Thursday, September 21, 2006

sloppy joes

Okay, so you've been wondering for a long time just what it is about, what is this whole ceremonial soup thing really doing for you, or for it's author. Well read on and you're going to find out.

I have creativity that needs expression, I have found that my most favourite way of expressing this creativity is through the written word. I don't paint or draw or play music, I write.

I spent many nights in my teenage years writing, fiction, diary, poetry, nonsense and more. In my mid to late teenage years I joined a handful of BBS's back in the days of 300,600, 14400, or 28k baud modems. Here I started to write with an audience for the first time so it changed how I wrote. At that time I was writing leaning-to-dark fiction, diary, poetry and nonsense, but masked. It was there that I came up with the idea of writing a brick (a block of text with multiple lines written in a fixed width font each line having the exact same number of characters), here is one:

This is a short brick that
does a good job of handing
you an example of bricking
and showing you what it is
to compose such a literary
phenomenon, well, okay, if
it isn't a phenomenon, can
it at least be the product
of a wellversed wordsmith?

In the BBS environment I originally wrote this such that each line had a different colour, so it would have looked like this:

This is a short brick that
does a good job of handing
you an example of bricking
and showing you what it is
to compose such a literary
phenomenon, well, okay, if
it isn't a phenomenon, can
it at least be the product
of a wellversed wordsmith?


Once I started university I found usenet and joined two newgroups. Only one do I ever talk about, a bit of sleuthing and you'll find the other one. Some simple sleuthing at Google will find you the main one. I started posting there in November of 1993 and continued quite prolifically through the summer of 1996. There were long stretches during that period that I was posting at least daily. Here is one such post:


>Date: 10 Mar 1995 22:45:41 GMT
> I am where I am is where I am is part of who I am.
> You are where you are is part of who you are is where you are.
>I am when I am is when I am is part of who I am is when I am.
> You are when you are is part of who you are is when you are.
> I am how I am is who I am is how I am.
>You are how you are is who you are is how you are.
> I am what I am is part of who I am is what I am.
> You are what you are is part of who you are is what you are.
>---== Phil Plasma ==---


Throughout that time I was either in school studying engineering, or working either at UPS or CN and there was very little room in either my studies or my work to express myself creatively, even though there was quite a need for me to do so. Writing just for myself was not nearly as satisfying as having some amount of feedback from people I knew, trusted and came to love, or even from complete strangers. I wrote bricks, minimalist posts, other 'shapes', occasional relays of what was going on in my life in easily understood sentences, more often relays of what was going on in my life in parenthetical obfuscationary symbology and occasional responses to other people's posts. As my personal and working life entered a new phase in the spring of 1997 my posting volume plummeted. My need for expression of creativity was decreased, ignored and placated until it couldn't be any longer - hence the creation of this blog and the occasional return to the usenet group.

This expression of creativity seems to be what a few of us bloggers need, though not all of us - BB and moofruot are the most creative of the blogs I read regularly, MNM is somewhere between inspirational and thought-provoking while L.T is my most recent addition that is mostly entertaining and a lot more personal than this blog. Mercenaria is mostly fact based, pregunto is question based, and Phx and Phoe were active on my blog until they each had their first child.

One last thing I wanted to mention is that I fairly often write subjects or titles that have absolutely nothing to do with the content there-in, so if you were really hoping for a sloppy joe, imagine one.

3 comments:

L>T said...

creativity that needs to be expressed writing is a grand expression & blogging is a great venue for it.
I do enjoy your thought provoking posts. Like I said before you make me think about it. Sometimes I think my comments here are,
"Like totally stupid."
But, that never stops me. ;]

It's a honor to be added to your blog roll.

Brotha Buck said...

Yes, you are one of the more creative bloggers out there. Some of your stuff is brilliant.

moofruot said...

It's so important for everyone to have a creative release... if you don't do it through writing or music or the other things you mentioned, then you end up releasing it in unhealthy ways.

Like butterflying human torsos or something else obscene, as such.