Wednesday, 27 June 2007

When things start

It took time. Nothing seemed to be convincing. Neither journalistic theories, or the use made by notorious personalities and organizations, or Andy Wharol´s 15 minutes prediction, or 1984, or Big Brother and nor even the joining of Orkut (online community) appeared enough to justify the upkeep of a blog.
Particularly, it has always appeared as a nerdy or geeky novelty, which provoked an inexplicable latent rejection. Such discomfort was especially strengthened by the way that the blog concept was seen at the time of such online discoveries, what was deemed as the “virtual diary”. Beyond the tacky idea that the “acoustic image” of any diary generated, this concept used to draw another unpleasant aspect, that is the necessity of texts being written in the first person. This way of writing, for the time being, is trendy! And it is, considerably, the fault of the blog. Rumours say that journalism is about to die. Despite of any conceptual debate on the subject, the fact is that nowadays anyone writes, anyone can have his text published and, eventually, it will be read.
Until recently it was not that easy. Anyone who remembers how the world was like before the Internet boom may have attended a typing course on a typewriter machine and, if he was lucky, he had lessons on electric typewriter machines – the cutting edge office device until, lets put in this way, a few years ago.
Nowadays, in the midst of the high-tech communication shambling, or revolution as some people prefer, there is a constant necessity of keeping up with new devices and jargon such as podcasts, feeds and streaming. The poor blog remains almost outdated. However, if you are involved in this industry, do not dare to say you do not know such vocabulary. The case of Journalism is so serious that even that 50-something editor of a tabloid, who was educated in linotype, runs a blog. And he is discovering podcast… Thus, if journalism is under extinguishment, let’s call the animal protection societies to save it! The Dodo bird could not be saved, but look at the American Bison! It is almost out of risk.
The fact that the above mammal is called American Bison is not a pun to the American Journalistic School. It does not manage to save anyone (now there is a pun…) even less Journalism. One just needs to look at the blogs, which were born in the US, and check out where it ended up. From virtual diaries to alternative means for publications and, after all, a publication itself. It is a thin line that divides the present situation between ending and renewing. What do we owe this to? To the old but renewed voyeurism! “The discreetion and the embarassment of publicising a personal story does not bother anymore those who nowadays write a diary. This generation grows up adapting their routine to the non-stoping technological changes and adopts the Internet to express their intimacy”, states the magazine Experiência, from the Social Communication Department of PUC-RS University (as translated from Portuguese. June, 2002).
Hence, a characteristic that easily crosscuts all the current schizophrenic communication’s behaviour is the first person voice. There is an ongoing spontaneous language and, again, texts in the first person.
That is the sine qua nom condition of its nature. A blog shows the personality of who writes it. Professional or amateur, a blog demands a personal touch, an individual mark that reflects its author. It is from this idea that comes all the fascination concerning it, from the post-modern voyeurism that confirms the predictions of Wharol and Orwell but that some people dare to point out as an advancement on the democratisation of the communication.
I am in!
I do not like writing in the first person nor using colloquial terms or spontaneous language. (What the hell is “spontaneous language” in the end?). I dislike the frivolity that it, at times, may causes on the written context. We had better not confuse the freedom of expression to the proliferation of a never-ending waffle.
It is worth to mention the message from João Ricardo´s lyrics to the Brazilian band Secos e Molhados´ song. "I cannot talk for the sake of simply talking; for that I listen". I have listened many times. But I also like to speak out when I feel I have something to say. I like Oswald Ducrot´s concept of dire et ne pas dire. Hence now I run a blog. And it is called Dêiticos.

Deixis is derived from the Greek word δειξις, meaning display or to show. It is the process whereby certain words or expressions rely totally on the context. These words are called Deictic and refer to the personal, temporal or spatial aspect of an utterance. They include personal pronouns, demonstrative pronouns and some adverbs. If John Smith is speaking and he says I want to read this blog, he refers to himself. But if he is listening to Mary and she says “I”, then the reference is to her. And, in order to highlight the blog I want to read amongst all of the others on the net it is necessary to use the deictic “this” through the gestures, the look, and the attitude. Deixis is one of the ways to differentiate human language from artificial language.

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