n., One of the more common members of the Blogger sub-species, details of which are slowly emerging with a deeper exploration of the species as a whole. Specialist Bloggers are so-named because of their almost-complete identification with a particular area, as well as their continued residence in, and exploration of, the same.
Location and Identification:
Specialists Bloggers tend to congregate in large numbers in highly localised areas. They can be identified by the way the communicate almost exclusively with other Bloggers in their immediate area. A confirmation check can be made by looking out for the almost single-minded focus and vigorous intensity with which they explore this area.
Colouration and Calls:
These Bloggers have a vibrant, yet mixed colouration. The main body usually has distinctive mottled designs formed of three predominant colours - NV Green, Raging Purple, and Low Blue. Most specimens also sport stripes of varying thickness, in shades ranging from Golden Gloating Glow to Bottomless Black.
You will often be aware that you are in the vicinity of such creatures well before you can visually identify them, due to the penetratingly persistent "pik-ee pik-ee" sound they make. You can also quite often hear them boring their way through barriers* to communicate with other Bloggers.
What to Expect:
Members of this sub-species can be remarkably oblivious to, and/or disinterested in, their wider surroundings, preferring to minutely cover and detail their chosen habitat. Observers will find that any attempts to attract their attention to a foreign element are ignored after an initial cursory examination. Attempts to coax or lure them out of their immediate environs are met with an even more immediate dismissal. Any such extended efforts can result in a rather sudden aggressive reaction, with the Blogger suddenly changing colour to Violent Vermilion and emitting bursts of high-pitched screeches**.
You might also discover that after having finished fully exploring their 'zone', rather than move to a new area, many specimens will continue to review their sphere of occupation in a never-ending loop, regardless of the lack of any change in the environment. Many Specialist Bloggers have been known to spend their entire Bloglives in just one area, despite having completely extracted any possible nourishment from the environment. Scientists have attributed this oddity to the presence of the inhibiting 'Comfort Zone' gene.
The Flippant Blogger, The Troll.
There are several widely known types of Specialist Bloggers, such as The Cookers, the Verserati, the Bibliofanatics, the Eurekoids, the Siliconistas, the Fotonites. Many varieties are further sub-divided, such as the Matchalingas, which includes the Cricneys, Socneys, and Tenneys.
Note: Some classifications also cite Diaryists as an example of this sub-species, claiming that as such Bloggers focus almost solely on themselves, they fulfil the criterion of being specific in their outlook.
* These barriers are quite often deliberately put up by other Bloggers sub-species, including Specialist Blogger themselves, in order to fend off these very approaches.
** This can go on for some time.
Labels: Blogging 101
I can't remember the first time I found out about the background of an author whose books I had read. I can't even remember who the author was. What I do remember is that after receiving said information, that author's works somehow felt....diminished. Or rather, not the works, but what I took from them.
Then some years back, I read a column or an interview which spoke about how authors today have to be so much more publicly visible, as opposed to the reticence that authors in the 19th and early 20th centuries could indulge in. Sure, many authors were public figures back then, but they didn't have to be so in order to sell their books - that was just their nature (Can you imagine Hemingway being told he would have to do 'x' number of readings and book-signings? He'd have harpooned his agent. And the publisher). But today, it's rare to find an author who's not been profiled, interviewed, fanzine-d, can't be met at a 'Meet the Author' do every three weeks, and doesn't blog.
And yes, it is interesting and fascinating to know more about them, and why they write, and how they do so. And yes, I admit I do read any such article when I come across it, because I want to understand that person's work better. But every time I do, in a way, I feel as if I've actually lost some of the original magic of the words.
Because sometimes a book should be like a good film, and the words like good actors. Where you view them in their own bubble, and not really question what the background is. Sometimes, I don't want to know what the author looks like, how old they are, where they live, how many cats they have, why they prefer honey to maple syrup, or any of the other myriad details that make up their life.
I just want to read the book, and think about the world and ideas detailed in it.
Of course, this is selective. I wouldn't necessarily read non-fiction without trying to ascertain if what has been written has been underscored with any bias the writer may have. But otherwise, the book stands on its own. I really didn't need to learn about the underlying Christian symbolism in the Narnia books, because now I keep seeing hidden meanings everywhere.
And so I'm finding myself increasingly shying away from reading the 'About the author' page, and 'This week we talk to' columns. Because I want the book to be untainted by any perceptions that I may have, once I know those things. This has grown to the extent that back when I did seriously consider writing a book (why that's not an option, here), I had decided that if someone did want to publish it, they would have to agree to keep my identity secret. No hints, no pseudonyms, no leaks from unnamed sources. Not just to maintain my privacy and sanity, but so that (perhaps) people would then just read the words for what they were, rather than associate it with the person who wrote them*.
