August 31st, 2004


Welcome To My Wold

In my last job, whatever shortcomings the organisation may have had in other regards, meticulous attention was applied to matters of etiquette and procedure. How do you address a Baroness in writing? What's the correct order of procession in a group that contains the Crown Prince of Japan, the Duke of Gloucester, Ambassador of Japan...I'm sorry, His Excellency the... You get the picture. Since my boss had extensive experience in the Royal Household, he was not only extremely knowledgeable in these affairs, he also placed utter importance upon following the correct form. I was going to make some point about the relationship between English form and Japanese kata, but I am sure that that can wait. Many a time entire series of documents had to be reprinted since a prønoun or comma had been rashly inserted/omitted at some point. He was fastidious about this. The Japanese, in that lazy catch-all description which certainly characterises members of the Gaimusho, were also. I have to say he was much better at it.

At such times that you don't know an answer to some query in this regard, you of course turn to a work like [only?] Debrett's. I'm not sure if there might not be schismatic wings of British etiquette that are even more high-faluting than that one, like a Tridentine wing of fruit peeling or a group that refuses to recognise peerage reforms of the 14th century or perhaps demands a return to Anglo-Saxon traditions untainted by Norman dilutions. I digress. Obviously, in this so-called modern world, there's a need to address current methods of communication. The contents of Debrett's have changed considerably in recent years as newspapers have also started running surgeries (a rather Blairite word) to help out . No matter where you're from, there will still be a correct form to these things within the social group and you can be ostracised by both Peers and peers if you muck it up.

What I'd like to know, although not really from a formal etiquette standpoint, is what one does about blogs, journals and the like. If I was in America, I'd probably hand my card over. Hey, I've got a blog. Yeah, you and every other schmuck in this town. Over here, if I was running a blog that was subject-specific (like Filmbrain's intelligent Like Anna Karina's Sweater cineblog ) there wouldn't quite the issue that I'm humming over with this one. You either find this journal by random methods or I tell you about it. I've only ever mentioned it to people that I've got the meet-and-greet over and done with. Cut to the chase, Sarmoung.

Well, I joined a online dating service recently. My mind says to insert I am not sure why as a qualifying statement here, except I do know why. I did make an excuse to myself at the time of joining that it could be something to write about here. Not in a kiss-and-tell way (I've revealed quite enough here already, that's the point I'm crawling towards this morning). Bow locks to that. Although I'll address some of those salient points about social/virtual networking at a future time.

So I've been writing back and forth with this person. Inadvertently or not on their part, I now have enough information about this person to google them, as I believe you young folk say. I have resisted. As yet. I feel a little superstitious. I don't think she has enough to locate anything for me, but I'm hardly going to avoid revealing something on the basis it could. It's a given that at some point very soon I will tell this person my email address (currently we're writing via the site's mail system), at which point she could easily find out much more.

I've got detritus in a number of locations: messages on open forums, photos, music and so on. Some of this could be removed, but some will be there until the sites fold and Google finally wipes the cache. In these days of cheap storage, that few K of memory it takes up isn't the issue it once was. I couldn't disappear that fast even if I wanted.

If I am to have a relationship with someone, they could read over my last year here. They could reach all sorts of conclusions about me, whether correct or erroneous. Might there be a point when we all exchange data keys upon meeting people that offer appropriate access to various levels of more intimate information? Probably. Yuck. It's not the content of this site, it's just I'd rather reveal things on another basis. Imaginary pillow talk scene - You know when I was young I used to think that the... Save it, mister, I've already heard it on your journal. Have you ever wondered if... Yeah, but your links sucked. And that's how I came to find myself naked on the Ecuadorian border... That's precisely the same way you told the story six months ago on your site. I think you get the picture. Since this journal is filled with anecdote, what about the small talk? Cut to WSB, clutching his stomach, junksick, struggling up the Bowery: Control has stolen my routines!

I'm blowing up a smallish concern into a long entry. I'm not obsessed about this. There is one obvious fault in this line of worry - people who write online tend to think that people actually read them with an equivalent effort and attention. I address an imagined auditorium. As the light go up, there's no one actually there. Well, there's a few, but not enough to pay for that level of blog hubris. Deflate that head now. I knew I should have stuck to pen and paper...

As I said, I'm superstitious enough (correct form should be an obvious given here already) not to want to go into the specifics of this person outside of our own correspondence. I like writing and I like people writing back. I like people who like language. I like people who play with it. It seems a long time since I've flirted with someone, however lightly, in the written form. I've missed it. For sure, nothing may come of this in that sense. Sometimes I wonder whether I wouldn't prefer to be a distant enamoured correspondent than a close uncertain lover. It's easier. All that promise with no need to deliver, but yet... We'll see. Suffice to say here that someone who betrays a confidence with Vermeer, Rilke and John M. Allegro (even!), well...Oh, do shut up.

I can hear Cath all the way over in Sydney as she singsongs: SUCKED IN!

One journal I have been reading quite regularly here at LJ is that of Momus. I actually don't know his music that well, although I've known his name for quite a long while. I don't quite see eye-to-eye with him on a number of things, but I do think his journal is intriguing and provocative. He also clearly puts a lot of effort into it. Currently he's in Japan and there are sights and sounds from his stay on offer almost every day. I'm enjoying a Japanese holiday by proxy with him at the moment. He's well worth reading and the comments are mercifully free of both trolls and spelling mistakes, so do brush up on your continental philosophy before you wade in with UR a loOser and sukc gay. His journal makes me reconsider moving myself anywhere. All I really need is some webspace to host data.

I saw Circulus again last night. I'm definitely a fan. They're supporting The Crazy World of Arthur Brown on Friday at the Underworld in Camden. I suspect that is the wrong way round in the billing, but some day soon...

Today, I'm away to Sutton Hoo. Knock, knock.