Sunday, May 15, 2005

On Writing: Pretentious Self-Pity and Our Third Appology

Casey Dorrell

WARNING: The following is only loosely related to music and is dangerously close to a personal blog entry with all the emo-esque banality that this implies.
(Great Music Download at Bottom)

Writing. I do it well.

It's one of very few positive, self-defining traits which I see in myself. Recently, my personal life collapsed, utterly (a product of my own chronic loathing of self and happiness). I failed to get a job I wanted, losing it to someone who I'd rather not have lost it to. My marks dropped a bit last semester in university. I'm out of shape again, having done little over the winter. I stopped, for a while, listening to music altogether.

Downhill, Bike, First Person
An Entirely Unrelated Picture of Someone Speeding Downhill

But I can write, I still have that. Sort of.

I've long prided myself in the general ease of my prose - a sort of pseudo-conversational style of written academia. The problem is, when I leave the academic, I seem to also leave my skill with the written word (having never had much skill for the verbal variety - favoring social awkwardness over enunciation). In this blog my writing, produced with full sincerity, more often than not sounds like advertising copy. I think this is, in part, an audience issue. In university, my reader is trapped - already inherently "interested" in the given topic. Or at least committed to feigning interest. Here I have to try to entice you to read on (something I haven't bothered to do in this post).

Then there's the additional problem that I'm trying to convince you of something. Of course, all writing is arguably persuasive in nature. Here, though, it's overt: like this song, dislike this group, agree with me. Only, the subject matter doesn't come of any logical construct, it's about as subjective as you can get. There's no real tangible reason why Weezer's new CD sucks (though it does). Persuasion in the midst of defendable relativism means there's no logical backing to any argument I make. In effect, I have to convince you of my opinion's validity through language alone. Hence, we get "advertising copy".

Advertising Copy Paper
The Warning Signs Were There as Early as 1st Year University

This combined with our attempted faux-authoritative style completes the poor writing. I'm not sure what I'm saying here. I guess that I realize the writing isn't always what it should be and that, as our site has evolved and gotten better, the human quality to the writing (the reason to visit us over any other impersonal but more complete music mag) has suffered. For this, I appologize. Not because I care about you, but because I care about me. After all, my real purpose here (as clever readers will have inferred from the opneing paragraph) is to convince you that despite all evidence to the contrary (and by you, I really mean myself), I can write.

Just not here and not now.

On that note, tomorrow we'll be bringing you another concert review from our sole freelancer, Mel (of "me, myself, and mel" fame). And, rest-assured, it's well-written.

Related Posts:
Dear Firefox User,
Dear Firefox User (PT. II),

GoHome Productions - Paperback Believer
(Beatles, 'Paperback Writer' vs. Monkees, 'I'm a Believer)
NPR Radio - On Becoming a Writer (Stream)

Comments on "On Writing: Pretentious Self-Pity and Our Third Appology"


Blogger mel said ... (16/5/05 12:41 am) : 

I have "fame" now? I thought we reached the consensus I'm a celebrity in the making and you're getting in on the ground floor? Has it happened already while I wasn't looking? Shall I pose another question in the comment completely lacking in an concrete statement?

Oh, here's one, way to put people's hopes up for my upcoming post. I don't know if I can handle the pressure!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (16/5/05 3:32 am) : 

casey seriously needs to get a life...


Anonymous Casey said ... (16/5/05 4:25 am) : 

well.. anon at 3:30am...
That's kind of the point of the first paragraph isn't it?


Blogger shane said ... (16/5/05 4:29 pm) : 

Man, you're being too hard on yourself - your writing is good! Your clear discussion on the pitfalls of relativism is impressively eloquent, and I've studied english at university, if that means anything. Cheer up :)


Blogger mike said ... (16/5/05 6:09 pm) : 

I haven't studied English at University, but it's still pretty obvious your writing's are excellent. It was partly this blog that inspired me to explore prose and musing's in my own blog and in my own way.

Don't get yourself down i love your

"It's probably the first time the Killers had people paid to cheer for them."

Keep up the tremendous work all of you


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