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Raised by Wolves

Gaki: writing myself Real

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View. Review. Antiview.

 Facebook caught on so quickly, sleeping giant that it was.  Interpersonal communication technologies are evolving so quickly - to watch the phenomenon is amazing.  You have to wonder if it isn't some sort of communal, genetic impulse, this drive towards constant connection, constant information transfer, constantly interacting with those around us - perhaps there is something in the human animal that wants to achieve the state of being a hive mind.  

Well, when you think about it - it's a state of being in which our own bodies no longer form the perimeter of awareness.  It's the sort of thing folks have sought after since the first shared dream, since the first knowledge of being a self, and being a part.  Since the first fear of death.  You may see only toys in such devices as iPhones and Twitter - but look at how rapidly they've achieved saturation.  So many people use them now, and the trend's not slowing down.  It's hard to look at something that acts so quickly, so transformatively - and not see something spiritual in it. 

Don't mistake me - I'm not trying to sanctify or fetishize technology.  (Well I might be guilty of a bit of the latter, truth be told.)  I haven't yet gotten myself a Facebook account either.  These days, the lack of such makes me feel a bit like an outsider in the church of the Now, while believers help me to understand that I'll eventually get it - and understand it.  And need it, and one day wonder how I ever lived without it.  

It's a position I'm familiar with, and used to.  And maybe it's the only way I know how to be.  

But let's not get too self-obsessed.  I just meant to observe that, before Facebook, and before the heavy commercialization of blogging, Livejournal had a lot more people here, expressing themselves, making noise, and reading each other's words.  Words which took an act of thought and focus, in order to express properly the minds of the people behind them.  Now, it's quieter - more people have found other venues of expression, and a lot of the writing has been diluted by other types of communication - sending each other memes, youtube videos, picture and song links.  I'm not looking down my nose at these things either - I like words, but they're only one way of thinking.  Who's to say pictures and songs aren't faster - more intense - better?

And yet, I keep returning to the word, because it keeps returning to me.  I keep notes, start endless stories - tens and hundreds of pages, filed away in Google docs and hard drives.  Perhaps I'll even finish some that I'm happy with, some day - but for the time, I'm happy to do what I do.  To play in the sandbox of language, molding half-beautiful things, and knocking them down with every other movement and footstep.  It's been enough, you know - to do the thing for the sake of it, just to do it, just to write.  I'm not even sure, any more, that I'd want to be a career writer.  Turning something you love into a career can savage it beyond repair, unless you are one of the sharpest blades.  Halfway through my thirties, I'm sharper than I've ever been - but I understand now that I was never that sharp to begin with.  ;)  

So I wanted to ring in the new year by writing when the clock rolled over.  Superstitious, I told a friend - but there's no harm in a little superstition - especially when it involves doing something you enjoy doing, and trying to be better.  

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Thanks for this.

Yanno, there's an old proverb about iron sharpening iron.

Arm up, Ninja. Let's take on this year.

"As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another," wasn't that it? Always thought it sounded vaguely more erotic than it ought to, that particular saying. Yet I more than agree with the sentiment; wouldn't be half as good at the wordsmithing without you lot helping me out. Let's keep up the trend, shall we?

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