Notes from a small island
A weblog by Jonathan Ali

Thursday, July 03, 2003  

The July-August issue of Caribbean Beat, the in-flight magazine of T&T's national airline, BWIA, has an article on Caribbean blogging by Damien Smith; Notes From A Small Island gets a mention.

The article says that this and other blogs, "though not focusing on specialised subjects, write about current affairs, politics, or social issues from a Caribbean perspective", while this one in particular has "a more serious outlook".

While I certainly don't disagree with either point, even if saying that this blog is "serious" makes it seem, well, exactly that ("Why is your tone always so dry?" a friend asked me a couple of days ago. What could I say? You are who you are; you write what - and how - you write); though that is what this blog is like, I have, incidentally, been thinking generally about the blog, how it's been coming along and where it's going.

As I said when I first started this racket just over half a year ago now, the primary function of this form, was to be able to clarify and codify my personal thoughts and opinions on issues that matter to me. To paraphrase Kingsley Amis, we write to understand, not to be understood; and while this is perhaps not strictly true in all cases, the former is certainly what I am most concerned with.

This wish to understand is event more important, I think, in societies such as in Trinidad and the Caribbean, relatively new and nascent societies, places where people are still very much trying to work out who they are, let alone what they are about and where they're going. It is a daunting, sometimes depressing, and vitally important task, and one that, for me, is a personal one. To seek to understand is a journey of discovery; of the world, yes but in the end of one's own self, hopefully with the end of making one's self more useful, and thereby (if it's not too sanctimonious a desire, and for no other reason than the reason itself) a better person.

Can one single blog do all that? Of course not, but it can help, and has helped; it's been quite a discovery, even if at times I've thought to pack it in, knowing that really, my erratic, not exactly planet tilting postings don't amount to a hill of beans in the world, real or cyber. (Don't worry, my three readers, I'm not ready for my swansong just yet - though when I am, I wouldn't mind if it was this one.)

I'm not exactly sure then, and I don't think I ever will be sure, how "serious" this blog is, how tuned in to the "issues". It's just me - as most would have noticed, this is now simply "A weblog by Jonathan Ali" - for what that's worth, no matter what I'm blogging about. If you started at the beginning, thanks. If you've now tuned in, stick around. It might get interesting yet.

posted by Jonathan | 12:38 AM 0 comments


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