Why this blog?

Yet another personal blog site: one of the infinite number of monkeys tapping away at their infinite number of keyboards. What’s the point?
George Orwell asserted that – putting aside the need to earn a living (which happily is not applicable here) – there are four great motives for writing: sheer egoism, aesthetic enthusiasm, historical impulse and political purpose. Furthermore, the balance of these four forces is different for every writer.
While I don’t lack any desire “to see things as they are, to find out true facts”(historical impulse), I am pretty much a didacticism-free zone and so feel no urge to impart to others what they would derive more satisfaction from by finding out for themselves.
As for any “desire to push the world in a certain direction” (political purpose), forget about it: I won’t tell you what to think or believe, and I would be much obliged if you would extend me the same courtesy.
So in this instance the mix – the cepage, if you will – is very heavily biased towards what some might consider to be the two baser motives of showing off and having fun. Guilty as charged, m’lud, but in mitigation I would plead (a) that every blogger out there is showing off to some extent (as Orwell said, “it is humbug to pretend that this is not a motive”) and (b) it would be a pretty sad day if it was necessary to apologise for deriving pleasure from an activity that harms nobody.
For me these two self-indulgences are largely inseparable in any case. Writing, in the broadest sense, has been the only thing that I have ever felt I was any good at (so you can barely imagine the scale of my ineptitude when it comes to sums or sport) and from almost as early as I can remember words and how they are put together – the aesthetics of language – have fascinated me. To put it bluntly, if I couldn’t write reasonably well there would be precious little else to offer on the altar of self-esteem.
In summary, I write because I (think I) can and because I enjoy it and now I’m blogging because I can and because I hope I will enjoy it.
So what sort of stuff is likely to show up here?
The (few) people who know me would probably grant that I have at least some semblance of a sense of humour, albeit one that leans heavily towards the dry. This is consistent with my own view that there are only two rules in life: Rule 1 is that you should never take anything too seriously, while the more important Rule 2 is that Rule 1 applies particularly to yourself.
Ironic self-deprecation is thefore only to be expected, but rest assured that it won’t all be about me: I admit to having an ego but it’s okay, I think I can handle it. Anyway, there is more than enough weird stuff going on in the world to provide material for an army of wry observers without having to focus exclusively on one old geezer’s trials and tribulations.
Nor does this mean that everything is going to be played purely for laughs, although admittedly by consciously foreswearing historical impulse and political purpose, the field is narrowed considerably.
For a start, my about.me page refers to two other interests that I hope to pursue as I slip inexorably (but, I trust, very, very slowly) into my dotage.
Photography has been, off and on, a hobby of mine for a long time. Its greatest gift is that it makes you more aware of your surroundings as you seek to frame an aesthetically pleasing composition. Fortunately, I have been able to equip myself with some decent tools recently, and if I feel that I have been able to do them justice I may post some images.
Ah, the Grateful Dead. There are plenty of us Deadheads about, but I think we would generally concede that the enjoyment resides on a very personal level. The Post “Help On The Way” tries to explain the magic that they hold for me, but you may just have to take my word for it that listening to the Dead is about the most fun you can have between your own ears.
Thanks for making it this far. I hope you’ve seen enough to tickle your fancy for further instalments.

One thought on “Why this blog?

  1. Pingback: Simon Schama’s Swampy Suck | theonlydeadheadinthehameau

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