Sunday, September 27, 2009

Blogga What?

What about blogs? What about this blog?

My experience with and appreciation of the blogger universe is rather limited. I am not one to devote my attention to the callow, unsubstantiated scribblings of amateurs. However, as I myself sadly dwell in that undignified company and share with them the same inflated sense of self-importance, I arrived at the conclusion that I have not only the right, but the plausible responsibility to pronounce that which I deem important and true.


I have only read four blogs in my life. I was first initiated into Tucker Max, who is the only individual I am aware of that has garnered fame and fortune solely through the medium of blogging (Perez Hilton also, perhaps?). I find his memoirs and musings humorous and I admire his unapologetic mode of opinion, but, as is my preconceived view of this entire medium, I do not consider his writing to be of any literary value or philosophical importance.

The next blog I became acquainted with was that of former NBA great Gilbert Arenas (I know he still plays, but I say "former" because his star has clearly fallen over the last couple of seasons). Gilbert's blog is actually the one that I followed the closest. His unguarded confessional style is rather captivating; it is extremely rare for a celebrity to speak so candidly about his exploits, pitfalls, and rivalries. Of course he is by no means an impressive writer, but his thoughts and opinions definitely smack of greater real-world weight than those of Tucker Max.

The other two blogs I am familiar with are those of close friends. First, Todd Spoth writes a photography blog which is primarily a professional endeavor. His musings intrigue me to the point that they are about art, a facet of life to which I attribute great importance. His concert reviews and accounts/critiques of photo shoots and conferences are interesting, but at the core they are standard journalistic/editorial reports about the processes and practicalities of art, falling short of my great interest which lies in a theoretical approach to art and beauty as it affects and reflects the living world. But still we both put great weight on the question of what constitutes good art. Secondly, Kevin Wood (an avid reader of self-improvement literature) writes a blog that attempts to lay out a paradigm for "success." It contains a lot of musings on financial/career issues, practical approaches to interpersonal relationships, and the continuous chase of life's standard goals. I really find no use for this type of reading. I think the ingredients for achieving success in the eyes of society are pretty obvious to any person of moderate intelligence. The reason that all people do not always follow the standard path is the result of broader issues: Does the macro definition of success laid out by society equate to my own definition of success? What then is more important, achieving the relative comfort and esteem that lies on the standardized path or maintaining a private sense of dignity by adhering to my own criteria? Is either the societal or personal definition of success more worthwhile, and how can that be determined? Kevin and I differ very much in our beliefs and our general approach toward life, but despite what you might have gathered our friendship is not a extraordinary instance of opposites attracting; the very fact of our mutual obstinacy and our penchants for debating crucial but ambiguous issues makes our fellowship a joyful one. Also I think we are mutually intrigued by the fact that two people of such similarly superior intelligence could be drawn to such different conclusions. He is in fact the only person whose argument for creationism I have ever respected on the basis of logic, despite how much I disagree with the conclusion. So I continue to give my attention and respect to his thoughts.


So what do I intend to do with this blog? As I'm sure you've discerned by now, I am much more interested in debatable theories than I am in clean-cut practicalities. I think the very fact that some issues inherently lend themselves to conflicting views and heated arguments is proof that those are the things in life which are most important and, therefore, most worthy of being discussed. I will give the reader the benefit of the doubt: I will assume you are not an idiot and you are completely aware of the superficial workings of the world. So now we can delve deeper into the subjective: the why's, the wherefore's, the what-if's.

First and foremost this will be a medium of philosophy, dealing with both contemporary issues and the nature of existence at large. Also, art theory will be a huge part of this blog. A lot will be discussed about the characteristics of good art vs. bad art and the why's of it. Moreover, critiques of the role of the mass media will probably play a central part in nearly every post here, as it is so crucial to the experience of our post-modern lives (especially when art is involved). I'm sure at some point I will also use this as a venue to exhibit and receive feedback about some of my own creative writing. Overall, I would really like this to be a conversation rather than a soliloquy--post comments and arguments and I will respond.

The name of this blog is Rigorous Pretense. Yes, that is an oxymoron. The point is that all opinions and all facts are equally pretentious {as is this statement [as is that one (etc.)]}. Ideas are transitory, though we insist on their composition of stone; and indeed I will insist such here. Despite all my steadfast convictions, if there is one message I hope to impart it is this: All blacks and whites are but varying shades of gray {and so is this [and so is that (etc.)]}.

*Credit where credit is due: "Blogga What?" was a subtitle borrowed from Bill Maher.

1 comment:

  1. This is exciting. I never thought id see the day when you blogged, but it does make perfect sense and it is a great way to show the world (or the electronic world) what T Heard is all about. Channel all your thoughts and feelings into this blog and see what comes out. This is a good thing.

    And I feel you on my blog, but you hit the nail on the head. My photoblog is really half something my parents and family (who all live far far away) can read to find out what Im up to and half a marketing tool for myself. I have a responsibility to update the blog with new, fresh images in hopes that photo editors and other photo buyers are looking and will maybe hire me in the future. I walk a fine line between censoring or watering down the content given the nature of the actionable goal of the blog and keeping it somewhat personal and informal as well. Basically, I dont want to sound like a total robot with nothing but photos, but I also cannot say whatever I want to say given my line of work.

    I love what I do, but everyday is like going into a stressful interview for me. I don't nail that one job and dont have to worry about anything. I have to constantly think about impressing this person or that person in hopes of getting that next job.

    But I AM interested in that other side you are going to hopefully open up here. Ill stay tuned and engage in the conversation both in the blogosphere and in person.

    war specs: specialty foods!