Saturday, January 22, 2005

Toast into Bread

When it's a choice, why do we look at all? What are the kinds of attractions that keep us looking? Over time, sensation changes: often fades. Is looking sensation? Does it change with time, and, how does it?

Yesterday, Nicely Toasted likened the experience of reading blogs to the experience of looking down into the ground floor windows of row houses. A deeply pleasurable, engrossing act, slightly perverse, but mortal, short-lived. After a peroid of looking into ground floor flats—the tv-blue windows, the desultory signs of life—the flats start to look the same and the pleasure of looking fades. This kind of looking, or these objects of looking (other people's homes, blogs), seem to rely on the presence of an outside to that looking: looking at a person's blog (or maybe all blogs) is fun when one can still crisply remember what it was like *not* to have that kind of access. Looking into someone's home is fun in contrast to the more public, less sensational, less imtimate sights offered by streets. This kind of looking relies on a contrast, or an oscillation between intimacy and its opposite. Maybe the unexpected view into someone's home is an unexpected intimacy, and exciting for that reason. But also, necessarily, short-lived.

Is it the same with porn? (my suggestion, not Nicely Toasted's)

I don't take this to mean that blogs are a flash in the pan, or a fading sensation. Not at all. Rather, I'm thinking that at the start of a project, about a phenomenon which is relatively new, it's hard to have a sense of how that phenomenon sits in time. Thanks to Nicely Toasted for providing some insight.

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