Tuesday, 22 March 2011


Blog noun / verb; blogged, blog·ging. 1. n. a web site containing the writer's or group of writers' own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other Web sites. 2. v. to maintain or add new entries to a blog.
Drudge noun / verb; drudged, drudg·ing. 1. n. a person who does menial, distasteful, dull, or hard work. 2. n. a person who works in a routine, unimaginative way. 3. v. to perform menial, distasteful, dull, or hard work.
Blodge noun / verb; blodged, blodg·ing. 1. n. a web site containing the writer's or group of writers' own dull, distasteful or unimaginitive experiences, observations, opinions, etc. 2. v. to menially maintain or add unimaginative and/or dull entries to a blog.
In other words no, I don't have any spectacular ideas for today, so it's rambling i'm afraid. There is a concept in creative writing called 'Free Writing,' where you just write about literally whatever's on your mind, and keep going without stopping or self editing for five minutes. Or your career, if you're Julie Burchill. At the end of this, you slap whatever you have into shape, adding the correct grammar, references and spelling to it and then trim it down to just the good ideas (again, unless you're Julie Burchill). The thing is, this is a good start for a piece of writing, but only after it's been through the mill of post-production editing and polishing. So many people now seem to see this as the primary means of production of writing: dashing off whatever comes off the top of their heads; Youtube comments, Facebook statuses, tweets, and more. As Kevin Smith said, the internet has given everyone a voice, and apparently everyone wants to use that voice to bitch about movies. Or bitch about people bitching about movies. Or bitch about... well, you get the impression. All web 2.0 has really brought us is thousands upon thousands of voices screaming into the void, hoping someone will do something about it. You know, someone other than ourselves. And the hope from our perspective, the blodgers, is that someone will sort it out for us. We're only shouting because we want something done without having to get off our arses and do it ourselves, and the increased option of feedback gives us at least the illusion that this might happen. So as a consequence, the quality of the feedback decreases by being spread too thin - if a company has 20 hard copy letters a year, they can actually give more than five minutes time to crafting a reply. But if there's a couple of thousand forum posts, or comments, or @tweets, they're more likely to fire off a quick and categorised self-help sheet that covers the vague area of concern. Ultimately it comes down to a problem with interactivity in media. Open yourself up to feedback and people expect that feedback to mean something. But it has to mean something for EVERYONE feeding back, and in the case of large corporations that means feeding back to every minor point raised, since the feedback is now so much easier to leave. See? Karl Pilkington was right. You leave your mouth going long enough and the brain starts working.

Monday, 7 March 2011

I do not write, therefore I am not

Let me clarify something. I call myself a writer, but do so with absolutely no authority. I have never been published. This ethereal pissing into the wind is about as much a form of publishing as the crazy guy shouting on the train is a form of media personality. But if anyone asks me what I want to do (and in my third year, they DO), I answer without hesitation "A Writer." I want to be a writer. I'd rather be a writer than anything else. A day job is just the thing I do to pay the bills until the Guardian notices me and all of a sudden I'm having lunch with Charlie Brooker and Danny Wallace. They both secretly hate me of course, but smile politely because I'll name-drop anyone. But we are currently being bombarded, the other half and I, with a steady stream of brochures full of management babble about how they want graduates to work for them. It's all 'realising potential' and 'maximising productivity' without ever actually saying what it is that you (or even the company) actually DO. Really. There's one company in there who's page I read three times, and I still have no idea what their end product is. But it all sounded very decorative, regardless. I'm just very suspicious of people who offer you £35,000 and a gym and don't tell you what you have to do. I'm fairly certain that's how hitmen start out. Paranoia aside; is the entire upper echelon of the working community now made up of terrified postgrads throwing bollocks at each other? Thinking up more and more convoluted sentences to cover up the fact that they don't understand the management babble they were replying to in the first place? So maybe that's it. The writers have lost. There are no great novels any more, just marketing copy and a population too caught up in baffling and sesquipid turns of phrase to realise it means nothing. These people exist to manufacture, hype and trade networks of bollocks, and the money's all so knotted up in that level of tittybollocks that there's nothing left for the people who actually do some sodding work round here. I don't include myself in that noble category, by the way. I'm a writer.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Now we have Adwords

A brief note of semiparental responsibility pulls at my heartstrings - the kind of parental responsibility that would occur looking at a toddler who's holding a bag of flour, and hasn't thrown it yet, but you know they're probably going to, and it's going to make a mess, and you'll have to apologise to the woman he's aiming it at... You see Google sent me free Adwords money, so if you've been misled here through an Ad, I can only apologise. Really, I do. I tried not to bother you while you were just innocently stalking people on Facebook, or shopping for cats on Ebay or just looking for porn like everyone else. Really, I'm sorry to have troubled you. I even tried to make the ad weird enough that nobody would follow it, but here you are. Anyway, enjoy the scenery and rants. Having been given this free money gives me an annoying responsibility to actually put up content over the next month, so we'll see how this all works out. And I'm sorry about the flour. It'll wash out. I promise.