Thursday, September 25, 2008

We all play games; we all pretend we’re unique enough to be heard...

Apathy Jack writes:

Probably enough out of me for the time being. Of course, I can’t go quietly, so details after the cut if anyone is interested...

Originally uploaded by Brain Stab
Brain Stab was originally conceived of as a place for a few of us like-minded interesting people to blog about issues. We mostly had livejournals and other outlets for pontificating about the day-to-day drear of our respective lives, so Brain Stab would be where we talked about social and political issues of the day – even if we were more murmuring against the machine than raging.

So, I immediately broke the rules and started blogging about my daily existence.

But, see, my life was interesting. Sure, more than once I got too self-indulgent for my own good, but the perils of Hoodrat High and the constant struggle for survival therein made for good reading – and the various people I had in comments and in real honest-to-goodness Life™ tell me how much they liked reading my stuff, and suggest that I submit it to a publisher, backed this up, and stroked my ego nicely along the way.

But, as you may have noticed, my life just isn’t that interesting anymore.

Certainly, my life is better than it used to be, but here’s the thing: my Hoodrat stories came out of a very specific environment. Hoodrat was (and, for those keeping score: still is) a monstrously mismanaged school filled with incompetent teachers and a statistically anomalous number of emotionally damaged students. I had been there longer than many of the teachers, and had built up a strong relationship with the students.

The New school, on the other hand, is filled with relatively well-behaved students, whom I simply don’t know as well as the old lot. The staff are annoying, but benign, and almost all quite good at teaching the children things.

And, as it’s impossible not to notice, my stories just aren’t as good as they used to be. Haven’t been for over a year now. Hell, I probably should have stopped posting the day I walked out of Hoodrat for the last time, and if it wasn’t for Newton’s law of inertia, I probably would have...

So while I was happy to break the rule of don’t-talk-about-boring/pointless-bollocks so long as I had entertaining stories, I’ve been posting inanities for a while now, which doesn’t sit right with me, not for a blog that was, in theory at least, about doing something a little different from that. So I’m out of here.

Now, I’m not going to stop posting stupid things my students say, random reading recommendations and whatever else pops into my brain, I’m just going to go back to doing it the old fashioned way: on an obscure blog no one reads except me and my girlfriend (when she remembers). I don’t know when I’ll start up this new blog, but if you’re a mate of mine, you’ll probably hear about it soon after I do. (On the off chance you’re a random person who actually wants to read things I write, the Brain Stab gmail is still going to go along until we forget about it, so drop me a line and say hi – I’m too much of an attention-junkie to keep the address to myself if you ask...)

Also, of course, I will continue my good work over at Johnny the Red campaign headquarters, where the posts are more frequent than my recent efforts on Brain Stab, and, frankly, of a higher quality. If you’re not reading it, you should be.

To go out, I’d like to leave you with a profound quote, but really, who would I be kidding? It would be nice to think that the wail of sadness from the Manic Street Preachers when they cry “And I just hope that you can forgive us, but everything must go – and if you need an explanation, then: everything must go” would be apt, but more so would probably be the quote from the Mercy Cage’s excellent track The Jewellery Thief which I used to head this piece, where they cynically (and more than a little desperately) spit “We all play games, we all pretend we’re unique enough to be heard.”

No, I think best would be this extract from Jon Ronson’s book What I Do, which I wholeheartedly recommend:

“The internet gives us the illusion that we're wonderfully gregarious people. When we type away in discussion boards and post comments on one another's blogs it feels like we're sitting outside a pub in the evening sunshine with our attractive, cool friends. But we aren't. That's something we used to do before we got addicted to the Internet. What we do instead is perform some empty, unsatisfying facsimile of that. We sit alone in our rooms, becoming more and more isolated from society.”

Yeah, that’ll do.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the interesting stories.

Signed, some anon internet user.

Amnion said...

Hey Jack even at your most boring you are one of the most interesting

Thanks for all the fish


Miss Smuggersham said...

I am going to miss this site. Any chance I can keep up with your literary pimping at the new place?

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