And when I started this blog, the same applied. Which is partly why I don't do self-descriptions. And which is why though I wonder about the people behind the blogs I read, and I would love to meet them....I hesitate.
Not because I have issues meeting people, or because I really love this secrecy thing, but because this blog is just one facet of me, and if the other parts is known, this part be viewed through the prism of the whole. And I don't want that yet....mostly because I'm still trying to figure out what this bit, this blog, really is.
You assume I'm female (and know I'm thin and like my food). But I could tell you that I'm a 43-year old mother-of-three, or that I'm a student doing my Masters in Urban Planning, or a 24-year old guy with a prosthetic left leg, or a reclusive widower who's learning to reach out, or that I've got three or four years to live because of prostrate cancer, or that I'm just another person with a relatively happy life. Any of that could be true, and all of it could be lies.
And knowing any of that is going to, invariably, make you re-evaluate some of what has been written here.
Which is precisely my point. And which is what I don't want. Yet**.
So, to all of you - this is not about trying to draw traffic and be noticed because of the mystery, this is not about some secrecy fetish I have, this is not because I can't be bothered to make the effort to know you....it's simply because I want the words to stand on their own.
* And because humans are innately incapable of leaving things alone, it would also have been fascinating to see the image that people would create of me, based on what I'd written. Not to mention the unending articles by pyschological experts, and others. Besides, parties where the book came up for discussion would have been so much fun, no? Hmm...maybe I should write that book.
** This is not expected to last forever.
Labels: Some life
"It is hardly suprising that the growth of Political Correctness in the late 20th and early 21st century eventually led to extremes, largely due to the rigid adherence to the letter of the concept, often resulting in absurd situations such as the case of the Down's Syndrome boy who was accused of racism for pushing an Asian girl.
Things eventually came to a head in the year 2011, when, during a period of seven months, a series of suits and counter-suits were filed in law courts seeking to ban and criminalise the usage of certain words and phrases on the grounds of racism. Besides white Christmas, dark night, blackboard, whiteboard, and brownie, the suits also objected to songs such as "Brown girl in the ring", and societies such as SPIC MACAY.
These groups, often consisting of not more than a few individuals, incredibly managed to get their cases given a public hearing. It was at this point that the general public realised the depths to which the situation had sunk, leading to the formation of the so-called "commonsense protecting" group SPITS (Society for Preventing Idiotic Tampering of Society)."
- Dr. James Willington-Scotts* (The Battle For Language)
* Read an excerpt of Dr. Willington-Scotts' seminal work on the history of offensive language here.
I'm not sure whether to be thrilled about the beauty of these sculptures from books, or whether to be appalled at the desecration of the same.
The former is saying "Well, they're delightful, and they're making use of something people may not be using. Better that, than have them grow mouldy and dusty in some corner. Besides, books are just a vessel - it's the idea and the words that matter".
The second part of me replies, "But they're books!!".
Hmm...this may require some serious soul-searching contemplation - over a cup of hot chocolate and some hummus-on-toast.
Update: Consider this a poll. Do declare your vote.
Those instances when you suddenly realise what it is you are actually experiencing at that moment, as opposed to what you had been absent-mindedly anticipating. The term gets its name from the auditory reaction that follows moment of realisation, caused due to the considerably deflating and disappointing feeling experienced, especially when compared to the fondness for the anticipated experience.
e.g., Realising that the biscuit you have just eaten after dunking into the hot beverage in front of you, now tastes of coffee (which is in the mug), rather than tea (which you for some reason assumed it was).
Such moments are known to cause much hilarity to observers, especially due to the innovative facial expressions that invariably accompany them.
Labels: A Manual of Life
A state of being in which you love being alive and attempt to experience the widest range of emotions and situations - yet simultaneously and continuously, couldn't care if the world ended right now.
Contrary to normal schizophrenia, sufferers of this disorder are aware of their predicament. In fact, many patients are known to be the first to diagnose themselves as suffering from the same. Interestingly, the moment of identification has been referrred to by several self-diagnosing patients as and "epiphany". In the words of Sarita Nair-Singh, one of the earliest known cases:
"I first realised what I was going through on a day in Spring. It was a lovely day - warm enough to be comfortable, and breezy enough to keep you cool, with passing clouds providing occasional shade. I was lying on the grass in a public park, and while taking a break from reading my book, I noticed a small daisy plant growing nearby. It was rather unremarkable, but the more I looked at it, the more I marvelled at its very existence - at the way they followed the seasons so carefully, at the way they had formed a symbiosis with everything around them in order to exist, and at the beauty they provided to others who it did not really need in order to survive. And these were supposedly non-thinking creatures! And I thought of the whole world of ours, and the way everything fits, and it was .... uplifting.
