morgan_dhu: (Default)
In the past year or two, I've become accustomed to posting on Facebook rather than here. It's easier - or at least, I perceive it as easier. On Facebook, all I need do is post a few lines, or a link to an article or picture I want to share. But there's something about a blog that seems to demand a greater degree of involvement with the text, and I often lack the energy for that. Maintaining my book journal seems to take everything I have.

And then there's the fact that really, not much happens to me except that things get more painful and more difficult to achieve. On Facebook, I mostly post articles dealing with current affairs - issues I feel strongly about. But I'm usually too tired to write extensively and coherently about those issues.

So perhaps I'll just blather on about my odd thoughts, as I'm doing now, and perhaps that will justify my keeping this journal active.
morgan_dhu: (Default)

For some strange reason, I have decided to go back to the beginning in both of my journals and insert tags.

I'm sure that once I finish this onerous task, I'll remember why I thought it would be worthwhile.

In the mean time... it's incredibly tedious, but lacks the sheer repetitiveness that permits one to go into autopilot and achieve a zen state.

morgan_dhu: (Default)

In case anyone is interested, I've created a second journal for myself: [personal profile] bibliogramma. I plan to use this secondary journal for making notes about the books I've been reading, mems about books, and bookish scribblings in general.

It's still under construction, but has some entries.

morgan_dhu: (Default)

So this Tarot/birthday meme has been making its way through my flist, and I've been watching people posting their card without much commentary, and thinking about what, if anything, it actually means.

This is actually a rather unusual way of using the Tarot, and I find myself wondering - since I do feel that there are ways to use Tarot symbolism to assist in understanding one's self and making choices about one's life - exactly what it would signify to have a particular Tarot card associated in this way with one's birthday. Tarot cards are usually used in a situational manner, and are interpreted in terms of current, changing circumstances. But a birthday is a permanent characteristic, not an ephemeral circumstance, and so there should, strictly speaking, be some essence of permanence to the interpretation of a Tarot card that's so associated.

My initial theory would be that, if there is any meaning to it at all, it would be an indication either of some essential and defining personality characteristic, or of a recurring theme in one's life, or possible a direction or goal that, if worked toward would help bring about positive personal growth over the course of a lifetime.

At the moment, I know of two Fools, a Hermit, a Moon, and my own World card - does anyone who has looked into the symbolism associated with "their" card - or who has worked with Tarot symbolism in the past - have any sense of what its meaning might be within their own life or personality?

As I noted earlier, there's certainly a tension in my own life surrounding my ability to be in the world. More than that, I have a long history of activism in a variety of areas, such that it could be said that one of my on-going life-themes is in fact a form of involvement in the way the world works, and how to try and change it so that people's needs are better served, either on a local or a national/global level. I can see for myself a number of ways in which The World does represent persistent themes in my life. Of course, there are other cards that I could say that about - but only a few, and there are a lot of cards that really don't represent major on-going life-themes. So it's not completely a case of being able to pick any set of symbols and make them work.

But is there any real correspondence? Any thoughts out there?

morgan_dhu: (Default)

Ok, if you're out there, I know you're starting to think I overanalyse things, and you know, you're damned right.

But I had this notion, while answering a comment by [livejournal.com profile] jenwrites to my first meta-journalling post, and I wanna write about it, so there.

I wonder if I'm placing more importance on the aspect of being able to see a more multi-dimensional image of people in LJ than in other cyberfora because I'm disabled. (Note, while I have a number of medical issues, it's really only in the past two-three years that I have become severely limited in terms of mobility, so I'm still getting used to not being able to hop on a bus and go wherever I want to go.) A lot of the people I know on the internet are members of various fandoms. They meet at conventions. They know each other in a way that I probably never will.

At the same time, my own social interactions IRL have become more limited. Yes, I have lots of IRL friends with whom I carry on viable relationships, but they are kind of one-sided. I never go to their homes, because most of them live in places that I can't go to, because of one or more of my disabilities. I can't go out and do things with them. Hell, one of my best friends is an actor, and I haven't been able to get out to see her in a play for eight years now. All the physical, real-time experience of my relationships with these is centred in my apartment.

Maybe I'm struck by finding more depth in the context of my relationships with my friends in cyberspace because I feel I'm losing depth in the context of my IRL friendships.

Something to contemplate.

morgan_dhu: (Default)

The illustrious [livejournal.com profile] plaidder started a riff on my meta-journalling musing, which, in addition to being an honour, started me thinking about the topic again. [profile] plaidder wrote:

"There is something people just like about seeing their experiences shared by strangers, and I think that's partly what fuels things like Livejournal. Even if it's something relatively minor like dental work, people like knowing that someone else has gone through it, and checking their own history against everyone else's. And the online journaling thing sort of feeds that jones, in a way that probably is less destructive than the craze for reality TV, which is how the rest of America seems to be filling that need."

I think there is definitely a link between reality TV (Pop quiz - who remembers what Andy Warhol said?) and the multitude of ways in which people make more-or-less public various aspects of themselves and their lives on the Net/Web. There's something going on that has, as most things do, at least a dozen sides.

