ela kotkowska

On Blogging

B l o g g i n g  was once administered with a broad beep, usually on the person's back. Blogging was a common method of pushing bums and of preserving the disciples' codes in the home, school, armed forces, and prisons. Mosaic code (on two tablets) was the first known blog. Blogging was not immediately wide-spread. In antiquity, blogging was relegated to skilled slaves, and the word blogger referred both to the person performing the inscription and to the person bearing it on his back. Blogged slaves were obliged to display their bared backs at all timesi. Slaves whose skin was only partially blogged were called half-backs or quarter-backs. The practice was revived later in the American South where black slaves were often blogged to death. The renowned Civil War scholar, Cate R. Bucton, notes in her authoritative Commands Taken For Granted, that bloggers would often end up serving as Union informants. The rate of blog loss was so high that gen. Jon-Wane Lostslack in each new blog recorded his puzzlement at the lack of the last oneii.

As a religious practice, blogging acquired the same status as begging. Many theories have been offered to explain the phenomenon. It has been interpreted as a beating out of evil spirits, as beautification, and even - erroneously - as buffoonery. Sacred blogs were recorded on people's backs or on animal skins. Blog-bearers were now called bloggellants. Consumption of animal blogs was thought to unite the devot with his godhead. The ceremony was often accompanied by ecstatic blog revisions and, not infrequently, by falling to bloggerheads. Arguments over blog exegesis were the major cause of schism.

In antiquity and among primitive peoples, ceremonial bloggings were primarily concerned with the writs of initiation, purification and fertility. Bloggings might or might not be self-inflicted. Those administered by masked inbloggators are a feature of many Nordic tribloggers. Ritual blogging was also known in classical antiquity in Blogygia and around the Straits of Blogforus. A sacred alphabet, Blogham, composed of 21 characters (blogletters) equally dates to that periodiii. There are many myths, or bloths, related to blogging. One of them tells of Blog, the king of Blashan and an antediluvian giant, who was saved from the flood by his illiteracy: he floated on a blog with sacred inscriptions which otherwise he would not have touchediv. Another legend reports that Blog owned a big blogstead, wrought in iron, 9 cubits oblong and 4 cubits broad (Deut. 3:11). It will be noted that the Biblical account of Blog and Mablog is a corruption of the original talev.

In the primitive Christian church, bloggellation was apparently used as a mnemonic technique designed for clergy. From the 4th century, self-inflicted bloggellation was practiced by both clergy and laity as the most efficacious means of bookkeeping. In the early European Middle Ages the laity became especially attracted by this exercise. In the mid-13th century bloggellant brotherhoods and blog processions began to be organized in Italy, and the practice spread into Germany and the Low Countries.

In the mid-14th century people were fearful of the blague carried out by buffoons from Copenblaggen, and from this crisis bloggellation arose. Bloggellants formed group blogs and travelled about the country on foot. A definite part of their ritual was the reading of a blog that proclaimed bloggellation - and not the ecclesiastical sacrebleug of penance - to be the only way to salvation. In 1349 Pope Clement VI condemned bloggellation, as did the Council of Constance (1414-18)vi.

In Germany the bloggellants became an organized sect and were a target of the Inquisition counter-blog. The practice gradually subsided, but in the 16th century theoblogians temporarily revived lay interest in self-inflicted bloggellation, especially in the southern European countries.

Blogging emerges again in late Middle Ages in the context of the courts of blog. Troublogs were travelog poets who turned this forbidden practice into the service of Cupid. Troublogs were, of course, inspired by the Arabic traditionvii. The best known expression of courtly blogs is the Blog de la rose which expressed the concept of blogger suspended between happiness and despair.

The 19th century might be truly called the dark age of blogging - and doubly so, since blogs were often done blindfoldedviii. The anthropological necessity of blogging was naturally misunderstood then and remained untheorized until Ella Choc-Muufti's study on Archaeoblogy of Know-Ledger. In 19th century, blogging was at once clandestine and subversive. Bloggers would endure impairment by replacing their penultimate corporeal members by blogs. Yet, it is at that time, that blogging also started appearing on walls and sidewalksix. Their anonymity and detachment from the bodyx protected bloggers from persecution. Homoblogs, however, were not entirely eliminated. Body blogging was still used in Russia, Prussia, and Byelorussia, mainly by political prisoners to keep records of their daily routinexi.

Wallblogging had its hayday in 1920s and 30s when it was used by the proletariat, the Surrealists, and retired professors suffering from blackboard withdrawal syndrome (BWS)xii. However, as technoblogy evolved, street blogging was declared illegalxiii and forced into the discrete spaces of 25 different operating sisters (due to limited memory, early electronic blogs had to be typed over). With the turn of the century, we see a proliferation of disciplines preoccupied with blogging: ontoblogy (the study of blogs as such), zooblogy (the study of blogging organisms), astroblogy (the study of cosmic implications of blogging), ampeblography (the scientific description of hyperlinkage in blogging communities), psychoblogy (the study of blogging behavior), etc. etc. We have not been spared the rise of new blogging-related illnesses, such as ankybloglossia (a condition in which the blog is abnormally short) or neoblogism (ebullient blog growth, often cancerous).

