Monday, October 13, 2008

Fiction-based blogging?

Here's a quickie to tide us all over until Rhian gets her behind in gear and takes hold of the rudder. They're up to something peculiar this week at Boing Boing Gadgets: that celebrated geek-tech blog has undergone a temporary transmutation into a fictional mouthpiece of "Infomercia, a massive super-conglomerate turned government on an alternate Earth in which indiscriminate technological consumerism and promiscuous corporate partnerships have become the backbone of an oppressive, Orwellian dystopia." Blogger John Brownlee goes on:

In this world, Boing Boing Gadgets is one of an endless number of official government mouthpieces, controlled by Infomercia's Ministry of Machines (MiniMac, or MoM for short). In fact, all gadget blogs are either mouths of MiniMac's propaganda machine, or the mouths of its foreign counterparts. As such, links that go to Gizmoldovia's cluster of gadget blogs will tend to be laudatory; links that go to Engasian sites will be disparaged.

So the blog will evidently be spending the week wearing the vestments of a meta-novel, in the form of a gadget blog in an imaginary ultra-consumerist nation. I'm not sure how ironic this is supposed to be, since Boing Boing Gadgets is already a voluntary mouthpiece of an ultra-consumerist nation, but no matter. I like the idea.

Similarly, Rhian said something interesting to me the other night--she wondered what I thought of occasionally discussing extra-literary matters on this blog. Since I've already allowed politics and photography to ooze onto these pages, I don't see why not...we always end up bringing everything around to books, anyway. It reminds me of the mental games I play every winter while trying to decide which expenses I can justify as business deductions on our taxes. Since we're writers, all of life informs our work, does it not? So every last Twix bar, in theory, can be written off. I've never had the guts to go all the way, and I doubt we'll go that far here, either. But perhaps you can anticipate a subtle broadening of our outlook.

7 comments:

Zoe said...

Sounds good to me.

Warren Adler said...

People long to practice the art of fiction. With the advent of such new technologies, they may not make best seller lists, but they will have a shot at contemporary influence.

jrlennon said...

That's how I see it. This particular experiment seems kinda unreadable to me, but there are all kinds of workaday writing that could be infiltrated by art. The world would be a lot more interesting if the manual to your MP3 player took the form of a detective story.

More irritating perhaps, but definitely more interesting!

beschizza said...

Thank you for the link-in, jrlennon!

You're certainly right. It's about having a fun time and doing something unusual in a medium—gadget blogging—which often finds itself mired in its compromises and daily patterns.

Readability is certainly a problem; someone pointed out that it's like trying to read 20 stories in a row at The Onion. No matter how clever it is, that's grueling if it's not your cup of tea.

It's only going to last a couple of days, however, and now that we've started moving the "plot" forward, it'll hopefully be a tighter read when we get back to it on Wednesday.

jrlennon said...

Ha! Welcome to W6, beschizza. I admit, the project is a little obscure for my taste, but it's a cool idea. I wonder how many of your readers will actually believe you've been taken over by an Orwellian conglomerate. It could end up being the "War of the Worlds" of gadget blogging.

Good luck!

AC said...

I wouldn't mind seeing some non-literary blogging. Or maybe I should say, non-professional literary blogging. I'm just a reader, not someone who has any input when it comes to publishers, agents, MFA programs, etc.

And it can be hard to keep the art forms separated. When you posted about "the saddest book", for instance, all the saddest things I could think of were songs.

jrlennon said...

We don't usually post about that professional stuff--sometimes, but mostly we try to keep the discusson on art.

But bring up songs all you want!