Internet Forums: Double, Treble Bastard? Or Extremely Good Things?

Monday July 2nd, 2001

For all the recent moaning about being an out-of-work content producer, when I was writing for two days a week, and writing for a pensions website for the other three, plus spending every other hour on an internet message board, I wasn't very bloody happy either. Some people, eh?

March 2001

Three fifteen am. I hear cars in the street, the hum of the computer, and my fingers on the keys. The sound of my chair creaking. The cat wheezes as she snores; the crocheted blanket rubs against the fabric of my dressing-gown as I pull it closer round me. Jesus, I sound like a grandma. I stop writing, slide my left thumb into my mouth, slip a loop of hair round the fingers on my right hand. I play with it, listening for the flick and whisper of hair against knuckle. The cat's ears move. There's a lot of creaking and sighing tonight, and most of it's from me.

Life, for the most part, this month, has been about bastardised writing. No - more than that: for the writing from which this writing is bastard offspring is itself bastard. Double bastard; illegitemate beyond recognition; a bend so sinister it's become a circle. Cheap lameass late-twenties creative non-fiction, that's my genre, that's my lover, that's my friend; that's my bag. Which is rather like saying Primark, that's my label; the gutter, that's my goal; I'm just bad, me, don't try to change me; accept me as I am, goddammit, as I cheap nasty lousy lazy fucking goddamn AM. And that's the good stuff, you understand... that's the stuff I produce when I'm proud of who I am. Phew.

This stuff, this other stuff... it's -- It's not its fault, the bastard bastard double bastard stuff. It will make people laugh, some of it, and the rest, the better paying stuff, well, that will help people purchase a Stakeholder Pension via the internet, and that's... nice, isn't it? A content producer am I, I hope; and some will laugh, and some will not, and some will purchase a Stakeholder Pension via the internet.

And the treble bastard stuff? There is some, you know; it forms in the spaces between the double bastard stuff; and it trickles down; and it ends up there, on an internet message board. But that trickle: what's it made of? Is it quality, 'qualitats' as Soph might say? Is it wine, or just residue? Internet message boards: writer's friend? Creative playground? Or the sticky spillage of the lowest common denominator? Internet forums: stimulant or pallative? I want to know.

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