13 January 2009

The Privileged Blogger

"Privelege" is an old word. It referes to laws in relation to one person
and it contains the idea of immunity as well as the advantage of rank.

So it puzzles me that more people do not blog, even rarely and when they have something very special to say. The democratic nature of blogging is often
negated in mainstream media, where experts refer to editorial policy which
is somehow regarded in high esteem.

As if it is the case that people will write better when controlled and
constrained by another person...

This has not been my experience.

During my schooldays I was allowed "page blanche" if not exactly
"carte blanche" to write pretty much at will. The English school essay was
always a favourite home exercise which is not surprising when I remember
hours spent in my English-Irish dictionary trying to decipher the
wild romances of the medieval mind and reiterate what had already been
said by experts who were older and very much removed from the world
in which I lived. Years learning to draw the inner workings of the
human body left me with at least one certainty...
I would never become a medic.
Botany was too obsessional for my vague mind.
Counting, measuring, listing... Science was too exact
and, in any case, after Darwin, I couldn't see much point
in finding anything else to say.

The essay set me free.

University was when I wrote letters.
They were the only reprieve from the flood of thousands of
years of language pouring into my soul.
I have a soul, because Plato says so...

And in university I learned to write with relevance.
When most of the ideas and received notions of human
experienc had already been dramatised, analysed, annotated
and rhapsodised, I learned to be precise to the point of curtness.

Exams were a nightmare:

"You mean you want me to write it all out AGAIN"
best summarises my irritation of spending time,
tired and under pressure, to produce twee précis
of what I already knew.

French dissertation? Enough said...
I have spent enough time in France as an adult to know
that Introduction/Three Points Developed/Conclusion
may express a culture that wishes for control.
It is not wild enough for me.

So here I am, years after writing light educational literary pieces
for schools and shopping advice during the 1980's when nobody had
much money to be able to buy what I wrote about,
sitting on my sofa thinking about where I might head next.

As bloggers we are privileged.

We get to have our say...


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