First Things First

So: a blog. It's not that I've resisted having one, more that I've not thought I'd ever have the time. But now I feel like I can't afford not to make the time. Why? Not sure. We'll see. Partly because I always have stuff I want to say and no particular outlet to say it. That might sound odd for someone who doesn't work in journalism to hear a journalist saying, but I think we all have tons of stories we'd like to tell that we're unable to convince anyone to publish: maybe some of those pieces will end up here. Maybe someone will see something here that contains the germ of an idea they'd like me to work up somewhere else. Maybe this'll be the shop window that I always thought my published work would be, but usually isn't. Or maybe it's not going to be any of those things, and I'll just end up sounding off about stuff with nobody paying the slightest bit of attention. We'll just have to wait and see.

I remember a brilliant website years ago called My Pointless Opinion. It was written by someone called Darren Star (not the Hollywood TV producer - apparently an Australian journalist exiled in London) and was just a new piece, once a week, banging on bad-temperedly about some burning issue of cultural import - why the wrong person had been thrown out of Big Brother, how cereal manufacturers are secretly skimping on giveaway plastic toys, and so on. On one memorable occasion the site got reviewed - favourably - in a lads' mag and the following week Darren urged any of its readers who'd chanced upon his site to stop buying it, switch to any one of its rivals, and write an abusive farewell email to the editor. Helpfully, he published the editor's email address. In many ways that was a blog, before the term was coined: though it wasn't full of links to other sites and there wasn't a comments form underneath each entry it fulfilled many of the same criteria.

I expect whatever happens here to in some way follow in Mr Star's footsteps: not in the sense of going back to Australia, or dying, or whatever may have happened to him - he wrote some peculiar pieces after he became a victim of a kind of cyberstalker, and the site wound down a few weeks after the planes hit the twin towers - but because I do definitely also intend to use this... thing as a means of banging on about stuff that gets on my wick. Though I expect I'll also be talking about stuff that I like, am energised and enthused by, because positivity inspires at least as much as negativity. Either way, I'll make it up as I go along.


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