Tuesday, August 22, 2006

U Wanna Write?

An interesting post I read last night excoriates the pretense of people who want to BE writers, as opposed to those who are driven to write. Of course there's a difference. One is fantasy; the other is major hard work. This is his point.

He talks about attending a dinner party where everyone was praising a girl (who's had some media exposure) because she's "writing a journal", which would probably get no attention at all, if she hadn't had media exposure, but since she has experienced that magical immersion, will probably result in a book deal. Gnash, gnash. I, too, am continually finding new ways to be infuriated at our shallow, celebrity obsessed culture and the degree of attention it takes away from ME.

I don't knock journals in general, though. Journaling can be a valuable tool, a resource for the serious writer, an art form on its own. But he's referring to the type of journaling that pretends that shallowness, the celebrity culture, have value in and of themselves--blogging, in other words. Not all blogging, to be sure, but maybe most? He excoriates the pretense involved--the pretense that it matters.

I agree.

Back in the seventies there were many references to the Boomer generation as the Me Generation. Of course, the present blossoming of ego on the internet dwarfs this to a power of about 100. It's all about feeling special, about the way that feeling, common to children, persists for an entire generation into adulthood, and indeed, into the beginnings, at least, of old age.

So, can you blame anyone singled out by the white light of television for believing that there's something even more deeply special about them? Seems logical, almost. My question is why do the myriad of voices nattering away on the internet (including mine) feel that way? Why would anyone care about what most of them (us) have to say? What would make what they have to say different from what anyone else is thinking, when the references from which they formulate their thoughts are identical to what everyone else refers to? (Aha, there's where mine may differentiate a bit...)

There are so few really original viewpoints in a civilization and I would argue that the blossoming of ego in blogdom--rather than allowing the real thing an opportunity to shine--actually snuffs it out with an onslaught of chatter. And the scale of the chatter, the enormity of the number of voices, attracts the serious attention of the mainstream media who still have the power to anoint. Why? Because our society, which we like to think of as complex, has devolved into a very simple thing after all: a society which values counting above everything else, above all culture, above all humain attainment. We attach an elevated monetary value to integers, 1,2,3, when there's a consuming body attached to each one.

So where should that really original viewpoint (and it's not me, that's for sure) go for discovery? Thank your stars, or the generosity of trees, or the remaining tatters of the establishment, but there are still BOOKS, bro.


  1. Great post, I am writing something about this too, can I link to your piece please? That CC Esq. gets us talking doesn't he!

  2. He certainly does! Very provocative. Surely, please do link. Cheers.