special edition

july, 2003



the simple stream of brain splatter upon the dark canvas black hole that is the internet is the domain for those who call themselves bloggers.

you can sit down at the keyboard and vomit any prose that stumbles across your fingertips from your paralyzed frontal brainlobe. it is simple. painless. unedited. raw. and easy.

in my old dictionary, a blogger would appear just above the word bloke, a contemptible fellow. mindful contempt is the trade of the blogs. indiscriminate tangents are all the rage. opinions are all that matters. you are your own content. such is the freedom of Internet publishing.

there usually is no fancy logos, space age graphics, or in-depth links to source material. it is a personal diary left open in a public park, with the racy passages underlined, bookmarked and billboarded to grab the attention of any passerby.

it may be part exhibitionism, part voyeurism, part psychotherapy, part self-loathing, part anger, part revenge, part searching, part grasping at straws, part emotion, part intellect, part triumph, part defeat, part “look at me!” and part don't judge me. it could be considered a small polaroid snapshot of an individual's unfiltered state of mind.

i usually do not run with an long stream on consciousness on paper. i let the steaming mass of words cool to ash then review with some editing, rewriting, spellchecking and headscratching before publishing. but that is not the artform of the blog. It is really meant to be spontaneous, conversational in a lonely one person sense, and quickly updated to the spur-of-the-moment thought.

so this is what i am doing, grinding away at the keys on to write on the fly like any other respectable bloghead. one sitting. no strategy. rip and run.

the first thing i notice is that you can quickly add to the traffic jam of paragraphs. they seem to spill onto the page. maybe there is a catch-- some toilet vortex will appear and sweep the gray matter under my forehead down my spine and into an invisible colostomy bag.

the second thing i notice about bloggers in general is that they are not in it for the money. It is a personal thing. as martha stewart may be telling her cellmates shortly, “that's a good thing.”

this medium is hard to put into historical perspective. You can't say the caveman sat around the fire pit gnawing on human bones blogging ideas to one another. we know that early man liked to tag cave walls with pictures; they invented graffiti. It was a permanent record of being at that place. we still do that today in our humble high tech way. we take vacation pictures. if we can't afford film, some carve initials into tree trunks, or spray paint images on the sides of rolling railroad box cars. it must be one of the deepest bred emotional attachments. remember, the first hordes to run amok in the civilized world were called the vandals.

with a choice of either taking it or leaving it, we would probably today do both. We are spoiled. We want our save our cake and eat it too. we have put our snouts in every aspect of other people's lives. maybe a blog is just a backlash that turns back into itself like a circle. circle of life. Circle paintings on a cave. symbols for sun, moon, stars or just a plain damn circle?

recently, some scientists got some media buzz when they proclaimed that they had figured out the meaning of stonehedge. stonehedge is that monolithic stone circle in england that has puzzled the world for ages. the scientists have concluded that it is merely a symbol for life and death: fertility. they claim that all the monument represents is the female anatomy. now, how they get to that leap from two story high stone rectangles buried in the weathered sod is anyone's guess. then what does the alter like rocks inside the structure represent? oh, we better not go there.

but that is sort of the point. people can say just about anything today. And some get some pub. some get some money out of it. some get some fame which could lead to getting some money out of it. Some just do it to get a buzz.

we do not deal merely with facts anymore. schools have begun to shy away from teaching pure facts because some facts apparently offend the political correctness of our time. speculation is as good as a fact. personal opinion trumps speculation. wild accusations are even better because they are intended to illicit a reaction. reactions get you noticed. everyone wants to be noticed in this quasi-celebrity, warhol 15 minutes of fame, no matter what you do, broadcast news cycle moment.

i can see why blogs are easy to run. You don't have to plan ahead or get distracted by page layout rules. just go for it. any tangent is a good starting point. a rambling criss cross around the mental horn is not against the rules, because there are no rules. In the roulette wheel of topics, with your brain bouncing around the spinning wheel, getting a good endorphin jolt along the way, it is simple as word association games little kids used to play.

but most rambling authors will have their thoughts be posted into deep cyber space like those early unmanned capsules directed out of our solar system in search of randomly running into an intelligent beings who can read english and read our map of where earth is located. did our brightest scientists in the 1960s really think that sending a pod into deep space would ever be picked up like a carrier's message that you have a certified letter to be picked up at the post office? like those early tin encapsulated howdy-hos, most of the blog material will remain uplinked to the world wide web and never accessed by the masses.

but human nature is wrought with individual effort that only needs to please themselves. an eccentric tinker in his garage could care less if anyone knows about his spooky little inventions. he is not doing it to patent the next great thing like edison, but to capture his own imagination in the wonder of making a new discovery.

rarely in this day and age does an average person make their own wondering discoveries. We do not go out to look for them. We have become so dependent upon the goods and services of others we have lost the drive to survive by improving our own self-sufficiency skills. It is another one of those individual emotional attachments of learning something really new that is in the process of being lost.

that is not farfetched as you think it is. there was a time when mankind lost the simple formula for creating cement. lost for generations. modern engineers still marvel at the simple complexity of roman waterworks which never took hold in euro-sanitation leading to the consequences of the black plague. we still don't know how the pyramids were built to that size, scale and precision by ancient builders. so as a collective culture, we lose things all the time. however, we have been lucky that some eccentric nerd is curious enough to ask why, tinker in his lab, and stumble upon something useful.

and so this little on the fly experiment ends. it was a useful exercise for me to attempt to recreate the feel of the current fav wave of Internet communication, the blog.


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© 2003 Ski/pindermedia.com 7/10/03