Wednesday, 2 February 2011

"Why are you here?"

While this title is obviously a fairly generic phrase, I'm particularly thinking of it in the context of Babylon 5, where it is strongly indicated that "Why are you here?" and "Where are you going?" are rather more significant questions than "Who are you?" and "What do you want?"
I toyed with the idea of naming the post "The intent of a question is sometimes more important than the answer." But that wouldn't quite work, since this blog is not a question. Nor do I necessarily think the reasons why I'm writing the blog are more important than what I write in it, though here obviously they're going to overlap.

So, why am I writing this blog? For many years I was rather resistant to blogging. Not that I had a great deal to resist - no-one was pressuring me into starting a blog or even suggesting it by any means other than starting one themselves - but it was a thought which occasionally crossed my mind, and each time I concluded that I couldn't really manage a blog because I'd never remember to update it and anyway what would I say? So what changed?

The turning point was, like the title, down to Buttercupliffy. She started a blog, I read it, found it interesting, and wished I could become a follower, but obviously I couldn't because to do so I'd have to sign up to blogger, and that would seem a bit odd if I didn't then start a blog myself, so naturally I couldn't do it because there was no way I could manage a blog (Insert aforementioned old argument here).
Now, this was not the reason I started this blog. It was merely, as I said, the turning point. The thing which started me thinking about blogging, and thus led to the realisation that actually, maybe I could do one.
The reason I started this blog is because, to summarise, I have a head full of thoughts and nowhere obvious to put them. I could talk to my friends about some of them, and I do, but there are always random things which don't come up in conversation for whatever reason, or the subject changes before I've got all my thoughts out, and I don't want to make too big a deal of it and change the subject back. I post some of them on the Playground, but generally truncated a bit, and still not all of them. I post a few as facebook statuses, truncated a lot, and only explain further if someone asks in a comment what the hell I'm talking about. And so it occurred to me this is perfect blogging material.

Of course, there was still more to it than that. Certain things inspired me to start thinking this way, and to consider putting my thoughts online. Now obviously I'm not going to describe all the reasons I think this way, etc, because that would probably pretty much require my entire life story, and I can't remember all of it, not to mention it would take years to tell. But I can identify some of the more recent influences.

1. Jeremy Jahns.

He posts movie reviews on youtube. Also sometimes game reviews, and random other videos just on something he's been thinking about and felt like sharing with the internet.
I agree with him about many things. In fact I've started pretty much taking his word as gospel with regards to films. If I'm uncertain about whether a film will interest me, or I didn't think it would interest me, or I'd never heard of it before; and he says it's really good and his description of it appeals to me, I absolutely will... wish I had more money so I could justify going to see it at the cinema.
Yeah, I don't like spending money. But I assure you, I will watch these films eventually.
Anyway, obviously he's kind of an inspiration, since he posts these videos on youtube of basically just his opinions, and people clearly like them. So why shouldn't people be at least a bit interested in me blogging, especially if they're people who already know me?

2. Jibar vs. Rutskarn

For those of you who know me from real life rather than the Playground, Jibar and Rutskarn are two posters from that illustrious forum. A while back, they started making these Let's Play videos. I had never watched Let's Play videos before, but I watched these because it was Jibar and Rutskarn, and that's an obvious recipe for hilarity. They don't talk a great deal about the actual games they're playing in general, but instead just chat randomly while playing it. But it's funny.
Anyway, as so often happens when I come across something new which interests me, I start wondering: "Could I do that?" And the answer is, well obviously not quite the same, not least because there's only one of me. But I could have some interesting insights and whatnot into games I've played. It could happen. On the other hand, I don't know how to go about recording such a video, issues with finding the time to do so, etc, etc. But then, when the idea of blogging had been put into my head, it occurs that this is somewhere I could put those thoughts. There wouldn't be the video footage, but I could have some screenshots, maybe, and hopefully some readers will have played the game in question, so they'd get it.

3. CurlyKitGirl

Yeah, Playgrounders should've seen this coming. When one worships a fellow forumite as a Goddess, it can only be a matter of time before she is mentioned in one's blog.
Now, one of the reasons Curly is hailed as the Goddess of the Written Word is her natural affinity for English. As in, the academic subject. She appears, at least, to analyse things more or less instinctively, and insightfully just as a matter of course. And sometimes she posts these analyses for us to read. And it occurs to me that, while I haven't studied English academically for over four years, I can still do this sort of analysis, at least to some extent, and she has somewhat rekindled my interest in doing so. But I'm unlikely to do so in any sort of systematic fashion, so posting it on the Playground could get a bit odd, since I'd be dotting around all over the place. But a blog? I can do what I like on a blog.

Additional credit may go to a certain Dame Hannah/Fairy Queen/Baroness von Krakenfeldt, for talking about directing things and being critical of things, thus making me think about hypothetical directing ideas and enhancing my ability to be critical.
Possibly also Yahtzee (, whose reviews I also watch (Though I certainly don't take his word as gospel given his excessively high standards), again for further developing my ability to look at things critically.

So the result of all this is that while doing various things I started to have an internal monologue as if I were describing the thing and talking about it to some hypothetical audience. Had I been able to transcribe this internal monologue directly, it would have given me several pre-written blog posts. As it is, I will hopefully be able to reconstruct some of the thoughts I had in an interesting fashion.

So, that would be why I'm writing this blog. I realise that so far this blog hasn't been about anything really, it's been about itself ("That's like breaking the ninth wall, it's pointless." "Maybe this whole thing is pointless...") but I promise that I will make some posts which have actual non-meta content in them (Though that said, one Playgrounder commented after my first post that it had interesting content, so YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary) I guess).

As a sidenote by the way, where I'm including acronyms and then explaining them? I only intend to explain each one once. The next time you see that acronym, you will be expected to remember it. Friendly warning.
Bye now.


  1. Yay I get mentioned a second time! I'm glad that my blogging is of enough interest to you to consider blogging yourself.
    I love reading what people think and what they want to talk about without interruption from anyone else. It's different to having a conversation and has a completely different result in the end. I await with anticipation for your next blog =D (I check the blogspot roll that I have roughly every couple of hours ¬¬ feel free to blog frequently).

    I love acronyms, I just hope I remember them all!

  2. A few things.

    1. Yay ramblings! I needed a good new distraction from life.

    2. Are the colours supposed to be headache-inducing?

    3. Why not compile a glossary of acronyms so that you don't compromise accessibility by not defining them?

  3. 1. It's good you like ramblings, because I have difficulty stopping.

    2. No. Are they?

    3. Well that wouldn't forcibly indoctrinate my friends into internet culture of which they may not have hitherto been aware at all, now would it?

  4. 1. Awesome, because the L-brain needs lots of input before meaningful output can be created.

    2. IMHO, this particular combination of purple and red is an eyesore at best.

    3. This is true. However, in my experience, indoctrination is rarely as effective as requiring individuals to expend some amount of effort (however insignificant) in a search for knowledge, if only so that they don't appear less well-informed than their peers.

  5. Well, I am requiring them to expend some effort in search of knowledge. They can read the relevant post.
    It's just the people who join later who may have a problem.

    I may fiddle about with the colours a bit more.