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Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Honesty in the face of ridicule

I've been reading a lot of blogs lately (and will be reading a lot more in the near future thanks to a thread on the 2000adonline forum). Blogs by writers, Blogs by artists, Blogs by people critiquing various aspects of popular culture and most relevantly, Blogs in which ordinary people talk about their lives. These in particular fascinate me. The concept is nothing new of course, it's little more than keeping a diary and people have been doing that for centuries. The thing that makes it noteworthy, and yet never seems to be commented on (or perhaps it was commented on, when the practice first became common), is that they are writing these diaries, traditionally very private things, and publishing them where the whole world can read them. Anytime it wants. This seems quite brave to me but maybe I'm just old fashioned.

Anyway, my own feeble excuse for a blog - this one here, that you're reading now - has been a bit neglected because to be honest I've never really felt like I have that much to say. I can waffle on quite happily for hours at a time about the telly - and do, over at The Impossible Quest - but when it comes to actually talking about myself, well, what is there, really?

Then inspiration hit. There is a girl on twitter. I can't remember why or when I started following her but she seems to have been a staple of my timeline for as long as I can remember. (This happens quite a lot. Mainly when I trace someone back from a celebs profile page to see what they said to prompt a particular response, find them quite interesting, decide to follow for a couple of days to see how it goes and then forget about them and they just become fixtures. I'm sure this is how a lot of people decide who to follow.) Anyway, this girl is in her teens, not sure exactly how old but she seems to be doing some kind of exams so...

At first, not being particularly au fait with the rules of netiquette, I felt a bit off, 'following' a teenage girl online. I kept getting paranoid about accusations of stalking, for reasons that will become clear in the next paragraph. The thing is though, and I make no apologies for this, she has become one of my favourite follows. For the simple reason that she is one of the most charming and entertaining bloggers I've come across so far. She'll talk about anything, trivial one day, earth shattering the next, with the same disarming honesty. It's not that she doesn't get embarrassed, she is quite open abut how embarrassed she does get, but it never stops her from putting it all out there. Also, somewhat sickeningly, she's a much better writer as a child than I can even dream of being as an adult.

I got to thinking, could I be that honest? One of my 'issues' is fear of ridicule. Or rather, fear of ridicule behind my back. It's a facet of my personality, one of many in fact, that I have never really been able to understand. In person I am quite a jovial, happy-go-lucky, wacky sort of chap, who doesn't care a jot what people think of him and will quite happily make a total fool of himself in aid of a cheap laugh. You know, the kind of twat you kinda like for 5minutes then just want to slap. On the phone though, or over the internet, I am constantly censoring myself, trying to anticipate what those at the other end of the line will think of any given remark, cheeks flushing with embarrassment every time I think I've said anything even slightly foolish. (In my last post on this blog I talked about visiting a prostitute to lose my virginity. I am not remotely ashamed of this and in 'real' life most everyone I know has heard the tale but it was pure physical torture typing those words. Even now, just thinking about it, my guts are churning. I claimed not be embarrassed, who was I kidding?) So, could I reconcile this fear of long distance ridicule with my desire to write something halfway honest on this blog. I was resolved to try.

The thing is though, as bad as my life is right now, it's not bad in any particularly interesting ways. Jobless, Penniless,Womanless, on the verge of Homeless. These things are not exactly news these days are they? Why would anyone care? I suspect quite strongly that they wouldn't. Then I had the idea that maybe I should do what this girl whose writing I so admire is doing. She chronicles her adolescence. Why don't I? Certainly, had the technology existed to have a blog when I was a young 'un I would most definitely have had one. Maybe had I had the outlet it might even have cured me of my paranoia in my formative years rather than have it dig in and establish itself. But the technology didn't exist, for I am not a young man and t'internet, sadly, came after my time. Looking back with todays eyes, I can't help feeling I've missed out on something.

So I've decided to write on here about my life. A look back at my formative years, all the crap I went through, all the indignities I suffered without even realising. Because we don't do we? We don't sit around as kids, bemoaning our lot and woe is me'ing till the cows come home. We get on with it and have the times of our lives. I look back now and I know, with my sensible adult eyes, that my childhood was somewhat lacking but when I was actually living it...

This blog has long needed a purpose and I think this is it. I just hope the paranoia doesn't kick in and shut me down

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