Friday, February 20, 2009

off the record

In the first few months of the inception of a personal blog, one tries to inject, immediately, a sort of creative originality to the already tired structure of hourly, daily, or weekly posting. Those of us who blog and also claim to be actual writers will try to write about our lives with texture and nuance, not reaching the respectability of David Sedaris or Augusten Burroughs, but hopefully a step above the MySpace journal of a teenager. This is not to say that teenagers don't have anything thoughtful to say, just that we adults like to pretend our lives are not so banal and petty.

However, despite previous efforts, Country Caravan has become a source for me to post trailers for movies I'd like to see, tell you all about how cool my music is, and occasionally complain about being short.

There's nothing wrong with any of these things, except it makes me feel entirely unoriginal. Not only am I the same as everyone else, but everyone else is a freaking blogger.

The hardest part about pretending to be a writer is realizing that you don't think you have anything to say, and that even if you did there would be no reason for people to listen to you. At the very least one can hope to be entertaining. After all, I may not have great insights, but I could hopefully make you laugh. The obnoxious thing is that most people think they're good at whatever it is at which they're mediocre. It could be writing, singing, entertaining others, drawing, pretty much anything creative. I wish my ambitions were more simply defined. If I was really into basketball and wanted nothing more than to be a basketball player, it would be easy to squash those dreams. I'm just not very good at it. I don't have the physical attributes or the skill necessary. I don't think anybody would attempt to hide this from me, and if I had unbearable confidence and still thought I could make it in the NBA, you'd be right to assume I was a little bit off my rocker.

Yet, in more subjective areas, everyone can be a genius. Nobody can tell you you suck at drawing. After all, there's no such thing as good drawing, right? Yeah, there are those people who are really good at drawing Disney characters, but my 12 squiggly lines here have just as much artistic merit. Right?

The problem is that people are much more hesitant to say that you suck at something like drawing or writing poetry. Oh Christ, don't get me started on poetry! How many terrible poems have you read in your lifetime? I've definitely read more bad than good. I don't know what it is that makes a poem good because some words sound nonsensical on first listen, but you can tell the difference between J. Alfred Prufrock and some weepy teenage crap. But, that's just it! If you tell someone they're a shitty poet that makes you a total jerk. It's a huge double standard.

At any rate, where is this going? I don't know. This is what I thought blogs were before I started one. A bunch of losers whining about life. Can I do it like this for awhile?

Oh, and if you're a possible employer, I'm not usually like this. I'm really good at stuff.

1 comment:

Jenny Beans said...

I went to college with this guy who never showered and wore corduroy jackets with the elbow patches on them because he thought it made him some prestigious poet. We took two writing courses together and his poetry was just insanity. Some of it was profound, but the rest was like he just randomly went through the dictionary and picked out words he thought went well together. Stuff like:
Vainglorious investiture on the tantamount of green / Puritan these wolves and they feast on the blood / of innocent liars. Six cars turn left...

There is definitely a fine line between idiocy and genius, and this was one of those guys who REALLY thought he was one of the great poets. He spit on everyone else's poetry. No one could touch him, but then he quit school and became a shoe salesman.

As for not very tall basketball players, what about Mugsy Bogues? Wasn't he only like 5'3"?