Tuesday 25 September 2007

Feedback Appreciated

Dear Avid Reader,

The New(ish) Journalism has reached something of a fulcrum point in its erstwhile development, in my own eyes at least. Sarcasm and pedantry have always been paramount to its existence, yet recently they seem to have become the central protagonists in this amateurish muck... Not to mention something of a reactionary (stale?) inclination. This has caught me unawares. Cynicism is my reflex. Where is the love?

Is my mocking of random/fellow deadbeats and losers enough anymore? Should the emphasis remain as it is or should it deviate? Are my hyperbolic appraisals of Foggy Notions approved scenesters sufficient for your informed selves? Should I continue to throw upon you a fine movie trailer or two that has caught my attention? What the fuck has happened to the alleged 'How To Series'? Does anybody care?

I ask all of this in demi-jest. I fully realise the sarcastic imperative of The New(ish) Journalist and his prosaic and derivative spite. My grá for quality art and culture shall always soldier blindly on, but cannot claim an ultimate victory. Alas, joy is intermittent, in this blog as in this life... Ooh, get him... Ponce... At times I feel like I'm stuck in an old Friends repeat. The One With The Obvious Jokes And Matthew Perry Weight Gain.

Bollocks, I'm rambling.

Basically, I'm considering some changes around here and I would really appreciate some feedback from you guys. These are some of my ideas for changes:
  • A move to Wordpress... I am something of a sporadic technophobe. Is such a move advisable?
  • A change of aesthetic and template. Regardless of move, this will happen.
  • Less of an emphasis on music... Nialler, Aoife, Una and the rest of the gang already cover this cultural sphere far better than I... However, I'm far too opinionated for a complete cessation of musical appreciation.
  • More of an emphasis on film. I have an MA Film Studies. Why the hell not?
  • Some form of creative writing every week... Not sure of the form, only the intention.
  • Overall, a more regimental approach to blog updating. For example... Monday: Sarcastic appraisal of the life of a mid-20s individual in Ireland. Tuesday: Politics or Stupid News Stories. Wednesday: Movie news/gossip/critique. Thursday: Serialised novella. Friday: Agony uncle spot... I can but dream.
  • A more intentional focus on all things Irish.
  • Free shit for you guys!

That last one is not true... And more importantly, in no way legally binding. I think. Your thoughts on the above suggestions? Would it all be worth the bother? Or would you prefer simply things to remain as they are? Is the current "Notice & Post" system getting the most out of me? Does this haphazard and nonsensical gibberish actually appeal to you? Should I stop fishing for compliments? Needy fucker.

Finally, a somewhat apt quote from Hunter S Thompson:

"No man is so foolish that he may not sometimes give another good counsel, and no man so wise that he may not easily err if he takes no other counsel than his own. He that is taught only by himself has a fool for a master."

I shall take my leave of this post now... I'm off to smoke a spliff of the most glorious herbal tobacco, moistened shut by the incessant salivation of an excited Síle Seóige. Later we shall enjoy Garth Marenghi's Darkplace and giggle at the outrageous formalism of it all... Really.

Yours adjectively,



antrophe said...

Just take it easy and don't over burden yourself, you run a fine blog as it is and there's no point knackering yourself with day by day commitments to over heavy workload schedule.

antrophe said...

Oh and by the way, your blog title has me on the hunt for a copy of The New Journalism by Wolfe, looks like a great quick burst read.

Anthony said...

You can't please everybody. Just keep yourself happy with the blog and everyone else can up and fuck if they don't like it.

This is YOUR blog not everyone else's so do what you like with it. At the moment I'd like probably a bit more structure but I still read your posts anyway. Also as for aesthetics most people use a feed reader and at the moment it's nice and clean but experiment away sure.

John Cav said...

Antrophe: Thank you sir. For the compliments and the sound advice. Appreciate you taking the time. As for Wolfe's anthology... Buy, buy, buy! An amazing book.

Michael Herr's "Khesanh" and Terry Southern's "Red Dirt Marijuana and Other Tastes" are two of my favourite articles. Worth Google-ing (or Googling)... Never know to conjugate that verb :)

Anthony: Thanks for the reassuring words dude. Most appreciated. As for the inclination towards more structure, I am in agreement. More beneficial for myself and for you guys... And as for aesthetic, I just want to move away from the obvious Blogger template feel. Nice and clean it shall certainly stay.

