Daily Archives: October 19, 2008

Why I blog — Andrew Sullivan

This weekend The Arts & Letters Daily features “Why I Blog” by Andrew Sullivan, from the November 2008 Atlantic Monthly. It had already been noted by 3 Quarks Daily, if I recall correctly, a few days back.

…We bloggers have scant opportunity to collect our thoughts, to wait until events have settled and a clear pattern emerges. We blog now—as news reaches us, as facts emerge. This is partly true for all journalism, which is, as its etymology suggests, daily writing, always subject to subsequent revision. And a good columnist will adjust position and judgment and even political loyalty over time, depending on events. But a blog is not so much daily writing as hourly writing. And with that level of timeliness, the provisionality of every word is even more pressing—and the risk of error or the thrill of prescience that much greater.

No columnist or reporter or novelist will have his minute shifts or constant small contradictions exposed as mercilessly as a blogger’s are. A columnist can ignore or duck a subject less noticeably than a blogger committing thoughts to pixels several times a day. A reporter can wait—must wait—until every source has confirmed. A novelist can spend months or years before committing words to the world. For bloggers, the deadline is always now. Blogging is therefore to writing what extreme sports are to athletics: more free-form, more accident-prone, less formal, more alive. It is, in many ways, writing out loud.

You end up writing about yourself, since you are a relatively fixed point in this constant interaction with the ideas and facts of the exterior world. And in this sense, the historic form closest to blogs is the diary. But with this difference: a diary is almost always a private matter. Its raw honesty, its dedication to marking life as it happens and remembering life as it was, makes it a terrestrial log. A few diaries are meant to be read by others, of course, just as correspondence could be—but usually posthumously, or as a way to compile facts for a more considered autobiographical rendering. But a blog, unlike a diary, is instantly public. It transforms this most personal and retrospective of forms into a painfully public and immediate one. It combines the confessional genre with the log form and exposes the author in a manner no author has ever been exposed before.

“Writing out loud.” I like that.

A blog … bobs on the surface of the ocean but has its anchorage in waters deeper than those print media is technologically able to exploit. It disempowers the writer to that extent, of course. The blogger can get away with less and afford fewer pretensions of authority. He is—more than any writer of the past—a node among other nodes, connected but unfinished without the links and the comments and the track-backs that make the blogosphere, at its best, a conversation, rather than a production.


Posted by on October 19, 2008 in blogging


Passing on a bit of culture for tonight

Got this from Richard Allen.

If you can, get along to ACER Arena this Sunday Oct 19th for the ARIA Awards.  Or tune in at 7.30pm on Channel 10.

Richard James Allen, Co-Artistic Director of The Physical TV Company, has choreographed the backup singers/dancers for the live performance of “This Heart Attack”, nominated for Best Single of the year, from the album Be the Twilight, nominated for Best Rock Album of the year, from Faker, nominated for Best Group of the year!  The backup singers/dancers are: Cecilie Farrar, Kathleen Hoyos, Katerina Rajch, Grace Stewart, Elanor Jane Webber and David Whatson.

Richard also choreographed Luke Eve’s music video for Faker’s latest single, “Sleepwalking”.  Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to visit the Physical TV website and click here to view other PTV dance films and music videos on YouTube.

Richard many years ago worked with me on the young writers’ magazine Neos.

I will be watching The First Australians on SBS from 8.30…

Comments Off on Passing on a bit of culture for tonight

Posted by on October 19, 2008 in Australia, Australia and Australian, creativity, friends, music, poets and poetry, TV