A Story Worth Telling

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A little voice keeps telling me to “write more” on here, but motivation is difficult. Partly it’s because blogging seems rather passé in 2007 – BBC Radio FiveLive are exhorting listeners to “blog” via the BBC’s own website once again next week (on March 20th, national storytelling day, or something), and while I can see the good in this (creativity and communication being good things almost any way you look at them) the steady stream of mundane profundity that results is deadening rather than moving – “today I start cognitive therapy to deal with my abused childhood” / “yesterday my father died, how I wish we’d talked more” / “our baby son died a year ago today”.

Each of these events taken individually is a tragedy or a triumph for the person involved, and basic human nature means I can empathise, but none of them are national news and none of them are entertainment, and I only have so much empathy to spread around anyway. At a push they could be deemed emotional education, but I can’t help but feel that the lessons they can teach us would be much better learnt from those around us in daily life rather than from disembodied strangers via a national radio station’s website. I’d rather save my empathy for the people I interact with everyday than use it on abstract strangers.

This interesting article from New York Metro offers a deeper investigation into the nature of the kind of ostentatious confessional that the internet seems to encourage. My girlfriend deleted her Myspace account a few weeks ago; at the time I thought it was hasty but now I’m thinking of doing the same.

The other thing preventing me from using this blog more is the lack of communication it inspires. Blogging seems like… not quite tilting at windmills, but perhaps talking to a wall. I decided against putting a hit counter on here so I have no idea how many views this will get, how many people will read it, and the lack of response is disheartening. Almost everything I write is intended to begin a dialogue; possibly this is a reason why I’ve not pushed myself further with my writing – a piece in a newspaper or magazine is dead as soon as it’s printed, no responses, no ideas flowering from it, no communication. Of course the ironic flipside of that is what I bemoaned in the paragraphs above – when everyone responds because everyone can. Human culture is about storytelling, and there are currently more and easier vehicles for telling stories than there have ever been.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007


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Nick Southall was born in southwest England at the tail end of the 70s, and is the youngest of three brothers. He has a degree in popular culture and philosophy and has written about music for Stylus Magazine, The Guardian and Drowned In Sound, amongst others. He likes red wine, expensive headphones, spicy food, and the Hungarian national football team of the 1950s. His favourite record is the last one he listened to. You can contact him by email via sickmouthy @ gmail dot com should you so wish.

All material copyright Nick Southall 2006/2007/2008

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