Like Falling Off a Blog! 1st Edition

I maybe heading for trouble…….or alternatively absolute and total  joy. Let me explain.

My new concept is a celebration of the creative and well written blog and this means by definition I will be featuring other people’s thoughts and wordcraft. Sometimes I read a blog that is so well crafted a simple “like” is not enough.  More often I read paragraphs and sentences, sometimes unrelated or at tangent to the blogs core theme, the posts subject and the paragraphs context that resonate so powerfully that they deserve a wider audience than the blog would normally attract.

This is not plagiarism as everything featured will be fully credited. It will never attempt to be current for being currents sake, just timely and timeless. Nor will it pretend to be a comprehensive appraisal of all that’s clever, salient or pertinent within blogs. It will however be eclectic and diverse. Think of it as my personal “stumbleupon’s”, extracted rather than digested and reproduced to intrigue and interest.

I love the word plagiarism and hope after starting this strand I still can enjoy its wonderful syllable distribution and the swoosh of its “ism” with the same relish!

The dispersal of the words and sentences that have caught my eye recently start with the following heading distribution: Real Life, Creative Arts & Culture and Language, welcome to the concept that is “like falling off a blog”

REAL LIFE:  The visitor that never really leaves -Alzheimer’s revisited

Source blog: Isobelcat  http://isobelandcat.wordpress.com/2010/08/17/wouldnt-it-be-nice/

Englistics Comment: I think this blog entry successfully crystalises what it means to deal with a mother who has Alzheimers……

I spent the day with Mother, cooking quantities of root vegetables to put in her freezer, reading poetry – The Whitsun Weddings by Philip Larkin had her transfixed – doing lots washing, tidying the hot press (and discovering a missing sock in the process, these small triumphs count for a lot),  and  chatting. She struggled to get our exact relationship  clear. Today she came up with a new variation, asking me if I was her wife. She was very pleased to find I was her daughter, but asked if she was letting me down, saying she wasn’t being a very good mother. Then she said she’d love me to meet Isobel. A year ago she talked often about the circumstances of my father’s death.  Last week, she asked me why he didn’t visit her.  I never know quite where the cheese holes in her memory are going to be from visit to visit.

CREATIVE ARTS & CULTURE 1:  Homage to the Mash Up in a single stroke

Source Blog:  http://www.bootiemashup.com/blog/2010/01/song-that-defines-decade-is-mashup.html

Credit: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/nov/26/songs-of-the-decade-a-stroke-of-genius

Englistics Comment:  This is a superlative treatment of two tracks blended to make a “mash-up”. The language used to describe it by Dorian Lynsky is equally as triumphant. I will never look at Christina Aquilera the same way again…..

That mashup is called “A Stroke of Genius,”and it was created in 2001 by a bootlegger who went by the name of Freelance Hellraiser………. But perhaps, most importantly, the UK’s influential Guardian newspaper called “A Stroke of Genius” “the song that defines the decade.”

Dorian Lynsky writing in Guardian: Fittingly, the record plays out like a seduction. In her original song, Aguilera is coquettish and controlled, keeping her sexuality on a tight leash until the right guy comes along, and the music reinforces her restraint by maintaining a slow simmer. “My body’s saying let’s go,” she breathes. “But my heart is saying no.” In Julian Casablancas’s vocal on Hard to Explain there’s another inner battle (“I say the right thing/ But act the wrong way”) but, stripped of their singer’s hesitancy, the band’s itchy sexual energy becomes a “let’s go” too strong to resist and Aguilera sounds like she’s being swept towards a rendezvous that’s both dangerous and delicious.

It’s as if the Strokes had heard her line about “hormones racing at the speed of light” and written the music around it. Just before the chorus, her “oh-oh-oh”s swoon into the oncoming embrace of the rising guitars, and the pampered pop princess hooks up with the scruffy hipster from the wrong side of the tracks (never mind that Casablancas was definitely born on the right side: this is pop fantasy, not reality). The combination is so perfect that both original songs, excellent in their own right, suddenly sound incomplete, like two works in progress needing someone to complete them: two genies in different bottles waiting to be rubbed the right way. “Come, come, come and let me out.”

LANGUAGE:  The Direct Route To Communication Paradise

Source Blog:  http://veryspeedy.wordpress.com/2010/08/20/grammatology-and-the-art-of-guileless-offence/

Englistics CommentVery speedy transported me to his room with a few well chosen words. I feel I experienced in full and in a vivid technicolor his interaction with the Indian washer women. The blog post was principally about language but arguably it says more about social and culture conventions and the use of language around the world. He certainly successfully illustrates his point with tight phrasing and a judious use of punctuation. A joy. One to watch?

“I want cash.” She was obviously in a transactionally transitive state of mind, “215 Rupees.”

Dug in pocket. Gave her cash. Signed paper. Nudged her out. Locked the door. Smiled.

It wasn’t the fact that the hotel reception had forgotten to warn me to have the money ready that stood out for me, but the sudden shock of the pure expression, through the most core of english grammatical structures, of a clear desire. No niceties. No diplomacy. No chit chat. Not one word about the weather.

Just give me the money. It was both straightforward and disquieting, but I doubt she could have expressed herself any other way. It was a sober reminder, however, around how much of our own verbal communication is wrapped in grammatical cotton wool. I think most of us would find it difficult to unwrap, pare back and see what happens. Too many cultural assumptions. Too many unspoken rules. Too socially awkward. But it’d be a great experiment! Perhaps you could try it at home.

If, instead of asking a loved one or friend, “Gee, I feel like a cup of tea, do you mind making me one?” Why not try, “I want tea. Make me one.” Would this suggest you love or respect them any less? It’s rude, you say. It’s offensive. Maybe, but that is one of those very assumptions I’d be challenging.

 This first post continues at Likefallingoffablog , hope you enjoy the more recents one too!