Blogging is…

… as much an activity as it is inactivity. Blogs have no gist or substance. Blogs are pure style. Blogs are a fashion statement. Clear as mud?

Before anybody pipes up and complains that the fellow doesn’t even know the difference between a blog and a post, I do know that a blog consists of individual posts but I simply cannot reconcile myself to the idea of asking the unwary to look up my last post, which would be the b flat bugle call for the British infantry or the e flat trumpet call for the British cavalry, we ex-colonials know such things, don’t ask me how or why.

The kind of blog I write begins with a mood rather than a subject or a theme. It’s like music, really, the theme develops as you go along. It’s like going for a walk in a strange city, roughly in the direction of that funny sort of park or that crazy sort of building; what you see on the way is the real attraction & the real gain. You might even be going round in circles, so long as you are amusing yourself. And others. We meander to wonder & muse to amuse.

Otherwise bloggers & their readers are not very close. Rather like chance acquaintances who got to talking (at least one of them) on a train (rather than on a cruise ship, at a bus stop neither). The reader – like as not a chance reader who was googling something entirely different like Sex – takes the blogger for a crank or a nut, even a streaker, what’s this guy doing tearing his passions to tatters in public? Doesn’t the (blanked out obscenity) know that nobody reads a blog, or rather a post till the end, that most of them are just checking to see what kind of a wack you might be & whether you write better than them & whether you are funnier than them & the rest?

I blog the way one goes out for a walk and picks a posy for – well, a girl I used to know. In music, the notes come to the musician like little birds. In poetry, the words come like little birds and take their self-appointed place in the line of verse. In blogging, the thoughts do the same. It’s all a great coming and going of thoughts of the same feather & of different feathers & even borrowed feathers – a very lively scene. And then suddenly the calls of the words cease, everything falls silent, there is somnolence and the blog hardly stirs, but the meaning of it all dances like a mote in a sunbeam. Your blog has arrived, it has completed the four stages of its holometabolism, from embryo to larva to pupa to imago. Pupa is Latin for doll. The pupae of butterflies are called chrysalis whereas the pupae of mosquitoes are called tumbler – all the mad poetry of chance knowledge which is the modern world for me; it is also the world of blogging. Blogging is like scavenging the land fills of human knowledge & human experience. It is the recycling of all that is utilizable in human thought. Bloggers are the ultimate ragpickers of human existence, of human civilisation in the 21st c. Historians of the future will be turning to us for an explanation regarding how Donald Trump won the American presidency. “Cuz you weren’t lookin’,” we’re gonna say.

Otherwise I’m not a political blogger. I’m a literary, even a lyrical blogger, I’d like to claim (though no insurer is going to underwrite that claim). Blogging is my way of writing poetry without anybody noticing it; it’s like graffiti. I remember they’d just built the new Wallraf-Richartz museum near the Cologne cathedral and I’d gone to the toilet, which was dazzlingly new & modern & white, except that in one of the cubicles somebody had scribbled with a marker: “A museum of modern art without graffiti?” That is blogging for me. Blogging is like the scavenging peacocks of Gonda, Uttar Pradesh, India (back in the late ’seventies), birds looking like stolen bits of semiprecious inlay work from the Taj Mahal scraping garbage heaps for worms with their feet. That again is blogging. Watching it rain all day long in the Kolkata of my childhood. Hanging around the Ballygunge Railway Station level crossing watching the signals hang their heads. And much later in Europe, everythng packed and all ready to go for the holidays, the two big suitcases & the bag can go into the boot but where does the rest of the stuff go? Kasia is asking belligerently.

Into the blog, perhaps? I venture timidly.


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