vintage printing machine in contemporary typography

I’m Not A Blogger, I’m A Belletrist

There is absolutely nothing wrong in blogging. It is a fine occupation. Whether you blog to inform or to entertain, to create or to criticize (literary, musical or personal), blogging is every bit as revolutionary as the invention of the printing press. Mass media, printed in huge numbers, cheaply and efficiently revolutionized culture when the printing press was invented in 1436. Some aspects were not so beneficial – the Bible spread like wild fire, the words printed within ripping through other cultures like a disease. Other aspects were essential: to print was to be able to influence. Other ideas and concepts, information and news could be spread far and wide, travelling like dandelion seeds on the wind. From swaying public opinion to spreading popular revolution the printing press accelerated the development of ideas and culture, made change possible, and justice eventually probable.

After all, the more people that are reached by ideas and by events, the more people will push for things to be better. Maybe I am a dreamer, like John Lennon once sang, but thanks to the spread of words and therefore ideas, I am not the only one. The internet is the printing press on steroids: whatever the press can do, the internet can do cheaper, faster and better. Everyone is connected to the vast web of ideas and words, and everyone can now not merely consume, they can participate too. Blogging is the duty of the concerned citizen: power to the people. Words to the masses, from the masses, by the masses. I can reach you…and you can reach me.

All good right? I mean here I am writing on a platform called ‘wordPRESS’, the author of my own little publication. Not nearly: along with the immense power wielded within this instrument for change, comes the opportunity for abuse and propaganda. Who checks the fact checkers? Who makes sure that popular opinion does not reduce the quality of the ideas and power down to the lowest common denominator. We all have an agenda, me included. Anything read online needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, and a dose of reality.

I am not interested in blogging, the act of informing or entertaining. I write for the sake of the words. The Paltry Sum is a mishmash of poetry, writing on music, books and culture, short stories and observations. I like to think of myself more as a belletrist, a writer of belles lettres, than a blogger. This is not my calling, merely my platform. I hope I manage to make the platform work for me, rather than hacking away at the cliff face of WordPress. I am interested in writing for the sake of the words, as an expression of art, however clumsily or inadequately I might create that art. I am entranced by the sound and the shape of words, and the ideals of beauty, justice and equity. I use these pages as my shield and my broadsword. Hopefully I succeed more often than I fail amongst the beautiful white noise of the other souls who create and publish and give their time to add to the richness of the web of words we weave.

Keep on writing those pretty letters. Write ’em bold, write them real, write them ugly, write ’em fantastically and formally, but write them. Add to the stew. Make a rich brew. Maybe we can all drown out the cruelty of this world of words if we all pull through writing our truths and passions.


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