a supposedly fun thing etc. – part 2

There is something bugging me about this blog, which might be the same thing that has been bugging me about most of my writing lately. I think it’s that I’m doing this whole Cool-Ironic thing with writing, and it’s really pretentious now: it’s the 21st century; the Ironic writers are done. You don’t see the Cool-Ironic in bookstores really now, except in the work of Lemony Snickett and some others.

I don’t know why it bugs me.


a supposedly fun thing I am retrying

(Notice, please, my sheer incapability of coming up with genuine O.C.[1])

Of making many blogs there is no end, and much blogging is a weariness of t)he flesh.[2]

Let’s be honest: Blogger is Google’s unwanted child. There is not much to do customization-wise; the blog which you toil at will end up looking pretty much like some other .blogspot site out there. The Android app is embarrassingly inept. It isn’t very fulfilling. It isn’t very fun.

And so here I am starting a new blog on WordPress. At the moment I am envisioning a blog shot through with a sort of hyperminimalism w/r/t[3] design and content, generally devoid of links and images (which will very likely be detrimental). A kind of aesthetic of self-contained anti-aestheticism. Whatever that means. Just look at the blog.

In my last blog, I got into a slump in which I wrote *shudder* poems. I read (read: reed) it and it’s terribly awkward. I have no idea why, but starting a new blog seemed like the best thing to remedy the awkwardness.

I suffer from poor vision, both in real life and in most projects. I do not know what this blog will be about, how it will end up. Most things in life seem to be like that. In any case, my later posts should set the tone fairly clearly, but a tone doesn’t have to be the defining characteristic of a blog, I don’t think. I may be wrong.

Very often my writing and my posts reflect, either explicitly or in spirit, what I am reading, listening to, or watching. For example, I once wrote and posted a 100-plus-line “what-in-the-world-is-this-talking-about”-sort of poem about some travellers who find Priam, Achilles, Nestor, and the whole Homer gang “abstracted into wizened cadavers,” which (the poem) drew so much from Jorge Luis Borges it isn’t even funny. I wrote a short poem after listening to a good deal of Bob Dylan. This post evinces David Foster Wallace’s influence so much it’s a bit sad. (And even that previous sentence is so D.F.W.-esque.)

My writing (or any creative work really) is fundamentally derivative. I have little artistic originality, and whatever output I produce is in response to some stimulus, which stimulus is usually easily deduced if it is not plainly mentioned. Some writers are characterized by derivativeness – Borges, Dante, Umberto Eco, Derek Walcott – but the works of these are generally so fresh and ingenious in their handling of their sources that they are unequivocally worthy of the label “original.”

I can only hope to be half as good as “original” one day.




[1] “O.C.” is original content, if you’re too lazy to google. The title of the blog and the title of this post are both references to two (pop?) cultural references, to wit: Death Cab for Cutie (band), You Can Play These Songs With Chords; David Foster Wallace (author), A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again.

[2] Not actually true. There was a time in which I blogged with energy, and it was very stimulating. Also not true because this is only my second blog. Although: one can easily imagine this to be one portion of a protracted continuum of weariness. (If you noticed, this sentence [the one being footnoted] is another example of my inability to not reference some literary or artsy entity. The literary entity being referenced is Ecclesiastes 12:12b. You’re welcome.)

[3] i.e., with regard to. Which acronym (? [Is that the right word, acronym?]) is another reference to David Foster Wallace (D.F.W. for short, which is, amusingly, only one syllable shorter than David Foster Wallace). I have just been on a D.F.W.-spree* which influences me to imitate his style, which has been described by one blogger as “next-level.” I don’t know what that means, but it’s true. (Incidentally, the same blogger urged writers not to imitate D.F.W., because the only writer who was writing with that “next-level D.F.W.” quality was D.F.W. himself.)

* I have these on-and-off sprees during which I try to learn biographical factoids and trivia about certain Very Interesting (i.e., Weird) People. Subjects from the last few years include Glenn Gould and G.K. Chesterton. (Also, this footnote to a footnote is yet another reference to the frantically verbose D.F.W., who did this trick pretty often. I like D.F.W.)