Monday, November 21, 2005

gotta have some of your attention

I've been moving through a fog lately. Since the surgery, I still haven't recovered any sort of motivation to do anything constructive. Add to that a dash of self-inflicted issues, and that makes a good, healthy dose of procrastination.

I read an article Saturday that hit home a little too hard. Here's an excerpt (the bolding wasn't in the original article... it's where I'd like to add extra emphasis):

"... 'reality is becoming indistinguishable from representation in a qualitatively new way.' He describes the gradations of representation from 'real real' to 'unreal real' and suggests that the effect of witnessing - and internalizing - such tiers is that we don't need televisions or laptops to be effected by mediated imagery. When we get dressed, we may consider out outfit's impact on others or unthinkingly compare the look to models we see in magazines. When we drive out VWs we might wonder if we look as quirky as the guy in the commercial (we're blasting Aphex Twin too!). When we go on vacation, experiencing isn't enough: we photograph, videotape, blog, post to Flickr. But why? Isn't direct experience enough? Or do we need technology to validate our experiences? Exactly, says Zengotita: mediation flatters us. We're the ones pushing the buttons, whose life is so important it must be chronicled, transmitted and repurposed. (I blog therefore I am.) 'The flattered self is a mediated self,' Zengotita writes, 'and the alchemy of mediation, the osmotic process through which the reality and representation fuse, gets carried into our psyches by the irresistible flattery that goes with incessantly being addressed.'"

– from "Unmediate Yourself" by Paul Schmelzer, AdBusters, Vol. 14, No. 1, Jan/Feb 2006, #63 / FULL ARTICLE

It makes sense. Why am I doing this? Why do I have a weblog? I don't have anything important to say?

In my case, it probably boils down to the need to communicate. I don't communicate well in person, so I feel the need to spit it out there for anyone to stumble on and read, and maybe... just maybe... people will react and respond. Does it all boil down to me needing attention?

Am I really like that?


posted by Jennifer at 11/21/2005 07:23:00 PM

Blogger AKA said...

Interesting stuff...

I don't think direct experience is enough...we like to record our experiences because memories are fallible and fade, and also it is nice to make a record of events either for ourselves to refer back to, or for other people to vicariously enjoy them.

As for blogging, well, everything is filtered through our own perceptions of events and the way we look at the world, so it's never a true record. But I find writing (sometimes) helps me make sense of things, and articulating things gives them a more solid shape than the mess of stuff sloshing about in my head.

As to "why blog?", well, why not? First and foremost, I blog for myself. And there is a tiny cabal of bloggers who I read on a regular basis (yours included), because I am genuinely interested in two things: what you have to say and, just as if not more importantly, how you say it.

Embrace The Blog! I don't believe blogging is about attention seeking (well, for some people it is, but I don't think that is the case with you). If it was just that, we'd create hugely popular blogs full of hot-button topics like porn, politics, controversy, etc.

Damn, I'm rambling, and I've hijacked this comments thread. Shutting up now...

11/22/2005 01:51:00 AM  

Blogger Brianne K. said...

your blog isn't about attention, and neither is mine. ok, one of mine kinda is, but in the i-want-to-be-a-photographer-in-the-far-off-someday sense. anyway, it's just our way of communicating with the world, and a few people in particular. although that 360 days one... just kidding.

11/22/2005 07:39:00 AM  

Anonymous b aranoia said...

Direct experience is not enough for me, because I never remember it. Not properly, anyway.

For "blog" read "diary" or "column", even: nothing new there except the volume of readers and the facility of communicating with the writer. It's one person talking, hopefully being listened to and maybe even engaged in conversation.

"We read to know that we are not alone" - maybe that's why we write too. Some of us don't blog, and only leave comments. I am the remora on the shark of your blogs.

[from the Word Verification Dictionary of B:
auvqun (n, Sanskrit): fear that the life you live is not your own.]

Get better soon, Jen.

11/22/2005 08:38:00 AM  

Blogger AKA said...

Yeah, but it's one of my ambitions for 2006 to turn you into a blogger, B.

Be The Shark!

11/22/2005 09:09:00 AM  

Blogger Jennifer said...

AKA: Good point. I think I will embrace my weblog. ::hugs weblog:: :^) I do like to think (hope!) there are some out there who enjoy peeking in on my little life from time to time.

Brianne: Yes, my weblog is my surrogate phone, I suppose. I guess I just use it when I'm too scared to call people (always).

Mysterious B: You're welcome to hang around all you'd like. Though, I'd probably be a loyal reader if you were to have your own page.

11/23/2005 07:21:00 AM  

Blogger Paul Schmelzer said...

Thanks for the mention, Jennifer. If any of your readers want to check out the full article, I posted it on my blog. The point I end up making is to be suspicious of overmediation, not necessarily to cut out blogging and TV watching, etc. Just to ask the questions you're asking--about what it means to blog or what you get out of it--seems valuable.

11/23/2005 08:09:00 AM  

Blogger Jennifer said...

Thanks for the link, Paul! I didn't realize you'd have it posted anywhere. All that typing for naught. ha! :^)

And the article is great. Thank you for sharing.

11/27/2005 12:59:00 PM  

Blogger Penny said...

Very interesting. However, I think you have it right.. especially in a world where we are becoming more and more desensitized, dehumanized and cut off from any meaningful interaction, filled up by media and magazines and want instead of hope... It's not so much "I blog therefore I am".. it's an outstretched arm, waving hello, dropping a message into the bottle, into a huge ocean, hoping someone will find it and understand.. it's communication and the tantilizing prospect of having someone 'get' you.

I blog, therefore, I am known, understood and not alone.

12/06/2005 06:00:00 PM  

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