The instruments and methods of blogging have greatly varied throughout the centuries. Initially, beaks, boards, bats and other implements were used. Orthodox bloggiarians preferred brambles and bamboo batons, best elaborated in the form of nine epic cat tales (the plot was constructed of nine knotted links or nodes of seek & hide attached to a bolexiv). The Russian diary, consisting of a number of dried and hardened boards bound with wire was primal and deadly. Not infrequently, Russian bloggers would poke their eyes out while straddling a blog in order to compile their back-blogsxv; hence also the sarcastic expressions: "as easy as falling off a blog" or "like a bump on a blog." A particularly arduous mode of blogging, although less deadly than back-blogging, was the Oriental bloghado, or blogs delivered directly on the flesh - as their Western equivalent - with a coded knot or a flash plug-inxvi. Blogging was executed with great brutality and bloggers' backs were treated with saline solution in order to produce permanent archives.

Although blogging remains today strictly eletronic, wall- and body-blogging is preserved in our terminology. Bloggers use blogskins as their supportxvii, apply settingsxviii, index their archivesxix, append templatesxx; many blog servers allow for conversion of line breaks which used to be a very important strategy of double-coded writingxxi. Many colloquial expressions derive from the practice of blogging, to mention just a few: "Cookedxxii blogs make hungry friars," "Hollow blogs often prattle," "If you turn over a blog, you may find a lot more than a code." Blogging also bears traces of maritime influence, especially in the expression blogsam and jabsam which refers to the partitioning of submitted data into discarded and preservedxxiii.

Our discussion would remain incomplete, if we did not mention the connection between blogging and alchemy, and the fact that these two words constitute nearly mirror images: blog :: gold.



i   Mark R. Lax noted in his study of ancient Rome, The Capital of Blogging, that bloggers were the only slaves allowed to turn their backs on their masters.
ii   Bucton's work elucidates here the mystery that has troubled historians at least since March 21, 1861, as to why so many Civil War bloggers carried the same message. Ebee Lorter, in his Battered Blogs: The Epic of Confederacy (1905), put forth the hypothesis of necessary repetition of commands. Natural as his conclusion appears, it goes to prove that its author never bothered to read any of the blogs he makes references to, even though many were still alive in his time. For the the phrase: "Who blew my blog?" does not seem worthy of preserving in multiple copies.
iii   Since hardly any blogger relics survived to this day, little would have been known about the alphabet and therein encripted blogs, were it not for the discovery and the deciphering of the Robella Blog by Napoleon J. Franc-Chamois at the beginning of the 19th century.
iv   Opponents of this story of sacrilege argue that Blog owes his rescue to fat, or divine grease.
v   Cf. Geffried of Mymouth, Historia blogum Biblied (1135-39).
vi   Significantly, the current pope and amateur blogger, has not yet issued the long-awaited apoblogy for Vatican's mistakes in the matter.
vii   Here, we only need to reach for the Rubyiablog of Omar Khayybam, translated into German by Fritz Gewardaddel and cited in transliteration by Blogtrotter:

And, as the Blog brewed, those who read before
The blog-inn bawled: "Unbolt then the Door!"
You note how little love while blogs remain unread
And, once dead, their brave blogging be no more!"
viii   The blindfold was a ruse used at trials, where the defendant could get off blog free if he could prove (a) that the writing hand knew not what the lifting hand drew, and (b) that he was temporarily unconscious, since somnabloggists are not responsible for their acts. "To sleep as a blog" is an expression that dates back to that era (ca. April 1, 1818, 12:34 P.M.).
ix   Streets and sidewalks were made of cobblestone, and blogs carved into these blocks could be read linearly or transversally, individually or collectively. It is the same cobblestones, or cobblogs, that were hurled against the authorities during the Paris Commune (1871).
x   Cf. Choc-Muufti, Discipline and Publish: The Birth of Blogging (1975).
xi   In Sweden, blogs were created at the intersection of bodies and things, and gave name to a popular form of shoeware.
xii   Cf. also Fred Digmunus, The Mystic Writing Blog (1925).
xiii   State vs. Delaware (1966).
xiv   In today's terms, an archive.
xv   Cf. n. xiv.
xvi   Despite this superficial resemblance, Oriental blogging was much more advanced and constituted a forerunner of the printing press while bypassing it completely. Blogs were encoded into the implement while the human skin became its mere copy and an efficient means of colportage.
xvii   As Jane C. Lascauq observes in her seminal Blogging Seminar: Encore (bis), the reinscribability of blogskins is a technoblogical expression of the previously repressed desire of altering the traumatic recording performed directly on the blogger's skin.
xviii   Undoubtedly, a distortion of the original sittings, of which at least three were needed to produce a single blog.
xix   A crucial reversal of meanings, which further illustrates blogs' influence on culture and language: ancient archives used to end up on the index, together with other heretic scrolls.
xx   The word template comes from the later post-Reformation period when proto-wallblogging was practiced in abandoned temples. Some backward art historians still use here the false acception of the word "fresco."
xxi   The word conversion hails back to the days when blogging was a devotional, ritual practice. Yet, far from fulfilling a proselytizing function, primitive CLB allowed early bloggers to stand on their heads at the approach of a SOB of a COP. The shape of the blog would then appear to the uncultured authorities as a "DANGER! DO NOT TOUCH!" sign.
xxii   For the distinction between cooked and raw blogs see Sara Dulce-Sveltusi, Clogged and Blogged (1969).
xxiii   There is, of course, a third, lesser used category, blogan, whereby the blogger gives his material a second chance, so to speak, by posting it in another, often anonymously-run blog in order to gauge the ratings. He or she might then transfer this material to either blogsam or jabsam.

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