12.01.2006

Word for today: Solipsism

Cause, what the world needs now
Are some true words of wisdom
Like la la la la la
Cause, what the world needs now
Is another folk singer
Like i need a hole in my head.
-- Cracker, "Teen Angst"

Solipsism: Etymology: Latin solus alone + ipse self: a theory holding that the self can know nothing but its own modifications and that the self is the only existent thing; also : extreme egocentrism (emphasis added), MW Online

These days, if Cracker was updating "Teen Angst" for this squalid decade's mores and behaviors, I think the lyric would conclude "what the world needs now, is another lonely blogger, or another page on Myspace, like I need a hole in the head...."

Michael Kinsley wrote a rather coy column on today's seemingly ubiquitous impulses to reveal oneself online. While I think he is making a somewhat valid point, some comments on Slate's discussion boards point out that Kinsley does protest too much (the most perceptive and funny comment, was someone suggesting that Kinsely - a paid journalist - had the contemptuous attitude of a prostitute, who does it for money, towards the town slut, who gives it away for free...).

That being said, I am skeptical of the whole idea of social networking, the nature of relationships that exist solely in the online realm, and am very dubious about my own ability to have anything of remote interest to say on an ongoing basis. I write about subjects as trivial as my anxiety about my new mortgage and post pictures of my tiny studio condominium being emptied as I move out.... I would be the last person to suggest that anything of import shows up on this page. So this begs the question, why try and maintain this site?

I post to this blog because it does force me to use my brain in a certain way, the impulse comes from several directions: A long time ago I was a lit major in college, and I have held jobs in the past where being creative was part of the job description (I once wrote press releases about telephone numbers), but not anymore. I think that these skills are 'use it or lose it' and that I am on the edge of 'losing it'.

Also I maintain a flickr site but I am finding that flickr is kind cloying (it's a social networking site, in its own way) and that this is kind of annoying to me. So more of my photos are ending up here -- though again, I don't pretend to be even a 'good' photographer (for much better pictures, check this blog). But the blog is more of a free form environment which I have come to appreciate.

Lastly I do have an interest in search strategies and Internet marketing techniques so I do keep a close eye on the(very small) amount of traffic and how people come to the page and do analyze what content (if any) is 'popular'. For example, someone did a search on google for "Tarrant campaign spending" and did wind up here... and actually read some of my posts besides my rather lame comment comparing Tarrant unfavorably to a can of soup.

I'll conclude this by posting Mark Twain's epigrath to Huckleberry Finn because it is far more apt here than at the start of that novel: Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot."

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