Sunday, June 12, 2005

This Blog Is Like a Television Set

I have no personal connection to my television set. When I am polishing off the latest rerun of The Simpsons, I have no feelings for the set itself. I can turn off the set and leave the room without any profound sense of joy, sorrow, or anguish.

This blog is like a television set in the sense that readers of most, if not all, of the blog entries are not expected to develop a personal connection with me. The design of this blog is purposeful. I have not entered any information in my profile (not solely due to laziness); the template is plain (not solely due to laziness and technical ineptitude); there are no pictures of myself (not solely due to shyness and technical ineptitude); I have told relatively few of my family members and friends about the blog; the subjects of my entries are about "Asian-American poetry" and not about me.

Even the voice of this blog is a performance. I certainly don't go running up to strangers on the street imperiously proclaiming my strong opinions on Asian-American poetry. (I have a feeling that they'd run away from me, call the cops, or drop a quarter in my hand.) More importantly, this blog is almost like a Halloween costume in tone and feel. You might be able to make out the form of a person behind it, but it is not the real person, I don't think. (Or is it? -- I think that many of the blog entries have an authority and presence of voice that I might like to claim as mine, but, as the few readers who know me in real life know, this blog is basically not what I'm like in person. And yet, I'm a much nicer, gentler person than this blog, so maybe there would be a tradeoff if I tried to personally inhabit the shell of the authoritative energy of this blog.) So, in essence, this blog is a persona blog.

It is kind of ironic that this blog is basically a persona blog, because I tend to prefer reading the more personal blogs that are not simply about "issues" -- the ones where you actually get to know the person behind the blogger. But, psychoanalyzing myself just briefly, I think that this blog has just been fulfilling a small desire/need of mine to talk about Asian American poetry, so it has been serving its purpose. Discussing Asian-American poetry on an independent blog has been escapist and meaningful in this sense.

Anyhow, I think that if I started a new blog, which won't happen any time soon, it would be about myself and the wacky everyday happenings of my life. It would have a completely different tone, deal with a different set of observations and concerns, and probably have a largely different set of readers. For now, I'll push forward with this blog on Asian American poetry: my virgin blog. (Unlike Oprah, who apparently feels as if there is a limited set of great contemporary novels, I do think that the topic of Asian-American poetry is limitless.)

8 Comments:

Blogger Bryan Thao Worra said...

I should take the time to again say thanks, Roger, for even maintaining a blog like this, given the staggering dearth of interesting spaces to discuss Asian American poetics with others.

As a fellow Simpsons fan with a wacky life of my own, I appreciate the humanity that is present in this blog, because I think it's an important element.

I hope people will see that most of the Asian American poets of the modern age are just as fun, funny and neurotic as anyone else, and above all else human, for all the good and ill that entails.

I wish this blog a great deal of success because there's far too many short-sighted folks who are trying to completely quash the idea or validity of Asian American poetics and even the Asian American identity.

It's nice to see someplace that celebrates Asian American poetry, in and of itself.

More sites like this are needed in the world. Keep it up!

9:13 PM  
Blogger pam said...

I second Bryan's thoughts.

BTW, this post brings up the interesting question: Are a person's thoughts and ideas any less a reflection of them than their personality and biographical details? What does it mean to get to "know" someone through blogland?

11:12 AM  
Blogger pam said...

please excuse this lapse of self-advertising...but now is as good a time as any to announce that I've started a blog of my own at http://openreader.blogspot.com, and currently have a post, loosely centered on Alice Wu's movie Saving Face, where I go off a bit on issues of identity, identity politics, and Asian American representations in pop media. Come by and visit if interested. I don't have commenting enabled but you can email me by clicking on my profile...

2:18 PM  
Blogger Roger Pao said...

Hey Pam,

Those are two wonderful questions, and I will respond in my next blog post.

In the meantime, woot!, woot!, welcome to the blogging world!

3:31 PM  
Blogger Roger Pao said...

Hey Bryan,

Thanks! Yeah, I remember that Pam, Tim Yu, and I were talking about Asian American poetry listservs, message boards, etc. a short while back. But I think, looking back now, that Nick was right in suggesting that blogs are the way to go.

And now we've got Pam, Lee Herrick, in addition to Tim Yu, Eileen, Barbara, Neil, Nick, Patrick, Oliver, Heather (and I shouldn't go on listing, because I know that I'll leave someone out), but basically a number of bloggers who either focus or talk at least a little about Asian American poetry.

3:41 PM  
Blogger alena said...

Hey, I have enjoyed...your blog is informative - even entertaining.

I have a halloween sites. They pretty much covers costumes and masks related stuff.

Thanks again and I'll be sure to bookmark you.

10:12 PM  
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7:16 PM  

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