Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Spent today researching and, as is the way of hours passed on the internet, much of it was lost to paper-chases, democracies of definition and news ideals. Straying from the path is often a good thing; all can be relevant.

Movements towards supporting systems that contravene censorship here; the establishment of bridges and nodes through which traffic can be anonymously redirected here; the promotion of accountable, responsible investigative journalism (the funding for which these days has generally been diverted towards new medias who, traditionally, aggregate news rather than produce it) here; collating blogs which highlight voices from within the regions currently telescoped by the globe’s newsrooms here.

And where is this more relevant than in South Ossetia and – now it seems – beyond into the rest of Georgia? Following the inevitable displacements and installation of refugee camps, post firestorms and impassive political gesturing, it appears to global news media that an overreaction has occurred. It appears that there was more strategy than at first realised within Russia’s reaction.

Tones have shifted, not for quite some time has the world’s left-wing journalists hopped so uneasily from foot to foot, unsure which side of the divide to bring down their standing leg. Surely the pro-USA Georgian state cannot be an innocent in all this, they seemed desperate to ask. Perhaps they are not. Regardless, local blogs from within the country confirm from the beginning that which was known all along. The truest overreaction is felt by the people who unknowingly entered this game, the civilians of Georgia, South Ossetia and elsewhere. Now, further inroads into Georgia by Russian troops and a catalyst to actions out west in Abkhazia.

All this research into blogs leads, naturally, to a question of one’s own practice. How I used to write endless, draining diatribes on what it meant to have access to a weblog! And, here I am today, writing…

Enough relevancies ensure I remain : the peculiar, vignette brevity of the form; the reach towards both distant friends and anonymous readers; the readying of the brain for the day (or night) ahead; personal needs of documentation. Sure, I embrace the medium less than most with a reluctance to allow comment (I would rather responses featured in blog posts themselves, rather than the sniper efforts that pepper most weblog comment sections). I rarely even hyperlink; some things should be discovered via a route of ones own choosing.

The tone has been more political here of recent days. Recent days have demanded it. Blogs function as samizdats, or perhaps Pynchon’s hidden post; they remain covertly political in their form as well as their content, and I am beginning to feel that the internet and how we use it, as seen here from old Europe, is one of the last true sites of dissidence for those of us lucky enough to live where dissidence is no longer a matter of survival.