11 September 2004

Blogs, part 2

Kristin had made many statements and raised many questions. I want to break out of the comment and look a little deeper at the content and intent of blogs. Jeez, this subject probably has been written and overwritten, but let's go for it anyway.

Kristin's descriptive retort to my girls-like-literature-and-hate-math statement brought up some questions of why the hell we do what we do. "We" being bloggers and "do" being write to an audience ranging from the reflexive-one to an optimistic greater-than-the-number-of-our-friends. With blogs, we get sucked into a weird, postmodern [Wikipedia] musing on personal intentions ("I wrote this because I believe it") that weirdly challenges our personality ("I wrote this because I knew others would want to read it"). Let me spell it out: what we thought were are basic beliefs will change if we change how we express them to suit our imagined audience.

A clarification in the form of a diversion:

I come up with ideas and beliefs and experiences real-time. I read a passage in a book that triggers something within me, The Sublime Something, that evinces a minor-ish revelation. With my blog, I immediately want to record that. As David Foster Wallace would notably say: this is an important thing. So my first impulse is to post an entry and get these important things down. I had kept a journal in late high school and a good portion of college. They are wonderful and entertaining (though I haven't read them recently). I have really missed their recording of me and my Great Ideas. Where do people normally record their revelations? How many are lost every day?

(end diversion)

I love postmodern criticism, so I'm acutely aware (are we ever obtusely aware?) of how I understand it to affect my life. Because of this, I have a not inattentive guard that tells me "you want to write this because you want person X to read it." I then decide whether my blog entry is what I really want (my THOUGHTS on STUFF) or whether it's a semi-public means to communicate my crude ideas to the world that exits as I imagine it--a group of people who I know or somewhat slightly know and who read these pages and who will know me as I've represented myself (not who I really am). Am I writing my honest thoughts or my thoughts as I hope an audience will interpret them?

Which gets to the part that has really "baked my noodle" throughout my reading of postmodernism: aren't all of my THOUGHTS on STUFF actually based on my thoughts as I hope an audience will interpret them? Isn't--and this is a basic question of postmodern lit (correct-me-if-I'm-wrong, imaginary audience)--isn't this a basic premise: that we are created by our surroundings? Aren't our personalities defined by what we believe we are expected of others? Are our personalities defined by what we believe we are expected of others?

Man, I hate that day in college when I first picked up Fowles' The Magus. That book defines, in it's final scene and based on its events, this bloated concept of A Life Observed.

And (if I may admit a distraction) this is not at all the original intention of my post. However, the distraction's because of my ease of distraction and not for any evil, postmodern influences. I had originally wanted to talk about (because it struck me as some important THOUGHTS on STUFF) blogs [Wikipedia] and their content. Kristin very clearly categorized them as the result of either blogging or journaling. I'll tempt the gods of flawed interpretation and restate her statement (Go. Read. It.) as describing, respectively, diarists and essayists. Now, ignoring the fact that she makes up such words as "wibble," her comment reflects, terrifyingly, my original intention (see my blog statement) and may therefore reflect some universal whatnot. I would instead classify them based on their content. If a diarist writes something universal (to be defined elsewhere), then that diarist has written a journalist enrtry. Scandal.

(tbd - I'm on my 3rd bottle of wine ... much more to say ...)

[ posted by sstrader on 11 September 2004 at 12:13:49 AM in Misc ]