When I started this blog, I didn’t have any particular idea for what it would be. Slice-of-life? News commentary? A place to share new music I found? Somewhere to trepidatiously dispense fiction or – dare I suggest – poetry? Over time, it’s ended up as more of the second. I’ll read some news article that pisses me right off, and as my main response to that is to vent my frustrations in word-form, this blog bore the brunt.
Although I appreciate having a space for that, and although news topics are Important, it’s really not my favorite sort of rant. Gender matters, political matters, economic matters… they do matter, and the emotional investment can drive some strong and stirring prose. However, it’s just a loud yell in an echo chamber. The more Important something is, the less attention anyone pays to the writing itself, the reasoning itself. People tend not to respond to the argument itself, but rather to whatever they think the argument is — which is usually based more on their pre-existing views on the subject. If they pay attention to the writing at all, often it’s little more than the first paragraph, or perhaps just the title.
You’d think I was being hyperbolic, but some commenters on an old entry proved otherwise. They were absolutely certain that they knew what the post was about better than I did, and asserted that i was really writing about one specific case — despite the clear thesis statement to the contrary, despite the fact that 90% of the article was an exploration of that thesis, despite the clear disclaimer that most of the facts of that specific case were unknown. It didn’t matter how clearly I indicated that the post was distanced from that matter — was, in fact, a response to the type of response one individual had, not only to that case but to all others like it. It didn’t matter that this individual’s reaction wasn’t even unique to him, that it was held by many people who heard about that case and all others like it. No matter how clearly I indicated that the post was a general exploration of the phenomenon at large, nothing more specific than a template — these commenters could not acknowledge it. They knew what they wanted the post to be about — and nothing, not even the post itself, could dissuade them.
That’s the peril of writing about anything “sensitive” or “political” or “controversial.” Despite how important it is, despite the greater need for empathy and understanding others’ perspectives, those are the very issues about which we’re most unwilling — perhaps even incapable — of changing our minds. Blame self-delusions, or logical fallacies. Blame being human.
But it might be another fallacy to believe that only these Important Issues are, in fact, important. That, so long as there’s still injustice and stupidity in the world, it’s horrible to use any media platform to talk about anything else. Because somewhere, people are being persecuted, tortured, killed, and you’re going to write about MUSIC?
Is it a harsh and sudden gearshift, given the rest of these posts’ blatherings about Important Social Matters and Important-To-Me Coping Matters? Rather; thus this bit of buffer.
But I had intended this to be a place where I could write whatever I damn well wanted to write, this time in a place where people might actually find it and read it. I’m no great communicator; I’ve got no pretensions of changing the world, or even changing one single mind. I am not Batman, nor The Night; my only purposes in writing are not to A) punish evildoers and B) brood.
All I want of this place is to be a petri dish, a neutral setting in which my amoeboid thought-processes can envelop and digest whatever morsel of information drops onto the agar. And I’ve fed my thoughts too long on a diet of Things That Make Me Go HNNNNNNNG,
Moreover, since November seems to be the month for writing challenges, this will give me some vague semblance of direction — and might even have me in here posting something every day. How ’bout that.
So, I’ll be taking the easy route: I’ll be doing a 30 Days of Music prompt, one of those semi-memetic things that bounce around social networks sometimes, as they used to migrate through email address lists of yore. A series of lowballs? Perhaps — but they still might have the potential for interesting tangents and blatherings.
And, if I happen across any compelling writing prompts — or, yes, any particularly rage-inducing news I need to froth about — that will likely happen as well.
For anyone who’d like to play the home game, here’s the list of prompts I’ll be using. I’ll try to get caught up to the present day.
Day 01 – a song from one of your favourite albums
Day 02 – a song you would sing in public/at karaoke
Day 03 – a song you know is horrible but love anyway
Day 04 – a song that reminds you or your dad/mom/childhood
Day 05 – a song you like more because of the video than the actual song
Day 06 – a song that makes you sad
Day 07 – a song you wanna dance to
Day 08 – a song you enjoy but don’t understand (foreign language, singer mumbles, historical context)
Day 09 – a song that gets you ‘hot’
Day 10 – a song you listen to/sing on the way to school/work
Day 11 – a song by an artist/band you wish everyone knew about
Day 12 – a song you know every word to
Day 13 – a cover song that is better than the original
Day 14 – a song from the first album you ever purchased
Day 15 – a song from the last album/the last song you actually paid for
Day 16 – a song you need to listen to again right after it’s finished
Day 17 – a song by the first band/artist you saw live
Day 18 – a song by a band/artist you wish to see live (living/dead/together/broken-up/fictional)
Day 19 – a song that describes you/your personality
Day 20 – a song that you thought was sung by a female but was actually sung by a male (or vice versa)
Day 21 – a song from your favourite movie
Day 22 – a song that energizes you
Day 23 – a song by an artist/band that you have no idea why people like
Day 24 – a song that describes your job/how you feel about it
Day 25 – your favourite/the most tolerable musical number (movie/tv/theatre)
Day 26 – a song that tells a great story
Day 27 – a song you think can save the world
Day 28 – a song you’re embarrassed to tell other people you think is good
Day 29 – the theme song for your life if it were a sit-com (doesn’t have to be a tv theme song)
Day 30 – the last song you’d want to hear before you die