I don’t know what possessed me to subtitle my blog name as “The Culture Blog” when I first started it. Was I trying to sound more professional or pretentious? Of course, I wouldn’t deliberately want to sound pretentious, I am not as cool as that. I’ve been trying to sift through my mind to about a year ago when I started this blog. I think I thought that if I sounded professional and cool, if I have a sort of Scandinavian clear and sleek vibe to my blog, the readers would come. I hate to use the social media term for readers, “followers”, because it makes me sound like I’ve started a cult. My blog is still sort of clean. As you can see, I am not much of an artist or web page designer. And, oh, here comes another of those pretentious words again, I don’t think I have much “creativity” when it comes to that sort of thing.
I think my initial plan with this blog was to have a sort of reflective, humorous essay on one day of the week and reviews of books, TV and music on other days. Hence the name, “Of Opinions”, as it would actually be about opinions that I would have had on cultural, artistic things that people consume. I didn’t know or understand anything about monetizing (still don’t), but I thought that this could seriously be that sorta platform where I could talk about that sorta thing and get that sorta “traffic” and have that sorta “success” that culture blogs do. Yes, yes, pretensions galore but who’s ever done anything in life without having the cheek to do it first?
Of course, I had no idea of how to get this blog going. I stopped writing because, well, that’s what I thought my fate with blogs was. It had worked so far, by not working at all. I am not a quitter with most things in life. I wish I was. I wish I didn’t stick to things and people who had gone past the level of “taken for granted” long ago. Blogs are easier to quit however, and therein lies the difference. It is something that you are doing for yourself. And you can simply not do it. It is easier to give up than say, smoking, because it is not caught up with other things. It is not meant to be a solution or escape to other things.
What is blogging success? Can we truly understand the phenomenon before we are past it? I would say blogging is tamer and more old-school than other social media. In fact, I knew of blogging before I came to know of the term ‘social media’. Back when it was one platform instead of connected to many. Where you got to know a person through one medium and then added another instead of having it all in front of you.
But coming back to this blog being a “culture” blog, it was just my way of captioning its intent instead of saying “books, films, music etc.”. I am not qualified to talk about culture. I do have a certain university degree in something associated but what I have learnt by getting formal qualifications is that they are no more than a permanent ticket to be where you want a chance to be in. They don’t mean anything beyond. Once you are ready to gain knowledge you must reconcile yourself to the fact that you can never be an expert. At anything. And that is not the goal either. If you want to know, you will keep knowing. There are no final semesters to that.
And that is culture. Culture is what we do with ourselves while we exist. It isn’t a separate, “arty”, pretentious thing. Because I did my degree in something, everyone I come across takes me to be an expert in that and an ignoramus in everything else in life. I can do some things in life but I can no way guarantee that I shall be able to do them again. Life isn’t like that, so why should I be? Culture is what is happening at that moment. Not an achievement. Not an event. Just what these random member(s) of the human race is(are) doing at that moment. And witnessing that. And trying to make sense of that. What that act is and what it means.
For an opinion blog, I don’t think I have that many opinions. I think it is because a)I am too lazy to have them all the time and b) too peace-loving to call for argument. But I still quite like my blog name. There is something dissociative about it. Like people who know me wouldn’t think it is me unless I tell them. And that, I think is the reason for my, excuse the last pretension I shall have in this post, “renaissance” here, for I gave up on this blog nearly a year ago only to come back last month, I don’t know why. But, what I have been doing is writing things I would ordinarily talk to people about if they would listen. But they don’t, you see, and is that why writing was invented? Do I write so that I do not have to speak? I must say I have had an excellent “following” so far. Novelists, musicians, activists, etc. People I would have thought too cool to be interested in what I have to say in real life. And no way would this diverse group have been in a cult unless that cult was culture. Thank you for reading. Thank you very much.