I was a late starter to the whole blogging thing and I quite like it. It’s home to all those little opinioned pieces that enjoy dialogue – in the limited sense of dialogue that my subject pieces allow – and that would be lost and lonely in the dark recesses of my journal.
But it does bring to question a few relevant issues for me, of which the exhibitionist nature of divulgence of whatever kind – physical, emotional, opinion – and blogging as a natural progression in media and communication interest me the most.
The fact that there are entire sites dedicated to ‘normal’ people posturing face and fanny online and even more who feel a need to express themselves – and gain recognition – to and from a mostly faceless audience requires less a disparaging attitude of ‘the masses as opposed to the real artistes’ and more of a serious consideration of this phenomenon (of blogging) as an aspect of generational communication that stands as descendent to the Gutenberg press.
If limited and time consuming media served as an ideological stronghold of the religious and political oligarchies in the past, surely blogging and the global exchange of information on the web by the indiscriminate masses is something to be revered in the present day?
Maybe in our ‘free and fair’ society we have succumbed to the saccharine pleasures of online self-indulgence, but if blogging and the power of mass discontent having a voice was without tooth and claw, why would places like China bar or monitor the practice.
Even in South Africa bloggers were the first to question the absurdity of Zuma raping an HIV+ woman without a condom and then proclaiming a shower was enough.
The papers couldn’t run that. Maybe editorials could allude to the fact, but they couldn’t say outright: Zuma you dumb fuck.
As for the literati – and my god I hate that word – being the only ‘group’ whose mutterings and quiverings about life are privy to exposure of whatever kind, I say this: humans are communicative, social creatures that will use whatever tools available to connect and express their own personal sense of divinity. The singular point of Being Published in a Book, and thus gaining access to that inner circle of Intellectuals and Artistes, has less to do with talent than it does with business acumen, marketing and good contacts.
I’m not saying that there aren’t works that have left indelible prints on culture and the collective consciousness, but making a change in somebody’s life with words is a power that we all have, that we exercise every day, and is hardly limited to the inside of a book cover.
I guess people like Marianne Thamm feel that the nebulous and thoroughly intangible online world diminishes the importance and structure of conveyed knowledge. Maybe it does – here today, deleted tomorrow hardly carries the weight of a universal, incorruptible message. But that in itself is the nature of our times. It seems out of place that there are those that still worship at the feet of Ozymandian concepts about art and literature.