As a blogosphere virgin, entering the world of real, grown-up blogs in 2013 is a little like walking into a party that’s already in full swing, and you don’t know anyone. Maybe you’ve heard of some people here – the really fun, exciting ones. You could never speak to them in a million years, though. They’re so cool! What would you have to say? As for the rest – who are these people? And why are they showing around their holiday snaps?
But you really want to be at this party. So you sidle over to the kitchen and pour yourself a glass of wine. A large one. You down your drink, take a deep breath, screw up your face and say…
Well. Ultimately that’s question I’m trying to thrash out here. I’m at the party. What do I want to say?
In my twenty-four years, I’ve been to a lot of parties, drunk a lot of glasses of wine, and said a lot of things I shouldn’t have said. I’ve said stupid things that made everyone look at me pityingly. I’ve said insulting things that I still cringe to remember in the middle of the night. I’ve said things about things I didn’t even care about, and been launched into countless boring conversations I would stopped just short of chewing my arm off to get out of. I’ve told lies. In the end, the reason I said all those things I shouldn’t have said is the most common and pathetic reason in the world: I was trying to look cool.
The thing is, I hate trying to look cool. I hate standing at the edge of a conversation, all screwed up inside, racking my brains to come up with something witty or interesting to say, worrying what everyone is thinking about me. But I do it all the time.
Almost all the time. I have a vivid memory of getting a little too pre-drunk before a party, so that when I was finally there and the topic of careers came up, my brain said fuck it and threw up all the intimate details of my hopes and dreams for public inspection.
‘I’m writing a murder mystery play set on a spaceship,’ I found myself saying. ‘I don’t know who will want to watch it, but it’s really fun.’
And at that party? I had some of the best party conversations of my life. (And some of the worst. But that’s a story for another day.) When I stopped getting all tangled up with what I worried would happen, when I was honest about what I like and love and spend all my time doing, I had a great time.
Which brings me back to the tagline at the top of this brand spanking new blog. My manifesto is to blog about life, geek culture and radical enthusiasm. The life is my life, of course. The geek culture, funnily enough, is the culture that surrounds geeky things, i.e. just about anything it’s possible to get excited about. And the radical enthusiasm?
Radical enthusiasm, to me, means no more affected cynicism. No more stopping liking things because they got ‘mainstream’. No more downplaying the things I enjoy or that I enjoy them because I’m afraid that people will take the piss. Definitely no more pretending to be less intelligent than I am.
So here’s to this blog, and all that sails in her: cult TV shows and fantasy novels, video games and board games, cocktails and cookies, editorials and politics, anger and joy, hopes and dreams. Radical enthusiasm. Cheers!