Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Mask: (Part IV).
In my innocence, I thought that blogging was just something that a person did. It seemed a leisure activity with purpose, a pleasant blend, like taking tea or having a coffee. But I have stumbled across the world of internet slang and advice from experts, the Great Masters of the Blogging Fraternity. (I didn’t take long to spot that insulting terms like Momosphere, for the poor women who sit at home and write menial thoughts while their babies play, had their origins in men’s techno-brains). It came as something as a shock, to find out how wrong I was. One did not just blog. One considered one’s blaudience. And if one wished to increase one’s readership, one had to think carefully about three questions. Who was the blog for. What was to be left in the mind of the blogee? How did one hope to effect a response? Fantastic stuff! But the “one” is such a sign of the persona. That formal pronoun that meets an uncertain world with authority and hIdes the “I” which really thinks something personal, but hesitates to say it. Beware the “Ides of March” and the Prophet Bloggers. Or should that be: Profit Bloggers? Gradually, I began to find more deliberate uses of the word “persona”. Not only are there “Persona Bloggers”, who are not good. (No longer called “fake loggers” or “floggers” who are people made up by companies to recommend services). But there are also people with a “Blogger persona awareness”, who are good. These are (the once rather hectic sounding “multi-bloggers”) who take their blog and sub-divide into thematic posts for the sake of clarity; so as messages are delivered to the right people.


At this point, however, I gave up. I had a vision of myself having to convert my posts to the Dewey Decimal System. And really, I like the mixed-up blogs, those that chat about a book, or discuss their favourite things, or muse esoterically about Milton, or consider world politics, or just have a thought for the day, something that has drifted into the mind, a memo to be posted like a note on the fridge door. This is human. Simply that. It is what the human is: variable. Not the One. But the Many in the One.

This mask-talk goes against the very liberal nature of the blog. People can drop in. And dropping in is much better than “dropping out.” Over the years, I have seen many kinds of masks. Metal. Wood. Terracotta. Each is rather like a post. There are the metallic posts, shiny and abrasive; the wooden, full of grain and flow; the clay, moulded and fragile. And there are also posts that are as light, but wonderful in their vulnerability, like the tissue-cane masks at a Caribbean carnival. The danger of the PERSONA mask written large is it forgets that a mask needs the human face behind it.

6 comments:

Id it is said...

I liked the way you've analysed blog formatting!
Honestly speaking I hadn't given it much thought but after reading this post I pondered over the format of my blog and came to the conclusion that I wouldn't have it any other way. For the simple reason that there is no formal formatting I want for my penned thoughts. They are just that; a definitive part of who I am and where I'm going. Like yours mine is a 'human' blog.

As for the mask...I don't need one, rather, I already have one since I write incognito (for reasons explained in an earlier posting). However, I do don a mask every once in a while to borrow empathy for the subject that I am writing about. Writing without declaring my identity, does allow me a lot of latitude both on subject selection and my stance on it.

" I have seen many kinds of masks. Metal. Wood. Terracotta. Each is rather like a post. There are the metallic posts, shiny and abrasive; the wooden, full of grain and flow; the clay, moulded and fragile. And there are also posts that are as light, but wonderful in their vulnerability, like the tissue-cane masks at a Caribbean carnival".
Was 'plastic' a conscious omission? For some reason the above paragraph reminded me of Roland Barthes's essay, "Plastic".

I enjoy your writing immensely.

eshuneutics said...

Hi, I do not know Barthes's essay on "Plastic", which is a pity. It wasn't a conscious omission, but it was an omission! Sometimes what you forget says a lot. I was so busy going down the ancient material line, I forgot the modern. What would the plastic (mask) post look like?

Id it is said...

I sincerely hope that I didn't sound critical in my last comment because that wasn't the intenetion. I was ectremely intrigued by your four tiered writing and my last comment about the omission was simply a spontaneous reaction to a thought provoking write up.

A plastic (always makes me think of the ugly tupperware that is in abundance in every american household))post would imply it is malleable, multipurpose, resilient, commonplace, safe, generic...and definitely not beautiful. Doesthat make sense?

eshuneutics said...

Oh, don't worry, I knew you were not being critical. I revealed myself though by not thinking of "plastic"...because I was too busy with beautiful materials. And yes, my early childhood memories are of tupperware picnics and over-heated sandwiches and plastic tainted squash. You read my mind!
I think a plastic blog would be just as you describe! Yuck!

Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Eshuneutics, I'm with you on the blogging. I just put up whatever strikes my fancy, caring not whether it meshes with the previous day's entry or careens off in a wild direction.

As for an audience, I don't know about that. I have a few faithful readers, I suppose.

Jeffery Hodges

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eshuneutics said...

Hello, gypsy scholar, thanks for your viewpoint. I think you are the right one to defend the whatever-strikes-my-fancy blog. Yours is truly a blog with a democratic vista.

Hope you are now relaxing after all the exam work. Cheers!