Why write? Well, I guess just so we don’t waste all those years of school, right? Fifteen-odd years of practice…might as well put that into something.
In the guild times someone my age might have been training fifteen or more years as a blacksmith. They might have graduated to journeyman and be setting up their own shop somewhere. They might be providing for a village of farmers, miners and fisher-folk on a windswept coast. Basically they might be doing something with their lives. Poor, ignorant bastards.
Not because of whatever reason you’re thinking of though. No, it’s because we all follow the rules set by our beliefs about the world. Guild-age smithies were probably stout Christians imagining that good labour would land them a place in Heaven. And while they’re not entirely wrong, they were building their lives on inadequate information. But who can blame them? They didn’t have school in the way some of us these days do. They don’t have the free dissemination of complex information through networks of wires, radio waves and electro-boxes.
Point being, I’m not a medieval or early modern Christian like them. For me life’s most important features are twofold:
1. Existence is. (that’s the most important bit of info we might ever notice about the world…maybe)
2. I’m a fleshy meat bag that’ll one day expire.
Except I don’t fully believe that second one. I kinda think we might work out a scientific cure to natural death. I hold out for the possibility. And that manipulates my worldview into one which places curing death as the highest priority. Problem with that is we don’t have the requisite levels of equality or societal co-operation for that. Instead we’ve got oligarchy, capitalism, the continuance of massive inequality…yeah.
But of those, the biggest flaw in our society, the biggest blockage to our collective improvement is that we don’t communicate adequately and generally we don’t communicate effectively. In the UK lots of people won’t cover anything serious (serious to them) in conversation until they’ve known someone day-in, day-out for years, or until they’re 8 pints down with only a packet of crisps to soak it all up. I want to help sort that out. I want to make it so that we can understand and resolve our own problems, peacefully, efficiently, comprehensively.
Communication drove our evolution above the other animals in the early days, and its utility hasn’t been sapped since. It’s only grown in potential with the expansion of what we can use it for. Not just hunting, not just basic interpersonal relationships. Those things and big projects, attempts to understand the universe, creating drugs, building complex relationships, curing ailments. All that and more. Communication is where it’s at. Well, communication and the sciences. And everything else. Life is a complex web of intricacy and that’s why we love/hate/have any reaction to it at all.
So, while handling projects related to that goal of maximising communicative utility, I need to practice my “communication skills”, including writing, including hardcore honesty if that’s a thing. And so…this place.
Diaries are fun too. I find it helps with a lot of stuff I’m struggling with to eject information on it out into the world. Dismisses fear, helps processing, can lead to good advice coming forward, sometimes even helps other people.
In the words of Shame frontman Charlie Steen “hope you enjoy; if you don’t it doesn’t matter.”
I mean it does matter a little bit, to me. But in real terms existential reality will maintain itself adequately regardless of our attentions. “God” doesn’t need to care, because we do care. But “God” also has our back – existence will manage. Don’t fuss too much – there’s no need, is basically what I’m saying. Like, fuss, but only in as much as you find it an interesting and/or purpose-giving activity supplying some essential satisfaction and meaning to your life. Otherwise you might as well just carry on doing what you do – it all works.
Two projects I’m working on (links incoming):
1. [building a new version of the old Corresponding Societies that worked on sharing information and enabling self-education in a friendly, enthusiastic and progressive environment]
2. Scag – a Poetry/Fiction/Creative Non-Fic magazine.
I’m also Community Editor for Hastings Independent Press.