Sunday, January 28, 2007

A New Leaf

Dear reader, this is my blog. There's a few poems here, some descriptions of places I've been, and one or two attempts at philosophy (see this post for more details). There used to be drop-down menus and randomised javascript post-portraits, but those have been chucked into the rubbish of memory, along with the tedium of waiting an eternity of internet time (ie. thirty seconds) for each piece of gimmickry to lumber into view. There used to be a tone of earnest reverence to all forms of serious writing, and a habit of pious capitalisation (Philosophy, Education, etc.) Hopefully those two things have also faded – but not disappeared altogether.*

In the old days, or at least in my picture of it, there were two paths open for the writer who had high ambitions but no special talent. Either they would either live poorly off their writings and die with one or two readers in their fan-basket and a few works in five or six hospital waiting rooms; or they would confine their work to letters and personal diaries, and do something non-literary for a living, something unholy and sensible. These days,thanks to the internet, publication is easy: free blogs mean that public exposure is within the reach even of the evening poet or hobby reviewer or the spare-time philosopher. Unfortunately, thanks again to the internet, public exposure does not mean wide exposure, and may not mean anything more that exposure to friends and family, the odd lone surfer, and sellers of penis-enlarging equipment. But a poem that appears on a blog is at least susceptible to broader interest – it's a step beyond just scribbling something down on a spare piece of refil. Isn't it?

Don't expect any novels here though, or any fully-informed and up-to-date reviews of recent literature, or any in-depth meditations on the meaning of personal identity. Expect a tapestry of loose ends, a corpus of miscellany. Think disorganised dilettante. Imagine your bog-standard blog: rambling, spontaneous, personal, fragmented; then take out the “personal” bit, and that's about what you'll find here.

I called this blog “New Leaves” because the name was short and vague and had no jarring sonic features and because the blog was meant as a continuation of the academic work, at school and university, which I had an unhealthy attachment to. As it happens, I'm still part of academia, a minor apprentice in the beginning stages of the first part of academic infancy. But there's a good chance I won't be a part of that rich and daunting world for longer, so the name still fits. And I designed the blog with the title in mind, so it should fit visually. That's why my blog is still called New Leaves, and I offer appropriate mental gestures for thwarting or rewarding (whatever you think is appropriate) your deep curiosity about this vital question.

Have a grand and sensual day, and thanks for reading.

*is a sense of grandeur any less important than a sense of humour?