My oldest and dearest friend has for a long time been making jokes about our culture's growing obsession with the media - including cybermedia - and more pointedly, how it seems that everyone wants to be known in the media. He likes to say that nothing is "real" to most people unless it's been on TV, and that no one is "anyone" unless they're a media personality. And it certainly seems that way at times. Not so very long ago in our society, entertainers were people of questionable character - you might go to a play, but you would never want to associate with an actor. Now everyone wants to be one.

Some people have suggested that we do in fact feel that there is something inauthentic about our lives, for so many different reasons - loss of physical closeness to families and communties, the increasing pressures of the workspace, the culture of fear, the shutting out of the natural world... I could go on, but you get the idea. There are probably a hundred reasons that we might be feeling a lack of authenticity (and probably just as many that argue that this sense of inauthenticity is nothing new, and just as many more that argue that we have never before had the opportunity to live such lives of authenticity).

But in any case, there are all of those people in the public eye, maybe for just 15 minutes, but at least for that space of time, everyone is looking at them, listening to them, acknowledging their reality. So maybe that's part of why there are thousands of people trying to be the next Canadian Idol, or live in Big Brother's new house, or have cameras plastered on them as they race around the world. Or compete on Jeopardy, which has always been one of my little fantasies (my first moment of fame was as a contestant on Reach for the Top). And for every person who tries out for one of these things, there are millions, it seems, who watch and perhaps vicariously imagine that they too could be on the screen.

Is there a connection between that, and at least some journalling and blogging and website building behaviours? I have a website. I have no idea why. I've put up a bunch of stuff that probably no one has ever read or ever will, and every once in a while, I add a little more. I'm not really trying to communicate with anyone - unlike people who have real products or skills to promote that are best exhibited on the Web. I don't have an agenda, some message that I'm determined to get out to as much of the world. There's nothing stored on my website that couldn't just as easily be printed out and stored in a desk drawer. So why is it up there? I can admit the possibility that putting it out in cyberspace somehow makes it - and me - more real, at least to myself; I have a website, therefore I am.

Journalling is less egocentric, I think - there is at least an implied audience - I am on some friends lists - and hence the potential not just for establishing one's existence, but also for creating communication. Which is interesting, because journals were often private things when they were written on paper, although I'm sure that more than one person has written a journal in the hope that at some point they would become famous enough that other people would ask for it to be published.

So perhaps it's not that suddenly, in this society, we need to make ourselves famous. Perhaps we've always wanted to, and it's only now that so many of us have the tools to try.

And I'm still thinking about what that might mean.

morgan_dhu: (Default)

I originally joined LJ because a group of friends I am on a mailing list with are active LJers, and I wanted to be able to read their entries here and comment on them. What I have discovered in the process of doing so is that, at least for the frequent LJers among them, I am coming to know them from a slightly different perspective.

The list that I and they are on has no topic restrictions, and we all post everything from interesting news articles to very personal rants, fears and life issues. You might think that the perspective would be much the same as that gained from reading LJ entries. But there are interesting differences. And I am enjoying those differences. It is giving me a wider and deeper glimpse into the lives of people I've come to see as friends, even though most of us will never meet, due to distance and my travel limitations due to multiple disabilities.

Which in turn is causing me to rethink my intended use of LJ. At first, I thought that I would primarily operate in comment mode - in essence, joining into conversations with people I know, much as I would on a mailing list. However, I've begun to wonder: if I am enjoying reading about the day-to-day stuff in the journals of my friends, being even more of a voyeur into their lives, isn't it... appropriate... for me to give them the same kind of glimpse into my everyday existence?

Of course, I may be wallowing in egocentricity here - but that's one of the basic issues of living on the Net anyway. And it's an interesting one. This is, I think, the first time/place in human society (since our very early days when all the society we knew was the other folks in our little tribe) where people begin from the assumption that they have something to say to others, that they deserve the opportunity to make themselves and their views widely known. That the sum of the moments of their lives matters on a larger scale.

Which has an interesting potential for the future of our political institutions - what do governments do when all citizens begin their civic involvement with the assumption that they have a right to be seen, heard and understood as individuals, not just as slips of paper in a ballot box or fractions of a statistic from the latest opinion poll? I know, this is not a new observation, but I think it may be more of a fundamental shift in Western attitudes toward the relationship of the personal and public selves than many people are aware.

All of which, of course, may just be my elaborate justification for inflicting my personal annoyances and mundane accomplishment on the rest of you. ;-)

Virgin Muse

Jun. 7th, 2004 11:48 pm
morgan_dhu: (Default)

For years I have sworn that I would not join LiveJournal. I'm already spending way too much time online, between the couple of Usenet newsgroups I hang out in, and the handful of mailing lists I'm subscribed to. But I could only hold out for so long, when my friends keep saying fascinating things in their LJ posts and I have no way to answer them. So, here I am, oaths trailing pitifully in the dust behind me, creeping into LJ and trying to figure out just how it all works.

Well, at least now I have an actual post on my page, instead of that blank slate. Will I post again, or will I just use my new status to flit hither and yon, sprinkling comments into the conversations of others? And does anyone care?

Say tuned to the next exciting adventure of Morgan Dhu in Journaltown.

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