Sunday, 14 February 2010

Column Talk

Since I am pretending to be a writer, making up concoctions like this one, I discovered that there seem to be certain codes of conduct in place for this sort of writing. Columns are non-fictional in a weird way. One is writing about something that grasped the attention at one point in life and when the time feels right this bit of real life occurrence is turned into a comedy, a farce or a good rant on a very small sheet of paper. Those snippets however are far from a proper documentary, and hence looked down at by ‘real’ writers. Columns are a bit like speed dating, everything shrivelled down to the essentials.

Well, your humble narrator usually is cheating a bit, stretching these dates to the limit. I am not restricted to paper where a column IS a real column – 500 words or so - one can’t drift into the margins. And see, there is another rule: The narrator is always very 'humble'. We are ranting a lot and apparently knowing everything about everything - why else would we write about it? But when it comes to addressing ourselves, we are desperately trying to get ourselves out of the line of fire by pretending not to know a thing while taking the mickey out of ourselves. It is a brilliant way of getting away with things.

And now there is something else I realised: Thanks to the internet we found a wonderful way of bragging. These days columns are often run within blogs where communities form and comments are left, resulting in chains of conversation which sometimes are funnier than the blog itself; so far a reason for me to not run the columns in a blog. See, and then we visit each others blogs and leave comments including links to our own pamphlets, trying to confuse the community and to win them over.

Oh well, at least I do that! But I have an excuse: I am not famous; I have to steal attention wherever I can. Whereas there are some very generous, famous columnists like Nury, who let me thrive on their wave. Out of this a conversation via columns took place on Nury’s blog which I would like to tell you about… well, and it is another wonderful opportunity to brag about myself! Here is:

The story of 'He is so sweet!'

I love it when a story goes circles especially when it happens to one of mine, and especially if this circle contains a lot of praise for me. It all started when I left a comment on Nury’s blog asking when he is doing all this writing. A column EVERY day! And they are all good ones. If I am on a high I can come up with one a week and if I get lucky, then every other is a good one. Hence the valid question: When on earth does one find the time for that?


Dear Rika, thanks for your kind words--I had a visit to your site and found it great fun. (Click on Rika's name at the bottom of her comment above to go straight to her page.) As for how I write so often, I'm not sure what the answer is. One thing is that I get up early -- six o'clock this morning and straight to work on this site in my pajamas, before getting into a suit and heading off to the office to do my real job. The other thing is the pressure of having readers. Once you know you have a few, then you can't let them down--I'm sure you feel the same!

Yay! He likes my site… and he is assuming that I have readers... and well yes, the reader thing is true. Although I am writing on a weekly basis: I didn’t miss a single Wednesday in two and a half years. Who knows, there might be someone actually coming back... Nevertheless: Writing in the mornings – what an idea! So I wrote my own column on that matter, called 'He is so sweet!'.

Time went by, about one and a half years of it, when all of a sudden he wrote a column – much funnier than mine – about the same kind of start into the day… hmmm?! That sound’s like somebody had a bit of a lifestyle change… So I couldn’t help but leave another comment:

My dear sweetheart Nury, welcome to the real world!

A good two years ago I asked you how on earth you manage to write all that stuff you are writing, and I got a response:

Oh yes! I am German, remember?

Back then this inspired me to write my own account of my sad life: and reading through it again I now feel blessed; your life seems to be even sadder than mine.

But it gave you a new column...

Posted by: Rika | Thursday, 26 November 2009 at 02:51 PM

And again I got a lovely response. First a lot of praise for other commentators I am not keen to bore you with, and then:

Rika, I love your site. Anybody who hasn't been to it -- do make a visit, click on Rika's name in the comment above. She writes really well. You can really picture her.

Posted by: Nury | Thursday, 26 November 2009 at 07:43 PM

See, one may say a lot of bad things about the internet, the fake friends luring you into an addictive internet lifestyle, the crimes and abuses. Well, it pretty much depends on how one uses this thing, I guess. This example shows that it can truly connect people across the world, although… Nury is desperately trying to prove that Angela, one of the gang members is real,… and sometimes… hmm…?!? … his pictures look so airbrushed… I will have to go to Hong Kong one day and track him down!


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