culturehack.typepad.com > Touchstones (An Annotated Worldview)

Introduction

I'm not a big fan of online photo sharing. Most photoblog creators end up with a collection of Interstitial Moments, caught like flies in amber: Wildly subjective, out of time, out of context and not meant to be captured; evocative only because of what you project on them.

This isn't photography, it's taxidermy; not-quite-familiar exotic animals displayed in rooms they weren't meant to be in.

Like weblogs, I think photoblogs were rapidly conceptualized and almost instantaneously ossified in terms of conventions and expectations. There simply wasn't enough time devoted to dicking around with the idea of online photos and seeing what else could be done. Again, there are some adventurous, imaginative photobloggers out there, however they currently comprise a very small percent of the Flickr-esque crowd.

My oblique strategy regarding TypePad's cyber-album feature is to turn it into a kind of pop cultural bestiary; a combination visualization and annotation of people, places and things that have collided with my worldview and in some fashion deflected it. To be clear, this is not some sort of 101-level survey course of Important Stuff; rather, it is an extremely idiosyncratic view of what and who has affected me. The only criteria is that the reference in question left a dent in me--for good or ill; that I proceeded in some way changed after the exposure. (Additionally, this section is a perpetual work-in-progress: I'll add to it when inspiration strikes and flesh it in when time allows.)

So please don't write me saying, "How could you leave out So-and-So or This-and-That?" Because we're talking about the stuff that I'm probably involved with when offline--Real Personal Stuff, okay? Here's the drill: You don't mock the touchstones of my worldview and I won't bring up all your Laura Brannigan albums; the ones that come out late at night when the wine's flowed a little too liberally. Deal?


(This section is dedicated to John Boyle, who always understood a Sheridan Rosetta Stone like this would eventually be found . . .)