A vain declaration of existence

16 10 2010

By Oliver Atwell

I  remember reading an interview with the British philosopher John Gray. His great dream was to write a book about the history of molars because he was so sick of living in a society where every book, TV show and internet site was just another form of a vain declaration of existence. His desire was to create the driest and least-confessional book ever written. Suffice it to say that blogging is a big part of that vapid society that he’s referring to.

Blogging is a vanity-driven affair and there’s no getting away from that. We exist in a confessional culture. The greatest risk of the world flooding doesn’t come from melting icecaps: it comes from the overflowing ocean of opinion that the internet propagates and encourages. Everyone has an opinion and now everyone has a way of voicing it whether we like it or not.

So my contribution to a society over saturated with information is the blog Like a Daydream or a Fever, a site that concerns my fascination with films that have fallen under the radar of mainstream culture. It’s a blog that’s still very much in its infancy but it’s something that I’m feeling more and more passionate about as time goes on.

The films that I’m talking about on the pages of the blog are rooted in the area of avant-garde and surrealism, but as time goes on I imagine that scope will expand into other territories. That really presents the most serious limitation of the blog (apart from the basic design-scheme): the niche nature of the subject matter at hand. Not everyone wants to hear about a film concerning a woman cheating on her husband with a slimy monster (Possession for the reference-hungry) so that really limits my readership.

In a sense it’s about me attempting to discover and lay down my internal dialogue. We all seek out films or books or albums because we’re looking for someone or something that can actualise the way we feel inside but have always lacked the dialogue to express. Writing about these films helps me find myself.

So if it’s all about me and my love of these films then why do I feel the need to publish it and force my opinions on everyone else? That leads me on to the real reason that blogs can really be a great thing. I really believe in the internet and blogs as a means to communicate and educate. We only have to look at the way that blogs can help to preserve and archive art and culture to see this in action. Things that upon the time of their release have gone unappreciated or have simply existed at a time where access to them was strictly limited to underground circles can find a second life. Through blogs, objects can find finally their audience.

 

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