Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Acknowledging Hypocrisy

Whilst having a rather intellectual bath reading A Very Short Introduction to Nietzsche (a simultaneously pretentious and not actually pretentious act - surely the really pretentious would scoff at the idea of a ‘very short introduction’, but oh, how I would love to be that scoffer), the book spoke of how fierce a scribbler Freddie was. Any idea or concept that entered his mind would be jotted down in an instant, so convinced he was of always being on the cusp of brilliance. Most of it was brilliance (apparently, I’m only reading a short introduction), but were ideas he became heavily critical of upon later reflection. This is why they remained simply jottings, excluded from his published work. These half-thoughts provided inspiration/proof for the extremists, fundamentalists and any other wide ranging fanatical group who took him as their cause’s forefather.

A rather tenuous link, then, that the notion of the unpublished, the unfiltered, entered my consciousness only earlier. The Internet has appealed to this side of one’s mindset - the process of a thought, and that that thought can often be the most ingenious thought that ever was thunk. Often proved wrong upon reflection, and always criticised heavily or politely nodded at (which is infinitely worse) by those one explains them to. It is a painful acknowledgement to make, that one’s ideas are so often waffle. In my experience, being shot down (which I have considerable experience of) provokes two reactions; a tenacious denial of the shooter’s credentials, a stuttering defence of the idea and bitching about the whole fiasco to anyone who will listen (or again, politely nod, which is rather helpful here), or a downward spiral pondering my own inadequacies. The blogger has no-one to be shot down by until their post is within the digital sphere. I’m sure many are severely embarrassed once posting, as I am, and maybe that comes from a sense of unrefinement, of putting something as personal as fleeting thoughts somewhere where anyone can see.

For blogs aren’t surely as researched as other forms of writing. And why would they have to be? Are they not just diary entries (see, I am doubting my own words already)? But that does mean there is an intrinsic haste to their form. Blogging, as I see it, is a mass of individuals all shouting and not listening. There will be dialogue to an extent, but not in a traditional, sustained, productive or progressive form.

Tenuously again, I will relate this to spectatorship and the steady whittling down of shared experience. If one takes the cinematic apparatus as the beginning of spectatorship, shared experience there is at its highest. Say there are ten films released every week, the possibility of others having seen what you have seen increases. Indeed, the very act of watching in a cinema is shared due to the people that surround you (although it may not feel like it at the time - the wonderful trick of film). To continue, television thus widens the choice of what to view, and decreases the amount of people one shares this experience with. This concludes with the Internet, the most whorish of distribution systems, with its inherent rape, et all. The spectator is often reduced to a crowd of one, as I am now, and the increased choice decreases the chance of someone else sharing your experience. The Internet breeds individuality and destroys the need for space. I am not going to be absolutist enough to cry that community is under threat, but surely this need to have an existence of defined individuality within a new space is a subject worth a ponder.

But everything I have just typed is equally (if not more so) applicable to it. These thoughts have only been bouncing through my head in only the last few days, even then they had not been linked together as above. None of it has been run by another. The diarrhoea of the unfiltered mind is present here in all its abhorrence. Likewise, the act of typing this blog commits me to the same self-projectors I lament. It is an odd thing to acknowledge one’s own hypocrisy and then continue as if simple awareness of it is enough.

Unfortunately, I have no answers. And even if you do, I won’t listen.

1 comment:

  1. Though I take your point about cinema having a bigger "shared audience" than television, which in turn has bigger group experience possibilities than the internet (sport and huge concerts, perhaps, have the largest audience of them all), I'd suggest that the internet has the largest potential audience of them all.

    A clip made by one person in their bedroom has the potential to go around the world once it's been posted on YouTube, giving it a limitless audience. At the other end of the spectrum, television shows need commissioning, putting in a schedule and broadcasting - a cast of hundreds, if not thousands, is involved in its being brought to the world. Similarly, even if you shot, starred and edited a film yourself, you'd still need to persuade people to screen it in a cinema for it to even reach the smallest audience.