The Creative Impulse: Notes on blogging

December 31, 2008 at 1:35 pm (Uncategorized)

“There’s only one thing worse than not being talked about…” so said Oscar Wilde. A friend of mine who wrote a short piece for the Toronto Globe and Mail about her experience of being a grandmother might disagree. (The story was picked up and became the subject of some rather pointed discussion on a number of boards)

So there’s the Internet. The good thing is nothing disappears, but the bad thing is that nothing disappears. Why do we write, or paint, or make songs, or blog? Is it something creative in the human spirit or something more mundane?

For much of human history, the creative aspect of human society has been commodified. Specialists create art. People consume it. Going to a museum can be a moving experience. I have seen pictures and listened to art which had a tremendous effect on me, moving me to joy or to tears. Yet, the consumption of art is usually a passive act. The Situationists argued that art must realized, made a part of everyday life. Art must be made by all or by none.

Technology has allowed this in some ways. The personal computer has allowed for the easy physical creation of books, magazines and so on. The Internet has allowed for the distribution.

Yet, there is so much out there. How can we. distinguish, how can we choose.  Becoming a star in whatever artistic media you choose is less a matter of talent than marketing. Can anyone deny there are many much more deserving artists than say, Avril Lavigne’s brand of faux-punk rebellion (already shilling for corporations).

WordPress, the company which hosts this blog, lists over 5 million blogs, and I make no pretense to literary greatness. Red & Black Notes, my former project,  had a print run of a couple of hundred issues, and I never sold out an issue. Certain articles did get picked up and were read by larger numbers, but that was it.   – the Seattle statement I signed with the editors of Collective Action Notes and The Bad Days Will End generated, and still generates feedback. This blog has received a few hundred hits over its eight month existence. Why read this one, how to learn about it? My interests in ultra-left politics, comic books, and obscure music doesn’t make for the most main stream form. So maybe we write for ourselves, with te hope that we can connect in a world which is increasingly disconnected.

So lastly, I’d like to thank alphainventions. A month or so back, I started getting hits referred from this site. Curious, I went to the site. It’s basically a ticker-tape blog site. When people update their blogs, they can go to alphainvensions and notify people. Their blog is featured, briefly, and people can click on your blog to read what you’ve written. Naturally, your blog is quickly bumped out of the reading cycle ), but there you go.

Happy New Year.


1 Comment

  1. Number 100 « Notes from Underground said,

    […] by the number of blogs out there, life is pretty good. In an earlier post on blogging, I wrote that WordPress alone hosted five million blogs – according to the header on WordPress […]

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