I have noticed that I am beginning to develop a new relationship to blogging. I am finding my comment writing in others’ blogs just as challenging, if not more so, than the writing of my own posts.
I have taken partial lead on this from Mac Rogers. The SlowLearner is also slow on blog postings but he is often present in comment sections of the theatrosphere with his pointed questions.
I have been thinking of the comment sections of the theatrosphere as the subtext to the hyperlink exchange of blog posts.
“Subtext can be a way for the creator of a work to relay ideals, principles, controversial relationships or political statements without alienating viewers or readers who may balk at the ideas or even reject the work.”
For some time now, I have been exploring the theatrosphere as a “fictive reality” that contains both a Rat Sass persona and the “real” nick, as much as the real Nick can actually present himself. In the comment sections of other blogs, my persona shifts slightly, like a chameleon altering skin color to blend into its environment.
So I find myself writing and editing my comments more deliberately in belief that the “real” conversation of the theatrosphere is being propelled and directed from there.
The below is my recent comment at Angry White Guy that feels like a bookend to a long conversation thread I have been participating in, and often instigating or reviving, through various comment sections. It began at Don Hall’s review of a Greyzelda production, traveled over to Praxis, then over to Trailing Spouse Blues, back to the big brawl at Don’s again, then a post at Rat Sass, and then another one. If you look at the dates of these posts and comments you will discover that this conversation has been going on for over a month now. I admire and appreciate both Rebecca and Don for their stamina. It must have been emotionally trying to be constantly thrown into the defensive as the subjects of this important discussion.
Punk Ethos and Writing
…but in the world of punk, if it sucked, you got punched in the face or had a beer bottle thrown at you. In this FaceBook Nation of ours, the call for more civility and more constructive approaches is exactly the opposite of a punk ethos.
Exactomundo. And the punk zines were part and parcel of that ethos which led the way to the zine scene of ‘80’s with its aggressive and belligerent style of writing. The zine movement segued into the argumentative writing and discussion found on Internet listservs of the ‘90’s. All of which leads to the blogosphere. What people call “snark” today is actually the nth generational manifestation of this alternative zine writing style.
Those bloggers calling for more civil or politically correct talk are often Johnnies Come Lately to writing; their blog is their first attempt to actually write anything other than their very proper high school or college papers. But writing school papers was work. So instead of writing, blogging has become more like transcribed talk. This discourse style believes that just by keeping its schoolboy etiquette, its patter will somehow be elevated into something of value. But there is a vast difference between spewing out one’s opinions and honing one’s thoughts into ideas that could impact on the mindset of a reader. So the Snarkless Marks’ antagonism to an uncivil tone is also their envy of any crafted or edited writing.
Blog posts/comments are as public as our art is, but generally the writing is treated cavalierly…“throwing in my two-cents” on this or that “Question of the Day.” Such pandering to one another for innocuous comments effectively lowers the common denominator of exchange and is infinitely more destructive than any “discussion tone.” So it’s no wonder that anytime anyone actually attempts to write in the theatrosphere with deliberation to create effect (as most of us actually attempt to do with our art) an episode of Sturm und Drang is likely to develop among the chit-chatters.
The relationships in these social networks in FaceBookNation (including the theatrosphere) are based on weak ties when compared to peer production. We give no quarter when practicing our art, demanding full passion and commitment from collaborators. If we practiced blogging with just a fraction of the ardent assurance we practice theatre, every day we would rehearse yesterday’s text, honing out our dishonesties and trivialities, not our incivilities.