Wednesday, December 07, 2005

baby, you're so vicious

Tim Blair’s smarting that an artist won a recent ‘best blogger contest’. Blair doesn’t know much about art but he knows what he doesn’t like, and that is bridges that sing.
I can understand Blair’s pain at being robbed of the ten big ones. I, too, had already written my acceptance speech. I had described how none of it couldn’ve been possible without the generous support of my friendly blogging community. I had remarked on how heavy the statuette was. I had even thanked God, despite being an atheist. (OK, I’m cheap.)
I had lain in bed at night and fantasised about what I would do with dem ten thousand bucks. Rather generously, I had decided I would allocate half to donate to other bloggers who, I was going to graciously announce, were equally if not far more deserving than I of the prize. As I lay in bed stroking my ego about my enormous win and good fortune, I was now also able to admire myself for my generosity and altruism.
Meanwhile, I also fretted about winning. I was pretty sure I couldn’t hack the pressure to perform, once I’d won. I imagined strangers turning up at my site for a quick gawk, leaving a few disgruntled comments about my lack of worthiness, and then pissing off again. I felt very depressed about it all.
When I woke up, I thought, phew, I’m glad I’m not Jodi Rose.
Although I agree with Blair that inclusion of a Saab fansite in the 'top 11' is most peculiar, I still think it pretty churlish of Blair not to be a good sport and congratulate Jodi Rose on her win. My feeling, swallowing sour grapes and all, is that Fairfax was probably courting controversy, and blog inches, in choosing a postmodern coneptual/performance artist. But never mind. Jodi Rose, whether or not we understand or appreciate her art, is definitely using the blog medium as a tool for her art, combining sound, visuals and writing, in a way that does highlight the incredibly flexible nature of the medium. In that sense she is representative of what the form can achieve; the content is almost irrelevant.
I had really hoped someone like Margo Kingston or John Quiggin or Tim Dunlop would win. Something about ‘the sane blogger as antidote to the insane mainstream media’. But I mean...okay, as if! This was being judged by Fairfax, after all.
Still, it’s impossible for anyone to be judged ‘Australia’s best blogger’ just as it would be impossible to speak of “Australia’s best author”. There’s just too many genres, too many idiosyncratic geniuses out there.
But more power to Jodi Rose. Yes, it is art.