13 May 2010


I am not a writer... I am a contented hack who considers that life is too short for "le mot juste". There are so many words... by the time the best one is found, friends have disappeared off the radar, the house is a mess and even the cat is mildly bored.

However, when I discovered that blogophobia is on the increase among those who know better than I, I started to think.

Always a bad move...

What if I'm on the wrong track. What if (and Heaven forfend) "The Blog" is not dead, as reported at the Irish Blog Awards in Spring, but is an annoyance, a nuisance, even, to those who come across it by chance?

My enthusiasm for the form is boundless. Why wander round dreary offices looking for an editor who may (or may not) wake up long enough to take a piece of copy and set it in motion towards printing?

The blog allows for a gentle stroll among apple trees, laden with scented blossom, while thinking absolutely nothing at all... Long may it continue so.


Blogger David T. Macknet said...

I expect to see a resurgence of blogs, in particular because of the recent Facebook crisis. At least, those of us who've found our time sucked in by FB will be returning in full force.

5/15/2010 11:04 am  
Blogger David T. Macknet said...

(Here's hoping, at least.)

5/15/2010 11:05 am  
Blogger Tales from the Birch Wood. said...

I think you may be right.

I find Facebook really over fussy and a blog is easily managed at the pace the writer wishes to set.

Academics seem to take blogs seriously, unlike many journalists (a mocking crowd, as I well remember) who seem to think that editorial policy lends weight to what is published.

What an interesting, brave new world.

5/19/2010 1:57 pm  
Blogger David T. Macknet said...

The word "amateur" has come to have a negative connotation. It isn't right, as certainly I've seen oodles of photographs from "professionals" which were inferior to my own. Just because someone is paid to do the work does not privilege that work, nor give it any particular authority. Yet, that's the world we live in: if you get paid for it, you must be worthy of having been paid, somehow. Right.

5/25/2010 7:33 pm  
Blogger Tales from the Birch Wood. said...

I find much in contemporary life to be too puzzling for words.

"Amateur" used mean simply the activity of a person who loves what they are doing.

I fully agree that many amateur photographers make exquisite images, often superior to those found in the mainstream media.

Perhaps this is the reason so many of us are turning to the Internet for quality work?

5/27/2010 11:42 am  
Blogger David T. Macknet said...

This is an issue we've been discussing in my department, in particular with reference to collections (libraries, museums, archives): 100 years ago, they allowed "the common man" to bring them specimens, to contribute to the collections, and to provide their own insights. The public was part of the process, and was not shunned and excluded as they are today.

We have, as a society, reified "the expert" to a point where "the amateur" has to make their own place. That place has become the internet, largely.

Glasgow had a train museum. They would put on displays of railroad memorabilia, including engines and such. Every time they got a new piece, or had a big show, the railroad boffins would visit, and critique the museum's display, pointing out inaccuracies and problems. Their last show was of trains from India: they figured that nobody would be able to criticize them, because nobody would know anything about them. They were criticized in the same manner as usual, and the museum closed.

The experts at the museum could not compete in their knowledge with the amateurs, so the whole institution was closed. Such is the price we pay for excluding the public.

5/27/2010 11:53 am  
Blogger Tales from the Birch Wood. said...

Belated thanks for sharing this story.

I think that people have retreated from public institutions in large numbers and now get on with their lives on a domestic scale.

The in-fighting and incessent desire to make level playing grounds in public life can be quite unpleasant and time consuming, taking away from energy best spent in learning more and developing new skills.

Governments may, in time, come to see how counter-productive committees, brain-storming groups and lobbying actually are... though most are on broadcast mode and don't seem to be in tune with the spirit of the age.

7/01/2010 11:40 am  
Blogger David T. Macknet said...

I just don't see government "getting it" until "it" has been old for about a decade.

They'll be tweeting in about ten years.

7/06/2010 8:54 pm  

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