Tuesday, October 20, 2009

curse you andrew sullivan!

I had the opportunity last night to briefly speak with Andrew Sullivan, prominent journalist and political commentator renowned for his blog The Daily Dish, after a talk he gave at CMU. As an aside, he is an excellent, eloquent speaker, characteristics generally reflected on his blog.

One of my classmates in our blogging class had announced our entire class's presence, so I thought it was only fair to go up to Andrew and ask him a little about blogging. An enjoyable two-minute conversation followed. I told him I was addicted to blogging and was considering writing every day now. He told me it wasn't a blog unless I did write every single day and urged me to fix that error in my "website" immediately, so it could finally be a blog. A worthy goal, and one that I plan to implement this instant.

And why, you ask, do I curse him?

Because this week happens to be a very stressful week ahead- essentially the start of Round Two of assignments and exams in my classes. But that will not deter me, even if I have to have small updates until Friday.

At the behest of my roommate Candy, I thought I'd explain the name of this blog. Why "Unlacing the Victorians?"

Because "Unlaced" was already taken and "Unlacing" all by itself sounded as mentally challenged as my ability to do calculus or say simple sentences clearly. ("My air won't fully fill with lungs" was uttered by yours truly to my friend Andy last week shortly before we made it to the ScareHouse. He spent the next five minutes poking fun at my verbal dyslexia.)

The idea of unlacing, however, comes from an Emilie Autumn album of classical violin pieces on one CD and contemporary, metal-shredding compositions of her own invention on the other. The album's name? Laced/Unlaced. Ten points if you can guess which CD is Unlaced.

image source: The Official Site of Emilie Autumn

Lacing means constraint. The Victorians were way too tightly laced. They rarely enjoyed life- they thought a lot about repressing sex and pleasure and thought way too much about death and suicide. They placed so many restrictions on themselves, even I, as an enthusiast of the period, would never want to live in it. This blog is the way I Unlace.

Unlacing, to me, means the dropping of conventions, of preconceived notions about the Victorians and having fun with it. It's freedom of thought and expression, much like writing a blog, in of itself, is freedom for the writer too long restrained by editors and deadlines and "proper" modes of conduct or writing.

I want to convey a similar idea on this blog. I don't plan on really covering the normative aspect of Victorian life. You can read some of my old short stories for that. My goal is to capture the very essence of Victorian culture mixed with modern life, to produce a skewed, historically inaccurate, imaginative idea of Victorian life. It's very dark, romantic, and passionate. It's sometimes downright loony. But it's exciting, and it allows so many people to dream: 'What if?"

So Unlace, my readers. Even if it's only a handful of people in a college writing course.

And you heard it here, on Unlacing the Victorians, first: Andrew Sullivan informed me that he blogs in his boxers. And doesn't shower until midday.

What a true Unlacer.

1 comment:

  1. This was a great, truly balanced post (and piece of writing in general), the way you framed the explanation of your blog name in the context of Andrew Sullivan.
    Which- you stayed and talked! I guess I shouldn't have been so lamely shy. Except I probably would have gotten sad and stressed when he said what you (I, we) keep online are not blogs if we don't write every day. Guess we should stop going to all those bothersome classes! Ha...
    But I do like that you address that, as unnecessarily defensive as I may be. We probably should write every day, like Joel said at the beginning of the semester, if we want to keep a blog. Even if it's just a picture.
    Which brings me to: I love that you posted both pictures and video. I think the visual aspect is very important, and I just don't do it enough.