Like antrophe, thanks for taking the time!

Emmet said...

I started to read your blog a couple of months ago because I thought you were another John Cav. You're not him, but I think you're doing perfectly fine otherwise.

I don't know what to tell you about how to do things, but I know that if it becomes like work you're doing it wrong.

John Cav said...

Emmet: Appreciate the readership, even if its genesis was under false pretences :)

As for the blog. Not like work at all my man. I'm tickled (validated?) that people seem to enjoy it. I'm just trying to figure out what to do with it now... If it ever did become a chore I would drop it like a hot snot. Have no fear!

RapturePonies said...

don't move to wordpress, i get annoyed with all those pictures of the links when you hover over them,

more films would be great! i relaly like your blog, i think there's a great mix of stuff!

John Cav said...

Rapture: No Wordpress you say? Duly noted... More films you say? I shall endeavour... Really like my blog? Simon & Garfunkel "Feelin' Groovy" just came on the radio... How apt :)

Sinéad said...

I only recently returned to blogging and found this blog (can't remember how), but I'm a regular reader and enjoy it.

As for advice, go with whatever you want to write about or express - then it'll be authentic and people will enjoy it all the more.

Re: Wordpress - I find it great. I nearly cried over the number of posts Blogger.com chewed up on me.
Re: Music - why less emphasis? Even people like myself or Niall or Una who spend a lot of time writing about music are always keen to hear other people's recommendations, especially if it's pointing us in the direction of something we've missed or never heard of.

Re: Film - apart from the excellent John Maguire, not enough people (myself included) are blogging about film. A lot of what's said on the subject tends to be short reviews or mini rants. If you've got an MA, I'd love to read some more meaty film posts on genre or individuals.

Re: Creative Writing - definitely a good thing. Not enough Irish creative writing blogs, and if someone else started, it might give me the ass-kicking I badly need to do it.

Re: Regimented posting - don't bother! Just post as you feel like it about whatever you want to talk about on any given day.

Re: Irish posting - again, why limit yourself? You don't want to end up posting stuff just for the sake of it.

That's just my humble two cents but maybe some of it is useful.

John Cav said...

Sinéad: Now that's what I call feedback. To paraphrase Nialler, you ledgebag!

The film and creative writing aspects are two I would like to work on alright... As for the regimentation of posting, I agree with you. I'm thinking more along the lines of a bare skeleton if you will. Arbitrary whims are very much my bag. Fear not :)

slurkid57 said...

We fear change.

Btw, I'm in a lecture on Astronomical Medicine at the moment. I'll post pictures in a bit.

John Cav said...

Slurkid: Astronomical Medicine? I await said pictures with considerable glee. I think.

gimme a minute said...

I like this blog, John Cav, so don't be fucking around with it too much. There's a nice mix at the moment.


Yes to Wordpress. And move mine while you're at it. Thanks.

Yes to more creative writing. Which I can adapt slightly and steal.

And finally, no to regimentation. but yes to free stuff.

Keep up the good work in whatever form.

John Cav said...

Gimme: Thanks a lot man. And please, feel free to plagiarise at will. It is the highest form of flattery :)

Michael Nugent said...

Hi John,

I like Wordpress. I’ve never had any problems with it. And they do have some nice templates.

With regard to content, if we’re all really honest about why we’re blogging, it’s only partly about writing what we like. If it was just that, we’d keep it on our own computer. We’re blogging because we want other people to like reading what we like writing.

So the filters I would use are: how do I make it easy for people who like reading what I like writing to (a) find it, (b) subscribe to it; and (c) regularly read it. The first two are about focus and style, and the third is about consistency and quality.

So I would keep doing what you’re doing as a personal blog, which has its own quirky personality, and is I presume a reflection of you, and also do a separate blog about film, and have top-of-the-page links to each from the other.

That’s what I do with That’s Ireland and Bionic Bohs, as opposed to writing a blog about Ireland generally with a lot of League of Ireland football stuff in it.

The creative writing is a great idea, and would fit in well with a personal blog (or arguably a film and creative writing blog, but I would prefer the focus of a film blog, with the creative writing in a personal blog).

