Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Dr P And The Diary Question

When I started this blog all of six weeks ago, I had some vague idea that it might, amongst other things, provide me with some sort of outlet for all the amassed crap in my life that even my closest drinking buddies have gotten sick of hearing me vomit into their ears (could you actually hear someone literally vomiting into your ear? Or would the sound of the experience be muffled by the chunder now clogging up your aural canal? Why doesn't science stop fucking around with dark matter and investigate something useful?). Since then, I've begun to wonder whether or not this is a particularly good idea. By and large, I dislike the idea that the only difference between a blog and a diary is the medium in which it is stored, and by the number of people who read it (I should probably say who could potentially read it, I'm hardly The Onion or anything). It isn't. Anyone who writes their diary hoping someone else will read it is, I suggest, a tool. It immediately lends itself to warping your recounting of events (by shifts in emphasis, sneaky editing, or downright lying) in order to impress other people. And it won't work. Even if I do find a given person sufficiently fascinating, the most I'll do is read their autobiography (current number of autobiographies read by SpaceSquid: 0). I won't suddenly feel the need to trawl through their endless scribblings about the day the post was late or their wife forgot to get the kind of marmalade they like best. This is not to say that a diary cannot be of historical interest, to those studying the writer. And sure, some people are so talented in their writings that even diary entries (properly edited) can be entertaining or thought provoking.

But those people are famous already. In every case of which I am aware, a particular diary is of arguable interest because the person involved was extraordinarily important, extraordinarily talented, or in the case of Anne Frank, an ordinary person living in an extraordinary time (for all the wrong reasons, of course, and I'll happily concede that by living through what she did she was in at least some sense extraordinary herself). Diaries are supposed to be a record of your life so that you can benefit from it, the prose equivalent of looking at old photo albums and sniggering at your ridiculous hair-styles. There's no point in hoping that if you draw enough pictures in the margin or write enough poems filled with awkward cadence and Gothic imagery you will one day be recognised for who you were. It's just an attempt to feel you are doing something of worth without actually exposing it to outside criticism (which I know something about, believe me).

Blogging, on the other hand, is supposed to be about keeping other people entertained, or interested, or informed. Whether or not I actually manage that is entirely up for debate, but the attempt is there. A strange attempt which mixes jokes with poems with cod-philosophy with political commentary with miscellaneous observation, but an attempt nonetheless. And I think I'd be actively sabotaging that idea if I continue to post up windows into my private life; unless they in themselves seem to be interesting to the non-me members of the blogosphere. In my heart of hearts, I doubt anyone reading about the endless struggle with the mysterious DB (which, on the off-chance someone was wondering, has become less of an issue of late; proof-positive that there is no problem on Earth that cannot be solved by drinking until your brain no longer recalls the basic shapes of the object that has offended you), unless in the process it throws up a hilarious escapade or an insight into the human condition, or something.

Anyway, I mention all this because I'm about to entirely contradict it. The ongoing illness of Dr P is, in all likelihood, of no real interest to anyone reading this. On this one matter, though, I have chosen not to care. She's back in the hospital again and the signs point to her never leaving it again, and it feels like I have to mark that here. I haven't seen her in three months, and only spoken to her once in all that time, since she is now too ill to use a computer. The experimental medicine doesn't seem to have worked, and if there is any other option, Dr F didn't mention it today. It looks like this may finally be it.

Anway, I reserve the right to post up further updates on her condition, because the only reason you don't find this of interest is that you never knew her, which is your loss. Otherwise, take comfort in the sudden reduction of self-indulgent whining, which will be compensated for by an upswing in self-indulgent social commentary and dick jokes.

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