the state of things

 

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by Douglas Lindsay - 13:58 on 03 October 2008
I was discussing blogging with one of my ethnic Polish friends (EPF) - actually, I only have one EPF - and she suggested that I could write about Poland. During the course of the discussion, I realised that in many ways I'm not cut out for blogging. I don't want to give strong opinions, to try to provoke a reaction; I'm very wary about writing a blog on a subject about which someone out there is going to know more than me. I don't have the inner spunk to cope well with someone writing to tell me I'm an idiot. It wouldn't take many e-mails like that to have me retreating to a dark cave to hide for months amongst the troglodytes of pusillanimity.

(So, for example, when I wrote my blog about how the Israeli/Palestinian conflict could be solved if America gifted Israel a large part of Texas, so that Israel could move to North America, lock stock and religious artefact, freeing the land for the the rest of the Middle East to fight over, well, I just deleted it...)

So, I always end up writing about subjects that I'm guaranteed to know better than anyone. My kids, my books, the way I work, what kind of marmalade I had on my toast that morning. Writing with a giant safety net. (Which is probably pusillanimous in itself.) Someone can still write to tell me they think my blog is mince or that I'm a fat bastard or that I can't string two sentences together. But they can't say, no way did your kid say that, or Thick Sliced Olde English, pull the other one, chief!

So, for the moment, I will probably just stick to doing what I do. I'll write about Poland one day. One day in the near future. However, back on my home planet...

Spent yesterday morning working on a reading to put up on YouTube for Lost in Juarez. However, after a lot of fruitless tinkering at the Mac, I ditched it all. A few hours down the stank or all part of the process?

I first of all created a nice introduction for it using the start of Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues, the song where the Juarez lines comes from. Managed to fade the song out and blend in a suspenseful backing track, almost like you'd get in a movie. However, the next bit, the reading, was rubbish. And of course, I couldn't use Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues anyway, because I'd get sued. If anyone ever noticed it. But it would be pointless to do it of no one noticed it, and then costly if they did. So I ditched Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues and replaced it with the ring of an old-fashioned telephone, which then blended into a creepy, suspenseful backing track. It kind of worked, but not as well as Tom Thumb. But then the reading was still rubbish, so I ditched it all anyway.

If I'd used the actual Dylan line for the title, the book would have been called Lost In The Rain In Juarez, which isn't nearly so snappy. Have just listened to the Nina Simone version, and interestingly - (well, this is probably stretching the definition of interesting) - Nina doesn't mention the rain in Juarez, she just sings When you're lost in Juarez... and changes the phrasing so it fits.

I may have another go at the reading next week, but I feel that this was a small window to do it, before an avalanche of other things require attending to, so it probably won't happen.

Off to Krakow for a long weekend, to play the How Many Drunk Brits Can You See In The Old Town Square game.

That was sort of writing about Poland.

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