I looked at Alexander McCall Smith’s website, or homepage if that is the same thing, to see how it is done, a website that is, and why. He sure has a lot to advertise.
Everyone wants to talk about me, who the Hell is me? And what they did or do. How about you, do you exist too? If a person has done nothing, said nothing, made no difference whatsoever, are they interesting? Speaking for myself, no. Have I done anything? Well yes, said he apologetically.
Is there anything about me to make me stand out from the common herd, the hoi polloi? Not that I can think of, I am one of them, one of you. How do you do?
I write poetry, I was a journalist, etcetera, etcetera, but so bleeding what? Did I win any prizes? Ever, even once? Did I care? No.
I am mister average ordinary, or so I seem to myself. What have I got to shout about? About myself? Nothing, as far as I can see, I am a big fat nonentity.
To speak of myself would be boring, so I turn the spotlight on you, on life. Are we living or merely existing? Speak for yourself.
So, if I make a website in which all may contribute, call it the internet if you like, what about the haters? I would take down their output, make your own website, I would say. Each man or woman their own arbiter, judge and jury.
Freedom for the haters? Feel free to jump off a cliff but don’t bring us with you.
Every man his own website. Or woman as the case may be, why be gender specific?
I am not a self-advertiser, nor do I wish to be, nor do self-advertisers or their output appeal to me. I am the internet, or am I? Come one, come all.
If the internet exists, why re-invent it? Why remake it? If I make a website as outlined above, my own little corner of the world, with links to the great and good as and when I come across them, would that be a worthwhile website for anyone else in the world to look at except me? A repository, you might say.
That would appear a pointless exercise. Futility itself.
As to me, myself, I, my stuff more or less already is on the internet, a blog, YouTube, Facebook, need I go further? But no website. So far. A website could link them together, I suppose. Pardon me for thinking out loud.
But I digress, here and now. What are people looking for when they write on social media? Praise? They’re very good at praising themselves. What they say almost never relates to what the person before them said. To outsmart, to put down, is that why they were born? To show off.
Am I to join that crew? Humble, self-effacing, insignificant me? On what basis? If you can’t beat them join them? Not my philosophy.
It’s mob law out there, every man his own mob. Empty vessels make the most noise. Look at the chat sites.
Speaking as a person who almost does not exist should I proclaim my existence in the form of a website? Without a trace of ego or egomania? To use the word I is egomaniacal. A thought is no more valuable because you possess it than it would be were someone else its possessor or progenitor.
Who cares what you think? Only you. Do you care what others think? About as much as they care what you think. Egomaniac.
Do you see what I’m driving at, at a 100 m.p.h.? If I make a website does that make me an egomaniac among egomaniacs? I who say egomania destroys the world? Greed, self-interest by any other name.
Fight them with their own weapons? Does water put out fire? Yes. Fight fire with fire? I prefer water.
You are now entering the deep dark recesses of my soul. I wouldn’t go down that road if I were you. There be dragons. When shall I slay the most obnoxious monster of them all, the dragon Self? Fiery tongued, breathing fire, smoking 60 a day and showing no signs of quitting, he speaks with forked tongue, horns and tail surgically removed, he’s the life and soul of the party? The sword of truth shall prevail. When I get around to it.
Is it time to administer a salutary shock to the system? Would nuclear war suffice? A wake up call. In a post Armageddon apocalypse would all be sweetness and light? You tell me.
A bomb under my bed, would that wake me up? Or blow me to kingdom come and smithereens? Act now before it is too late, Meryl Streep, Tom Cruise.
Is Scientology the answer? If it is, what was the question? A religion without God. You want it, you got it.
The religion of Self, the most adored God in the world. And I should have a website? So people might bow down before me? Pull the other one, its got bells on it.
I may make a website despite myself and all my shortcomings. To give hope to the heathen, I being the heathen. I don’t know, who knows, I don’t. Will it be worth waiting for if I do it? I don’t know, I know nothing.
Will anyone notice? Do I care if they do? Yes. That is the dragon Self caring. I should not care.
In a cowslip bell I lie, and all that sort of thing. Does a flower care? It’s there.
I love flowers. Why not make one? Out of myself, or more or less. Definitely more, probably less.
Norman Mailer’s autobiography he called Advertisements For Myself. What do I wish to promulgate? Possibly a point of view. Perspective. An all-encompassing vision. And whatever you’re having yourself.
That’s about the size of it. Coming soon to a screen near you. How soon is soon? Soon is when I feel like it, if I feel like it. Once upon a time soon meant now but doesn’t now. Has now also changed its meaning? Changes in the meaning of words reflect human nature, fallen human nature, and falling.
We are not at the bottom of the pit yet. When you get to the bottom the only way is up. I look forward to that day.
Look forward to my website. Remember, all Utopias end in dictatorship. Kafka, of beloved memory, said all revolutions evaporate, leaving behind only the slime of their bureaucracy. Don’t blame me, he said it.
Do you believe in God and Heaven and my website? Oh ye of little faith! My website does not exist except in my imagination, it is formless, shapeless, inchoate, non-existent, but may come into being in the fullness of time.
A pregnant pause.
It is not possible to reveal the truth without revealing yourself. I am a drunken layabout, or was or am, some of the time. What of the truth?
There’s the rub. A rub of the relic. Aladdin’s lamp. The Genie appears.
Have you three wishes? Isn’t one enough? Be careful what you wish for. Whom the Gods wish to punish they grant their wishes.
Do I wish for a website? If it would make any difference. It would require work on my part, and work is a four letter word.
What difference do I wish to make? A tall order.
I have a tendency to make mountains out of molehills, among my many other flaws. I don’t wish to add to the trivialisation of the world, the Earth, its inhabitants and their works by creating yet more triviality. My God, if I have one, is not the God of triviality. He has enough worshippers.
So if I make a website I want it to be as good as I can make it, not all about me, but what can you do? Everyone is trying to sell something, mostly themself, the only person they ever listen to. I preach to the deaf and dumb.
So be it. It may or may not happen. The circus may come to town. All may stay at home. No ears, no eyes.
If I feel like it I’ll do it. I promise nothing. What for and why are the questions. Some will appreciate it if I do it, though their words may be unspoken.
Remember what happened to the architect of the Taj Mahal? He was executed so he would never do better. I must be careful not to be perfect. Joke. I am after all ordinary, how may I be perfect?
Be perfectly ordinary. Ordinary is extraordinary. A paradox. Alright, yours ordinarily,
22nd March, 2017