Saturday, 25 September 2010



This is about Last Month when I wrote 31 blog posts - one on every August day, each about the preceding day - of 31 Yesterdays.

ground rules *
I wanted to write of daily passions, concerns and rages.  A diary of sorts, one that took account of but was not about my present mood.  The first thought had been to write a daily piece about The Day Before Yesterday but trying that proved to be so confusing that I settled for Yesterday(s). 
Each post had to be short and manageable, and with Twitter's 142 character-limit example, I set a daily target of approx. 140 words. 

what happened
More ground rules were needed but I didn't know it when I started out. 
With FB etc. fit for the purpose I should have advertised my intent, and not doing so was an avoidable error. 
Another mistake was not setting aside a regular time to write each post.  I left that to chance and opportunity.  I had the one-a-day deadline, but with no other structure the task lurked and preyed on my mind.  It became a chore to fulfill that had each day beginning with a
look backwards
It played tricks on me . . . was I attempting insight, comedy or pathos?  I found myself trying to find a sensation to spice each Yesterday. 
I had figured 'What Is Yesterday Now?' but I didn't know what I was getting in to.  The project consumed far more time and energy than I predicted. 
It set traps and I fell into all of them. 
I had to be careful not to write about Today, the day of writing. 
It was hard not to refer forward from Yesterday through Today to Tomorrow, and harder not to dwell on the causes of Yesterday's action. 
I was disheartened during the month and several times I thought of giving it up. 

then what happened
The capture of brilliant moves and noteworthy events was in my mind, but there weren't many, if any, of either in a month of my yesterdays. 
I come to realise that I'm not as stable as I'd thought, that my days are very uneven.  I'm not as rational, considered or as spontaneous as I'd imagined.  All about my yesterdays-all about me, and I find that I do have a focus - somehow, my time does produce something.  I was part reassured by that normality. 
How determined or capricious had been my intent?  What would have happened had I got sick or had a crisis befallen me?
I have become more adept at posting up blog-posts although many Yesterdays tested me to write and bored me to read.  31 days straight - 31 posts.  A post-a-day is self-entrapment.  Some posts were very rough.  Were there any good ones?  There was little time to edit.  As I became more assured in the habit, and more confident in the mechanics of posting,
Yesterday got longer and gained pictures but was there a thread? . . . and that begs the obvious question: Why would I expect anyone to want to read them? Blogger and FB friends might well have hidden me from news-feeds for over-productivity. 
My answer is always the same to that: If I don't do it, nobody will have the chance and it's up to you (me) whether they get to read it or not. 

(And then I wrote this.)
Yesterday :01 August 2010

*I hoped to find a voice in the 'playful environment of language: irony, flirtation and ambiguity', and weave a spell of clarification. The Academic.

Sunday, 19 September 2010


I've just watched a video posted by a b-uncut friend (link). I wouldn't have made it through all 3 mins:33 secs. had I not been virtually invited by the maker.

The virtual connection was probably the most telling part of my watching experience for how else would the artist have found me as a viewer, and without the virtual how might I have seen this video at all?

There is in fact nothing I wanted to say about the work which left me cold, failed to absorb me and told me nothing of the past, present or future that I didn't already know. The work isn't awful, it has merits, it is a good try and I like that.
To be gratuitously acerbic and while I have my kicking boots on: it is entirely predictable in the shaky emotive camera work, the imagery is neither revealing nor is there a surprise; the gimmickry is amateurish and the soundtrack tacked on top could equally well be wired into the ears whilst wandering around the Taj Mahal or riding on a bus. Perhaps I'm revealing too much in mentioning that the piece is entitled 'Trip'. Notwithstanding all, I 'liked' it.
I wonder though whether I'm giving the artist, the work, or me the viewer, a fair crack by seeing it in this fashion?
I'm tempted to answer my own question with a 'yes' because it is a video short made for YouTube, so on YouTube or similar is how to see it.

I could have pasted my thoughts into the comment box where you find smiley emoticons and not-all else, but, why bother going to all the trouble just to slate a piece of work in the way I have? Have any of us got the time to respond?
Everything has its own terms, and there is the argument to consider that the work with an online presence stands or falls by those parameters alone. A vid on YouTube dies or thrives on views. Merit is defined and criticism encapsulated by view figures. Why work harder, why buck that system?
Is this then the quality of criticism we must rely on for poems, prose-pieces, paintings, music and for all work put up on the web?

" Everyone says, I love it, great job, all those wonderful things a person wants to hear. That's bullshit. It can't all be good (so I must trust the judgement of those who expect more. "
. . . complains Mr Botched Resolution (link), and he's right.

'Good work', a 'like', a smiley emoticon is all you get criticism-wise online, and it is easy to like a poem, image, prose piece or clip. The painting online does not impinge on your space, the poem doesn't collect dust or boring beetles or get damp, music and videos get dropped into the software and are only missed or even remembered in random selection or when the system fails.
For a painter, viewing paintings online is the hardest. I suspect I like a lot on the screen that would grieve me if I were to see the work live. By the same token I must miss as much and when you can't trust your judgement in this way, almost any criticism seems out of place.
You have to sit through the movie, to read the whole book, to pay attention to that song . . . to plough to the poem's end before the investment in time gives one the ability, gives the liberty to criticize.
Online, if I don't like one thing - gone it is in a click and here comes the next. Why stop to examine?
The critical flaw in online criticism is that there is no middle ground, no hesitance, no lingering or gathering appreciation. If there's the slightest uncertainty we click past and say nothing. We get nothing back either, or nothing between 'its great' and a mad blast of obscenities.
Occasionally I get advertising - now that's an odd one.
'How exciting!' I think. 'I have a response' but not a comment on my work, instead: an invitation to view someone else's or to buy a something else completely.