connote political action.

3) But here it does.  Well, no.  More like: complaining.  Engaged complaining.  Complaining that will change the world.

Ideas spread invisibly.  They can bypass even thought, seeping into the collective unconcious.  As John Maynard Keynes said: “Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some obscure blogger.”  Or words to that effect.

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