But then somebody happened to walk across, stepping on the flower. And when I thought some more, especially of our world in the larger cosmos, I realised nobody would really miss us much if the whole Earth was gone. Worse, nobody would probably even know we were ever here. Because, at the end of it all, we're just cosmic sludge. Somewhat sentient sludge, I grant you, but just....effluvium nonetheless. And I realised I wouldn't miss us either. Because a world where people step on flowers, and tear them up so that they can pretty up their houses, doesn't really mean much.
I spent the rest of the afternoon fantasising how people would react if a bomb exploded nearby - or an alien warship dropped from the skies and started zapping us all. It was....enlightening."
Existential schizophreniacs are known to actively explore the depth of the breach between the two differing states, which unfortunately often leads to further hardening of the inherent disparities.
Dementia is an almost certain eventuality, unless the patient decides in favour of one of the two options. It is therefore recommended that such people are closely watched, especially if they tend to make repeated (wistful) references to weapons of a particularly destructive nature.
Labels: A Manual of Life
She runs home, hoping that the little sunlight today, will not have touched the corner where he rests. She's been smiling to herself all day thinking of his oddly shaped head, and the way his crimson eyes set off his green grin. A grin which she's convinced grew wider when she planted the mirror in front of him, and which mirrored her own joy at his existence at this unexpected time.
When she runs into the garden, though, she only finds a little pile of plucked grass and red petals, floating in the slush.
She wonders if it will snow again tonight.
PS. Four inches of snow in April. This is what happens when you moan about how hot it was back home. That weather spirit is one snarky so-and-so.
Labels: Imagined un-verse
Everybody knows that. And yet those damn things keep populating the blogworld, because people just can't be brutal enough to say no. The questions are so.....bleh. And the pop-pyschology ones are the worst. They remind me of those daft quizzes you get in magazines. Besides which, nobody knows where these things originate.
But, since people can't seem to get enough of the things and because I'm so nice (hey! no snark), here's a 3-in-1 offer for you - a pop-pyschology tag the origins of which are known. See? Tag, psychology, source. Wunnerful, no? You have read so far? Good. You're tagged.
1) When faced with the job of re-loading loo paper, what style do you prefer?
c) Dude, loo paper is like so yecch. Bidets rule.
2) Do you add milk to your tea/coffee, or vice versa?
a) Milk first
b) Vice versa
c) I drink only tomato soup.
3) When on cars/planes/trains, you -
a) Are a Travelling Conversationalist
b) Follow the path of I'm-pretending-this-film/book/scenery-is-fascinating-so-leave-me-alone.
c) I only travel by bicycle.
4) When you stumble across a particularly inane theory on a blog, you -
a) Ignore it
b) Mark it on your feedreader for days when you need some silly amusement
c) Send the link to Falstaff, and get some popcorn ready
5) On a spiritual/faith level, you are -
a) A de-powered god
b) An acolyte of the Dark Stone of the Abyss
c) A robot
6) When plonked under a tree, what direction do you favour?
c) No direction. You are a reality-show fan.
7) Your favourite book of all time is -
a) Chicken Soup for the Soul
b) Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul
c) Chicken Soup for Dummies
8) From the following choices, you would select -
a) A three-legged donkey drifting through a Siberian blizzard (geddepun? geddit? wowza!)
b) A pebble stuck in a drainpipe
c) An apple core
9) What colour would you paint your bedroom?
a) Diarrhoea-shit yellow
b) Constipated-shit black
c) Banana&cereal-shit brown
10) How would you describe yourself in less than three words?
b) A Blogger
c) The God of Blogging (that's four words, but since you're God, you make the rules)
Points system: For every answer, give yourself two papayas. If you have selected the same sub-option letter (a,b,c) more than four times, add a pogo-stick to your total. If your answers to the first three questions are a, b, and c (in that order) balance a pincushion on your thumb. If you cannot decide between the options to the last question, go find a dripping tap and listen to it till your paneer sandwich starts growing mould on itself.
What your Score indicates: You can read English.
160 gms of weight, unbelievably and painstakingly added
80 books, reviewed and sorrowfully discarded
40 journeys, endured on public transport
20 friendly meetings, raucously enjoyed
10 blog posts and comments, created
5 magazines, sifted through
2 pairs of shoes, bought
1 trip home, over
Labels: Announcements and such