Saturday, May 14, 2011

America



I bumped into a man, a very, very good man, earlier, and he said, why aren't you blogging anymore, and I said something like, "dunno, too exhausted, half the time, and between message boards and social networking sites, I haven't got much else to say, and, why take 140 words to spout shit when you can utter it in 140 characters". He said, and then his Mrs said, "no one is pissing you off anymore, you aren't angry anymore," and I said, "actually, I never was angry, I just enjoyed a bit of a rant, it meant nothing." They scoffed.

Every now and then, not often, people will ask me why I don't blog anymore, and they will indicate that they miss my nonsense. Not many people, admittedly, very few people, in fact, but some. And my buddies from Sainsburys have a point. When I blogged a lot, every single day, in fact, I was full of bile, and I was full of wonder. I have learned, the hard way, not to post a load of old bile, but I am still full of wonder.

I started blogging pretty much when blogging was invented, and I started blogging mainly because I was driving everyone on various Birmingham City boards mental. Everything I came across on the web amazed me, even photos of cute cats, and, every time I came across anything new, I would post it on a message board. In my defence, I would come across some seriously good shit, but, nevertheless, it got on everyones nerves, and people would tell me, rather rudely, I thought, to fuck off.

Then blogging was invented, and here was a place for me to enthuse, and to vent. I would post daft link after daft link, and I would post my opinions on everything, and some of my opinions verged on the intemperate.

Some people liked this stuff. I got an honourable mention as a top British blogger in the Guardian (bear in mind, there were only about 3 British bloggers at the time) and I got lots and lots of hits, over 100, every day. And if I posted on mefi, bless my soul, hundreds would visit.  It might not seem like much to you, but it seemed like a hell of a lot to me.

I moved from Blogger to Typepad and for a while, the shit I typed was really popular, and I had several hundred a day visit, and I was chuffed; then, after about 2 years I moved back to Blogger. Typepad just deletes your account when you stop paying. I would get emails from people saying why are you selling chairs? and, where's yer blog? There was no blog, not on Typepad, and if you looked for my blog, you were redirected to a chair seller,

Back on Blogger, visitor numbers dropped, not that I cared overmuch, I wasn't really after visitors and I have never tried to make cash from the blog; I still had visitors, but several things had changed. First,  every man and his dog had gotten access to the internet. Second, no one needed me or anyone else to post them in the direction of good stuff, interesting stuff, quirky stuff…………it was all becoming part of the mainstream web experience.

And, crucially, I became less overtly angry. The fact is, the boastful fact is, that  I wrote some  good stuff at that time, but the good stuff I wrote was nasty, and it was aimed at people. People would say," I can't wait for the next instalment," and I would think, there are no instalments. It wasn't nice and it wasn't fair.

It was well written, and, often, hilarious (even if I say so myself) But it was nasty. I took a very conscious decision to knock all that stuff on the head, and not to be a cunt anymore. And this is the result. I can't think of a single thing to fucking write! It's not that I am not pissed off at the world and everyone in that stops me writing, it's that if I am not being nasty, I may as well be fucking mute, I can't think of anything to say.

And, unsurprisingly, no fucker comes looking anymore, plus, I really am too old and tired to try and build a following.

So. Lets have a go at not being nasty. The web still fills me with wonder. I find so many books and so many authors that I just never would have heard of,  I should get on my knees and thank the universe for its munificence every day. It gets better though, twitter will point you in the direction of an author, and authors might even tweet and say hello, and point you in the direction of good stuff that they have heard of, which will never hit the mainstream. Then you can buy it, really cheap.

It's the same with music. People think I am wilfully weird in my taste. I think others are wilfully weird in settling for what the BBC or the student union tells them is hip. A few months ago  a Blues fan satrted following me on twitter, and I followed him back. Probably 30 years between us. He lives in Derby, I live in Cwmbran. did we talk about Blues? No. We talked about obscure country music. The dude has disappeared, but in our short acquaintance, he directed me to some seriously good stuff. 2 people, disconnected, years apart, who would never meet or connect in real life, found some mutual benefit in a brief online acquaintance, and enriched each other lives. Possibly!

There are loads of other reasons to love the web and to love life, but it's all too easy to focus on what is shit, and, as a pretend writer, to just rant. The task is, if I want to keep on with this, is to be as sharp and witty in celebrating life, as I was denigrating it. I'm going to give it a motherfucking go. Mind you, I wouldn't hold my breath!

Heres a very good reason to love life and to celebrate the web………….Robyn G Shiels. This man is some kind of a genius. He writes wonderful songs and sings them in an very, very distinct and impressive voice. I don't think he is a young man, I suspect he has been around for a while. I think I know shit, but I didn't know this shit. I heard him on Radio Ulster, then sought him out on spotify and tweeted regarding his brilliance. he has since tweeted me a link to a new song of his.

The angry me says, how come the radio, even the so called intelligent radio, is full of shit when guys like this (thousands of the fuckers) are about. The new me, the tolerant me, says, aint life fucking grand, all this good shit, all this availability of radios stations, and spotify, and social networks, are enriching my life in ways that would have been unimaginable at the Wednesday night discos with the Greboes and the townies at the Speedwell in 1974.

That video at the top is a bit special too. It wasn't Jules Holland that alerted me to him. It was the interweb.
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