Social Savvy: Don’t Blog Like The White Tiger a la Aravind Adiga
by Stan Faryna
Kelly Clarkson, Mr. Know It All
A dear friend has been nagging me forever; he’s been wanting me to read the 2008 winner of the Man Booker: Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger. He even gave me a paperback copy of the book. After many months, love and duty to friendship has prevailed upon me to read The White Tiger.
Reading it, I have to say The White Tiger, hands down, is the best guide ever… on how you should not blog.
The first chapter ends on page 42. I’m telling you the page number so that you can be sure that I actually read the first chapter. I do this because, often, I read a book review by a blogger and I am not convinced they have actually read a single chapter from start to finish.
However, you may suspect that I haven’t read the first chapter. You may suspect that I just flipped through the pages of The White Tiger and found the page number on which the first chapter ends. Therefore, I shall provide you with further evidence that I have, in fact, read the first chapter of Aravind Adiga’s angry, ugly book about being Indian.
The evidence comes in the form of my own humble, pseudo-intellectual observation that there is only one sentence in all 42 pages that is interesting, worthwhile, and up-lifting. Ironically, Aravind Adiga, the author, did not write this sentence. Supposedly, the author quotes the Urdu poet Iqbal:
They remain slaves because they can’t see what is beautiful in this world.
The only other thing that may be interesting (not up-lifting) about these 42 pages of The White Tiger also has to do with that supposed quotation of the poet Iqbal. What is interesting, I propose, is the paradox that the author, himself, does not see what is beautiful in this world. At least, the author has not convinced me, a half-baked reader, that either the author or the protagonist is even capable of knowing and recognizing the beautiful, the good, and the true – at least not in the first 42 pages.
How do these insights bear upon the blogger?
I’m not going to make allusions that the Forbes Top Bloggers List resembles The Man Booker Prize-winners List in terms of inconsistent insight and value. Nevermind too that Forbes and Man Group are all about money.
Instead, I want to emphasize that value has a very precise correlation to word, page, or post count. Value, however, is not multiplied by the sheer volume of irrelevant words, pages, or posts. In fact, value is diminished.
Originality (or plagiarism) or tribute that contributes nothing to our own reflection and insight about who we are, what we may hope, and what we must do… counts for nothing. As Shakespeare’s Macbeth says in Act 5, Scene 5:
… it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Nor am I, myself, innocent of these crimes and misdemeanors.
But I must struggle and endeavor to write and blog about things that are always relevant – not what is only interesting today – or yesterday. And I hope that you might consider it too.
In other words, blog and/or write for us (me and you and the man or woman who may read you in 100 years) – not just for your sake nor for blog count, page visits, or your vanity.
19 March 2012
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