In a George Orwell essay, “Why I Write,” the author of a novel titled the same as a David Bowie song cites four primary reasons. The first, or um, primary primary reason is clearly listed in the description of this space, just with a different word; vanity. In Mr. Orwell’s words it’s:
(i) Sheer egoism. Desire to seem clever, to be talked about, to be remembered after death, to get your own back on the grown-ups who snubbed you in childhood, etc., etc. It is humbug to pretend this is not a motive, and a strong one. Writers share this characteristic with scientists, artists, politicians, lawyers, soldiers, successful businessmen — in short, with the whole top crust of humanity. The great mass of human beings are not acutely selfish. After the age of about thirty they almost abandon the sense of being individuals at all — and live chiefly for others, or are simply smothered under drudgery. But there is also the minority of gifted, willful people who are determined to live their own lives to the end, and writers belong in this class.
I’ll admit, the white-hot spotlight is a hot rock massage for my ego. Recently it was suggested to me that blogging may be driven by an “acting gene.” I asked it and was stunned to find this article on the tendency of special needs children to love acting. Needless to say, Mr. Kyle Daley is a fine actor and impressionist. One that cracks me up is his take on Robert Shaw as “Quint” in “Jaws.” He gets all shy when I ask him to do it in front of an audience, but when he barks this Quint line, it just fills me with hope and light.
As for my own “acting gene,” it’s probably more aligned to this gene.
I’ll paraphrase Freddy Neech replacing “Poets” with “Bloggers.”
experiences: they exploit them.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche
Beyond Good and Evil
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