This is a personal blog, please observe Think Hour for ad hoc quasi-diary writings and Big Ideas for my ratified longform items. I will see you there.


2020-08-01


Having many bookmarks of websites found while browsing the net or collected from social media and continuing to add many more is a great way to become overburdened with possible things to read or potential learning, while somehow falsely feeling like you’re actually learning or cultivating anything valuable while items on the reading list start to rot and be forgotten. I figure to make up the first journal style posts on this blog I will write or note as I spend some time sifting through the heap of these that I’ve generated.

ggarron // keep writing

I don’t remember exactly how this ended up on my bookmarks bar, probably from twitter. Definitely because the content concerns writing and writing freely, to a personal blog. Aside from this general sentiment there’s mentions and references to a bunch of other things, a few of which interested me.

First, on the blog site itself, there’s reference to the social networking service “Mastodon” as an alternative to Twitter. It’s apparently self hosted, with individual nodes connecting and exchanging to form the greater whole, and works as part of the Fediverse, which seems to be a range of platforms operating under the same philosophy and even protocols allowing further interchange while still retaining autonomy. I’m not sure if I am regurgitating that correctly, I don’t recall ever looking into it beyond the surface, but maybe I should.

While I admire a lot about it, when it comes to the social side of the web I’m usually more drawn to platforms “where the people are”, for the broader range and amalgam of postings - rather than focusing my eyes and ears on specific people or groups. If I’m going to narrow these digital floodgates, I’ll go the whole way and follow blogs and go into private chatrooms.

mastodon social networking

The other item receives a mention at the end of the post. The “#100DaysToOffload” challenge, which is basically a challenge to write 100 blog posts, free of any deeper regulation, in a year. Honestly, if I hadn’t already divined that I probably came across ggarron’s post very recently because I was researching blogging, Jekyll and writing in general I would think of this as some kind of divine message, because although it’s a little late in the year (calendar), it’s the perfect way to couch in any doubts and worries over writing on this blog, right now:

100DaysToOffload is a simple concept that Kev Quirk thought of one day. The rationale behind the whole thing is to challenge people to publish 100 posts on their personal blog in a year. That’s approximately 1 post every 3.5 days.*

Posts don’t need to be long-form, deep, meaningful, or even that well written. If there are spelling and grammar mistakes, or even if there’s no real point to the post, so what? What’s important is that you’re writing about the things you want to write about.

This part is the best, almost prescient if this wasn’t an incredibly common thing for others to do:

Your posts could be how-to guids, or links to another post you have found interesting. They could include your own thoughts about that post, or a response to it.

For what is otherwise a fairly innocuous personal blog post, I want to note that it left a good couple impressions on me. There’s stuff to learn and gather everywhere.

Mary Harron

I was thinking about the movie “American Psycho” recently, Which was directed by Mary Harron. The disaffected comedy, violence and setting with such evocative visual execution could be attributed to standing on the shoulders of very potent source material, but I wanted to look into other films directed by her, and ended up reading an interview with her instead.

There’s a lot of discussion of things I really don’t like. She is related to, and grew up around, actors and TV people, of course. Early in life she was a music journalist… and even a music critic - probably the most disgusting occupation at least in contemporary form, but in her day maybe she helped guide kids to good cassette purchases, I don’t know.

She even talks up Katy Perry as a modern “image-maker” and “parodic” who is unmotivated by sex but very motivated by fame/attention. Katy Perry is a product. She has her fair share of parodic music videos, but a huge amount of music videos and promotional efforts operate in parody, especially in the pop realm. She definitely does not put any enduring force toward constructing any “images” nor are any of the images delivered in by her as vessel particularly enduring. Not that there is any need to do that when backed by a borderline illuminati of pop manufacturers (Dr. Luke, Max Martin, Stargate and so on) who fuel your stardom, regardless of the level of your lust for it.

Katy Perry

However, I really enjoyed some of her statements that indicated a desire for ambiguity in films rather than an overt message, tending toward pure creativity and interest. For instance:

One thing I’m not is a moralistic film-maker. I’m not trying to tell people what to do, and I’m not trying to lead. Americans always think they have to lead. I’m interested in ambiguity.

We didn’t have to apologize or add some bullsh!t moral lesson to it. We felt we could trust our instincts and do what we thought was interesting.

Honestly, I am not sure why I committed to reading this interview - I absolutely loathe hearing any artist of any kind speak at length about anything other than the technical aspects of what they do. To know that Mary Harron potentially views Katy Perry as anything but a product range, for instance, might sit and stew within my resentful brain the next time I see American Psycho or another film by her. I really need to avoid this kind of thing. One more good quote to end this on good terms:

I had long periods where I couldn’t make things happen, and then periods of enormous good luck. I guess the trick is to keep going in the periods when you’re not lucky, when your stars are not aligned.

Breaking News

I’ve spent too much time on what is supposed to be a simple post, it’s impressive how much of a time drain talking about two small things can be. I will say that I found myself stopping and editing, trying to make sure my writing was perfect, which I’d prefer to avoid.

Just for posterity, I want to add here that it might be interesting to attach a quick few points of recent news stories that caught my eye. On second thought, I’m not sure. Sometimes there’s nothing good or interesting to be found there and the non-committal time frame for posting to this blog makes it hard to justify implementing something like that - why not just address things on a per-item basis, if warranted? Isn’t blogging supposed to be about diverging from the quick one-shot takes proliferated by social media?

Bye.