Thursday, September 18, 2008

An end...

On board and underway, a log is a form of communication. Between watches, between the ship or the skipper and the Coast Guard or the owner, between the mate and him or her own self.
I like being a member of a crew. Even in the simplest efforts. Comparing conditions during the watches, suggesting course modifications, pointing out any onboard events or landmarks ashore.
So, as I attempt to navigate life here on The Beach, I thank the individuals who stand by to reef topsails and courses as I weather-helm dangerously close to the biscuits. Metaphorically.
I had hoped that this "journal, left open on the galley table," might prompt some like minds to engage in conversation. And perhaps to cull from others' insights some navigational aids that might ease or enhance this shore adventure.
I thank those who stop by this particular clog in the tubes every week. (Honestly, if it weren't for accidentally hitting the "publish" button and tearing like a maniac back to the site to see if I had actually broadcast those misspellings and embarrassing remarks about my wealthy and powerful acquaintances, I'd rarely be here myself.)
I deleted my MySpace profile and account (a bit of which I place below), telling the servo compudrones in Mr. Murdoch's electronic empire that I no longer would provide free content to add to the quag on the single ugliest and most foul-mouthed enabler of America's sexualization of minors and infantilization of adults. No, I decided, no longer was I going to sign in or on to something that urged me to pimp or pwn someone or something.

I did copy-and-paste some of my Impossible posts to the "Blog" section but, since I didn't use enough salty language, I was ignored. Handily.
Even by the "pirates" and "actors."
Apparently, I wasn't serious enough since I hadn't said fuck eighteen times in the first sentence and added a bunch of vomiting smiley emoticons.
I am not saying that this "social networking" should not be available to those who can use it effectively. I am saying that the people who can use it effectively -- that is to say, those who know its ins and outs and apps and whatsits -- have shown me little welcome.
And since these brave new associations are based primarily on fakery, narcissism, and delusion, I won't miss being a part of it.
And I, who have spent my life among the reel-to-reels and bottles and canvas and lights and meetings and tillers and tears and cues and monitors and belt sanders and passion and headphones, am no match for the egoistic monologues and false chumminess of the cliques who meet online.
I am not made for the online social netfaking world.
My mates are flesh and blood, and they answer in full, passionate sentences, filled with nuance and actual breath. Their eyes speak libraries of volumes that no program code could ever attempt. Their additions to my life are real. Some are long draughts of refreshment, some are sumptuous repasts, some leave actual scars -- not temporary flash tattoos.
In true fact, the percentage of my friends who actually read this journal regularly is probably something like the percentage of voters who came out this week in my town for the primary. (According to this column by Jack "Hillary4EVAH" Spillane: 12 percent. So I have that.)
I am not a devious or clever man, although I can talk my way out of or into just about anything. I have made good impressions with the looks and social skills that my heritage granted me, and a knack for knowing when to not. I know when I have been wrong and admit it; I know when I have been wronged and try to correct it. Sometimes those instances are remarkable in their sameness. I have made mistakes, learned from them, and I have constant doubts about my redemption. I have never ever walked into a room, joined a conversation, and been utterly and completely ignored.
That only happens to me online.
I've accepted that The Journal of H.M.S. Impossible is flawed. It is about flaw. I don't really have anything of tremendous import to offer to Tall Ship enthusiasts or historians. What good would my list of waterfront events be to someone who has the same resources -- The Google™? I don't "health blog" since I don't unfailingly recount every glucometer reading or review new Splenda recipes. I don't even publish a post every day.
Maybe other craft have better courses or pedigrees. I can only pilot the channels that I encounter in my adequate, if antiquated, craft, pointing out the deadheads and buoys and pilings and shallows.
I should not, however, be required to accept the various and specious rules of each Twitter and Facebook and tolerate their implausibility, or accept their inevitability.


bitterandrew said...

I appreciate your efforts, sir.

The biggest reward of doing the whole webloggy thing is that I've met some remarkable fellow travellers in the process, present company especially included.

ThirdMate said...

And I yours, certainly. Thank you for being.

And for your patience while I got all that off my chest. It was burning a nasty chafe in the seabag. Plus, I can't just quit an enigmatic avocation. That whole "remain un etc..."

I'm filling a void in the very neglected over-forty-former-pub-rocker-financial-consultant-writer-broadcaster-ship-model-delivery-actor-boy-millionaire sector.

Dr. Momentum said...

I think you have more readers than the number of people who showed up to the polls in my precinct on Tuesday. I'm almost certain of it.

ThirdMate said...

And I'm certain that, like me, the poll workers were delighted to see you.

steve said...

Have you considered some "not safe for work" (NSFW) photos from time to time? They seem to work for the Marmot in Seoul. Pictures in general are good.

ThirdMate said...

There is no such thing as "NSFW" on MySpace. Nobody's at work. Something about child labor laws, voluntary joblessness, and instances of home detention.

Here: I sometimes feature studio publicity stills of Golden Era Hollywood ingenues tastefully posing on boats.

My Mom reads this.

steve said...

Oh, good point about your audience! Forget the NSFW photos. Maybe adding more "Hello Kitty" references would do the trick. It works for the guy who puts out "Tokyo Times" (

ThirdMate said...

Maybe not "Hello Kitty" but maybe more "Lewd & Brisk Young 18th Century Girls for Dating, Swearing, Roaring and Damning all the Night long."

I mean, there's actual history.