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The Power Of The Press

Posted by frankahilario on f April 2007

frank-hilario-blogical-300.jpg
‘Blogical’ by Frank A Hilario

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words,

Blogging Only Two

Consider now this: Is photography essential to blogging? Let’s see. On my part, I have been an avid photographer since more than 30 years ago. I went out early morning on Valentine’s Day this year on a shooting spree and came up with 200 shots, 3 of them now showing here on The BlogFather. The image I now call ‘Blogical’ was unintentional – I simply liked what I saw, and what came out is what we see through the glass darkly – and lightly. It’s blogical, isn’t it?

With the concept of blogical, I’m trying to capture the source of all our blogging as both from our instinct and our consciousness, borrowing from Carl Jung (1933, Modern Man In Search Of A Soul, San Diego: Harcourt Brace & Co, 244 pages). I want to be able to appreciate what blogging is; now I find that to do that, first I have to attempt to define it.

My invented term blogical comes from the words biological, blog and logical. Applying what I understand of Jung, biological is our nature, which is creative; logical is our consciousness, which is critical – the ideal blog embodies both. The biological part of a blog is based on life, first experience, folk wisdom; the logical part of a blog is the one that is either mathematical, sequential, hierarchical, chronological, linear, scientific – or simply that which seems to most people reasonable to assume.

Because blogging is sensational, heady, breathtaking, we may forget that it is essentially an old freedom, the freedom of expression – except that it is a new form. As I am fond of quoting, Dean Ricardo Pascual of the University of the Philippines has a brilliant definition: ‘Freedom is like this – you are free to swing your arm short of my nose.’ You are free to blog your arm short of my reading glasses.

Because blogging is an individual freedom, it is limited by the freedom of others; because blogging is self-publishing, it is limited only by the faith and reason of the blogger. That is to say, blogging is the ultimate freedom. I don’t mind the bragging, but I mind that I find so much swearing, name-calling, non-sequiturs, argumentum ad hominem, bad-mouthing in blogs, not to mention exhibiting images of bodily parts that do not inspire me at all to do good.

Blogging, if I may define it, is the process by which an author writes and publishes himself electronically. The blogger writes and having writ, moves on. Either he edits his own work or he does not; the thing is that he is able to publish himself all by himself, with no need for peer review and no need to submit to censorship.

I must emphasize: The essence of blogging is contained in two words: writing and publishing – just these two words, no more, no less. Prior to publishing in the world outside, editing is necessary, but in most blogging, editing is more pronounced by its absence than its presence. You will find so many grammatical lapses and spelling errors. Blogspace and presentation templates provided by WordPress and other blog donors are valuable and welcome but are not essential to the definition of blogging; that is to say, I can blog simply using email or mailmerge or even the CD. The images that come with some blogs are beautiful and helpful but also not essential to the definition; I can blog simply with text, as it was in the beginning. Blogging regularly is a good habit but is not necessary in defining blogging. And neither is being able to design my own blogsite for my own blogging. I’m a blogger, not a programmer. The presentation template I chose for this blogsite, which Kyle Neath calls ‘Hemingway,’ is an excellent illustration of my last two points: text and programming. (I chose it also because Ernest Hemingway was one of my favorite writers.) Hemingway the template at first doesn’t show any images, just text. That is essential blogging. When you click on a title, only then do you see the image. That is advanced blogging.

The combination of being able to write and publish oneself is an awe-inspiring power never before held nor beheld by man. I have been writing earnestly for a hundred years (would you believe more than 30?), and submitted perhaps a hundred articles to many a newspaper and magazine in the Philippines, but have been published only once, and that was by accident (Woman’s Home Companion did publish my ‘The Unbelievable Ten Commandments Of Writing’ more than 10 years ago, when a lady saw it in the newsletter I was editing for New Day Publishers, for which I thank the lady; I never knew her name). Of the many emails, I have sent, none have been acknowledged even with an automatic civilized reply like ‘Thank you for your interest in publishing with us.’ So what if I write exceptionally well? That is the breathtaking power of the press to reject – it has taken my breath too many times in all those 30 years. For crying out loud! That is why I have referred to blogging as ‘The Revenge Of The Unpublished Writer’ – see one of my other blogsites: The Word According To Frank. That is why I’m happily blogging; that is why you can find me deliriously blogging on many a subject all over the (virtual) universe. As I empty myself in my blogging, blogging fulfills me.

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