Diary

Being Analogue

28 August 2006 | Diary

One of my many golden rules for blogging is that the blogger should never open an entry by apologising for a recent absence of entries. A blogger doesn’t owe his reader anything of the sort and starting in such a fashion is akin to posting a moronic meme or a recounting of a boring but apparently “random” nightmare involving toothfall. Besides, a readership probably doesn’t even notice a blogger’s non-presence given that there are so bloody many other things on the net to be getting on with. Besides, I’d like to get away from the ephemeral ‘rolling now’ nature of blogging, which brings me on to another golden rule: write not just for the watchers of the rolling now but also for readers of the archive. After all, I get almost as many comments and emails about my electronic writings from people who’ve chanced across old entries through Google than from actual registered and recognised livejournalers.

So no apologies for my two-week absence, fuckers. How’d you like them apples?

The reason, however, for my absence concerns a shifted interest: a retroactive paradigm shift to the non-digital world. I love digital with all my heart of course and there seems to be something lacking in life without the constant flow of information running two-way through my laptop. Nonetheless, I’ve been enjoying the analogue world of late and I’d like to tell you all about it!

It all started when my friend David and I took a trip to Pollock Park on the south side of Glasgow. He’d brought his non-digital SLR camera along and was courteous enough to let me play around with it. Lemme tellyas, dudes: some of the photographs I came out with on that sunny afternoon were some of the best I’ve come out with in years! The reason? Permanence. Once the shutter has done its business, you can’t alter the image. Every shot has to count. With digital you can take the shot again and again until it’s perfect. With analogue, you gotta get it right first time unless you want an entire spool of twenty-four exact-same pictures only with altering degrees of blur and perspective.

Since then I’ve been on a bit of an analogue trip. I bought a mechanical typewriter on which to chunk out a few experimental words. It’s terrific fun. Thinking that if every letter typed had to matter – if deletion or modification would cause more aggravation and mess than correctitude – then the final piece would be more thoughtful, more ideas-filled, more reasoned.

I’ve also been looking at art work for The Escapologist – the magazine I am enjoying editing. It’s all real art work from the textural universe of pens and paper rather than the textual universe of pixels and paintshop. Canadian artist, Anna Oster can do great things with typefaces.

The newly reopened Kelvingrove museum and art gallery in Glasgow is also sucking up quite a bit of my leisure time of late, as did the Edinburgh [comedy and book] Festivals. I’ve had a ball at each of these things and I don’t think there’s anything particularly digital about either of them.

A slight lie. I noticed at Edinburgh an influx of shows dedicated in some way to blogging. I planned to blog about this fact and offer a few interpretations of it but, alas, my non-digital binge was somewhat distracting.

Don’t worry though, dear reader. I’m not going to abandon the blog in favour of some dusty diary stashed between bedsheets. I’m far to vane and audience-seeking for that sort of malarkey. Besides, I love my blog and my self-imposed form of blogging rather spectacularly. I’ve also landed a rather peculiar job reviewing bars and restaurants for 5pm.co.uk, which will require the passing around of information online for the next few weeks and I surely will not be able to resist the super-procrasto temptation of writing plenty in these pages instead.



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