Thursday, 18 December 2014

373. Wishes to be challenged

 'Nothing is unique. Nothing is new. Not even this. So why do we bother?'

I inked those words 4 years ago in a diary, but they'll often drip into my every day in some quiet way. Those words encapsulate a problem that probably everyone considers. Often I've lazed deadbeat on my bedroom carpet silently shouting - What is the point? - What is the point? - What is the point? Why do or say anything if its all been done and said better before?

A soothing argument for those moments on the carpet is the importance of repetition. What we have to say may not be new, however our audience - whether that be a friend or a host of readers - may not have considered it before. What we have to say may not be unique however our voices are and thus our method of expression may connect to certain individuals. And finally the more an idea is repeated, the more likely it will gain acceptance. One voice in a crowd is obscure, but many voices become the crowd.

This argument has helped me on many occasions, reminding me that, whilst what I have to say may not be new, there's still a validity in saying it. The argument has had its uses, but there's always a flip side. Does repetition of ideas help us see clearer or does it blind us? Do you ever feel (particularly when browsing the internet) as if you're only seeing one version of an argument, just tweaked in slightly different voices? Do you feel comforted in seeing your own views repeatedly represented or do you, like me, feel a little uncomfortable?

Do you ever wonder what demographics you're missing out on, such as those who don't use tumblr? (tumblr is interesting itself as a space often used for repetitive reblogging). I'm reminded here of a conversation at the family dinner table. My brother, a 25 year old wizzkid who earns a living as a web developer didn't know what LGBT stood for until I recently informed him. How is it that a young person who spends each day avidly using the internet has not come into contact with the term LGBT? To me, the tumblr user and reader of the likes of rookie this came as a surprise. What circles do we keep to and what are we all missing out on? My brother, sure seems to be missing out on the voices of those I'm so accustomed to hearing (then again maybe this comes back to the white straight male missing out on the voices of those marginalized in society?). But likewise, I'm missing out on the voices my brother reads- whether I'd agree with those voices doesn't matter. I'm also missing out on lots more- other marginalized groups, people who don't speak English, people of an older generation, and people who don't  have access to the internet.

So what can be done? Here's my suggestions for carpet and tumblr moments. Question my suggestions. Question everything, especially if you keep hearing it. Consume a variation of media, both online and offline. Discuss with your brother at the dinner table if you can. Discuss with the people you wouldn't usually discuss with- your real-life friends and enemies are great resources. These discussions can be more radical than the reblog. About to make something? Consider how your meditations on a topic can go further. If you feel like you have nothing to add to a discussion, that's also cool too. Repetition ain't inherently a bad thing. Keep going with the writing and the making, but always keep considering the writing and the making. And don't resolve the discussion you had with yourself.


  1. this is so wonderful :*
    I have definitely felt that but I think there are always kernels of new in the old? Otherwise we would just keep going in circles as the human race, haha. Which we do a little. I guess it's a steep learning curve.
    tumblr is a weird little thing which I lub don't get me wrong but I always wonder if the ease of recycling old images leads to a lack of creativity? but its also like a creative hub in a lot of ways, so maybe it's just a little too easy to beat it up whenever the world seems a little repetitive.


  2. Your reflections are spot on - especially your questioning of the sites we tend to linger and loiter on and the comfort of finding ones own views reflected. Interesting too that you cite your brother. My brother is 14 and our interests are pretty disparate, but it does mean that we can exchange information and views from time to time and argue or question each other on these.

    Generally, in our daily doings and sayings we don't manage to come up with anything groundbreakingly new, but there's always the possibility for nuance and also for forging new connections with different people. And I suppose it's like the repetition of oral , traditional stories: each teller and indeed each time the story is told, something changes; something is added/subtracted/altered/embellished/reflected. And we are all storytellers I guess.


Thank you! My eyes are wide open.
I'll try to reply to you ^.^