With regard to structure, try it out and change it depending on what’s working for you. You'll find a balance between the advantages of familiarity and the hassle of giving yourself a schedule.

John Cav said...

Michael: Many thanks sir. Great idea about the seperate film blog... I shall certainly keep it in mind.

As for the motivations of bloggers, I do hope you are not implying that a certain narcissism is at play :)

Michael Nugent said...

Well, if the New(ish) Padlocked Diary is at one end of the scale, and the New(ish) Worldwide Screamers Cult is at the other end, I suppose the New(ish) Journalism would be somewhere in the middle(ish), which is ideal :)

chosha said...

Wordpress annoys me. They have few templates, and unlike with blogger, you can't make real changes to them - not even the colour scheme - unless you have a paid account. Also you have to be signed into Wordpress to comment on a Wordpress blog. Sucks. I had a blog with them for about five days and then I deleted it.

slurkid57 said...

Wordpress makes my eyes sad.

Also, I like the the fact that when I check out your blog, I'm as likely to see a review of spiderman 6, as a review of a review of some Fassbinder anthology I'll never watch, or just some account of getting twisted in Brandons.

Maybe there's some way you could use some kind of web2.0, semantic internet, techno voodoo you could use to set up your posts so they can be viewed by subject, or in a mixed bag kind of way. That would be class.

John Cav said...

Michael: The New(ish) Worldwide Screamers Cult... Perhaps a change of blog title could be in store :)

Chosha: A paid account you say? Good to know.

Slurkid: Fret not, I'm sensing a definite inclination toward keeping the random nature of The New(ish) Journalism intact... I shall get on to my venerable guru about the dark labelling arts of which you speak.

nialler9 said...

Wordpress is great (my blog runs on wordpress). Best if you host it yourself so you can tinker around with the template. hosting is cheap these days anyhow. You can turn off the snap popups if you like as they are only default on wordpress.com blogs.

keep on about music please - There may be plenty of music bloggers but there is only so much music you can post about in a day or week. I love getting recommendations and stuff so keep that up.

Film - yes please. Your blog is my only outlet for film at the moment really.

Creative Writing - check.

Don't regiment yourself it will become stale and too much like work. In the immortal words of Take That - "Do what you like".

John Cav said...

Nialler: Thanks dude. I shall keep up the music stuff alright. Have no fear. I shall also endeavour to further my exploration of the cinema... Which might be fun.

Superb quoting of Take That by the way. Never have they seemed so profound :)

Also, I am loving the latest podcast. Heartiest of congratulatory backslaps to thee!

nialler9 said...


it's my favourite yet.

a birthday mixtape is coming on friday!


aoife mc said...

If it weren't for you McAdjective I wouldn't have seen Dan Deacon on video on your blog before seeing him in crawdaddy - this suitably forewarned me so that I made the right decision to wear dance tastic shoes.
The films, the music, the creative writing, the sarcasm, above all the adjectives...keep it coming. As it is, just bigger and better and more superlative.
HWCH this weekend hmmm?

John Cav said...

Nialler: I look forward to the mix with glee.

Aoife: What's the emoticon for blush? Thanks a bunch for the kind words. Dan Deacon shall be back in December (according to his myspace anyway) and I shall certainly be present. Only a fool makes the same mistake, etc.

As for HWCH, I'm afraid not. Need to save money, and besides that I'm suffering from an utter bastard of a chest infection. Whimper.

Manuel said...

Yes, yes do all of that. It should be noted people seem to love your stories over at my place. So if you could email me them in advance so I can post them as my own that would be great. Thanks......

John Cav said...

Manuel: Thanks for the encouragement dude! And worry not, for I shall spin you a tale or two to appease your followers!

After all, the seanchaí should not be foresaken, for he is wise to the ways of fortitude and courage! Truth awaits the foolhardy at the end of the Road, lest they pardon it. It might be truly a difficult path, cordoned by elephantine guilt and a tulip-like malaise... Beseeched and bethroated, virtue rebounds at will, galant to oblivion. Words fester... Fester.

Right... Ok... I have no fucking clue what I'm talking about. I should have merely deleted the garbage I typed above, but it was fun to spew. Sigh, but I have become emotionally attached to this stillborn literacy.

Therefore, I am just going to let

this comment

slowly drip



a frightully





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