Friday, January 29, 2010

I'm being quoted at Bryn Mawr.

Occasionally, I ruminate on the meta subject of online blogs and diaries. I get to do this because I got there early, and have stayed longer than just about anyone. One of the great things about being first at something is that no one can come in later and pre-date you. My longevity pioneer status is something I get to retain by just staying alive.

Today, someone directed me to this site. I believe that it's notes on a class about literary styles, specifically blogging and online diaries -- and a quote of mine is at the top of the page:

"It's like a real life serial, being played out before your eyes
with the author making it up as he goes along." --
Steve Schalchlin

I think I remember saying that. It was from the early days, when writing a diary on the net was new, and people couldn't quite figure out what it was for, or what it meant to do something like this.

And look at these notes:
main point: confounds traditional distinctions between public and private
entails reconceptualizing/reformatting of diary genre BECAUSE of

the "consensual hallucination" of the Internet, that "global autobiography project"

paradoxical enchantment: combination of anonymity and intimacy
w/ an illusion of anonymity necessary for full self-exposure
expectations of authenticity: promise of total, unmediated honesty
(less manipulative?--yet possibilities for identity deception on the internet...?)

and the reverse, as text shapes lived life:
both producer and product of autobiographical narrative

Schalchlin's "Living in the Bonus Round": "living autobiography, performing it in daily life"
"I could look for some foreshadowing...but then, I don't exactly know what's coming."
interstitial status of unsettling narrative territory:
hard to distinguish represented from real

I could look for some foreshadowing but I don't know what's coming next.

I think that's a funny line. In fact, in a diary, you can't even look backward to find unintentional foreshadowing because foreshadowing is something done by an author -- unless you want to get really metaphysical about it and assume you're being Guided from Above.

An online diary can't be completely truthful. It's impossible. For instance, I can't share negative thoughts about other people in my daily life, or expose things about them that they don't wish to share. That would be cruel and it would end up with me having fewer friends.

But I can write what I feel, and I can observe what's around me, and I can hope, and I can plan, and I can tell stories.

What living life online does is it makes you realize the truism that you make your life up as you go along. You can be blown around by forces unknown, but, even then, how you deal with those unexpected let-downs is your choice, too.

I couldn't know, when I started this in 1996, that this broken, down songwriter, barely alive, hooked up to tubes and food bags, would eventually accomplish what I've accomplished, musically and theatrically. (And I'm still not that famous. I still haven't actually made a fully produced album or had a big budget musical on the stage. But, hey, I'm not dead yet. Rock stars come in all sizes and ages and shapes these days.)

Those people reading this diary back then, only knew that I was almost dead and careening toward the cliff.

What's nice is the cliff keeps pulling away, farther away in the distance. And this Sunday, I get to sing again. How great is that?

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