A Brief Moment of Certainty

May 11, 2008 at 9:37 (Rants)

Now I haven’t written very much for this blog, and I haven’t done much to publicise the few articles I did deign to post.  Most of them are published elsewhere, and on sites ranked rather higher by the great Google than on All Things Uncertain.  If you wanted to read a review of The Stone Gods you’d find it on blogritics before you’d hear even passing tell of such a thing’s presence here.  The Thundercats news item saw a little action on Digg – that’s more than likely how you’d stumble across it, rather than at ground zero; this little weblog (wonder a moment: how arcane that word has become, and how quickly).  The next real bit of writing you precious few are like to find here is a review of The World Ends With You, but that, too, is for another gang of idiots fool enough to take me in: the UK half of AceGamez.

And yet, hits.  To my utmost surprise, hits.  Never more than a modest amount, but nonetheless, what a few hundred people are finding on All Things Uncertain each day has me somewhat at a loss.

Above all else, I’m a consumer – I’m not ashamed to admit as much.  But, all the same, I have my reservations.  I’m not interested in anything in particular, which isn’t to say I’m at all uninterested by any medium.  What I came to enjoy, in my youth and through education and age, was just about everything that merited enjoyment.  My first love was always for film, but soon enough afterward there were books – the Redwall novels, The Neverending Story, Point Horror (oh yes I did) and soon enough Stephen King – and then there were comics, cartoons, musics, games and, perhaps a little late, the contemporary greats of television.  And it hardly stops there, which is precisely the point.

If there’s a great story to be told, and a storyteller to do its telling justice, you can pretty much count me in.  That breed of objectivity borne of a real respect for some underground fascination – in my case I’d have to say it was fantasy, both dark and light, in literature or on the silver screen – that breed of objectivity, I mean to say, tends not to exclude from later consideration other, similar strains of entertainment.  If I’ll gladly defend Duma Key to anyone lacking the foresight to ask my opinion on the matter, then I’m hardly in a position to take the piss of out Doctor Who (knock knock?).  I’d be a mad fascist to deny the Saw sequels and J. K. Rowling’s appalling retconning of tales told better before while I sit here on my little leather swivel chair harping on about the occasional [REC] and a few bittersweet sips of that old bastard Warren Ellis’ work.  I read Star Trek Voyager novels on holidays with my parents, for Christ’s sake, I have none of this… shame, you say?

It’s not shame, of course.  I’ll stand proud with the great geek army when our time comes to take the reigns – that is, once we’ve ventured beyond the convenience store to inherit the One Ring or some such thing.  I’m content in the fact that there are few things more to my liking than a night questing the watercolour wonders of Okami with a great bottle of Coke by my side, or a steady supply of weed to walk me through the last great leaps of Evangelion.  I’m a genre fan through and through, but not exclusively, never exclusively.  I love Columbo as much as Lost, Battlestar less than I admire the old HBO masterclasses.  And as much as I feel that ultimately, a little focus could do me the world of good, I don’t want it.  I mean sure, it’d be nice to have a blog about sci-fi or video games, nicer still to have some unique twist on those old internet familiars.  How about a Marxist perspective on the — wait… no, that’s not a good idea at all.  But traditionally, that’s how an audience is had.  First you find them, then you give them precisely what you think they want.  If your focus is tight enough and distinctive at that, you have a chance.  Here in the ether of the interwebs, just as in the high street, in cinemas, bookstores and on television, I assumed that was just how it worked.  Everything in its right place – or, at least, the place some corporate so-and-so has decided is right, whether with or without any real knowledge or understand of his business.

So you’d think that All Things Uncertain would struggle to find any kind of audience at all.  The myriad subjects I’ve covered since that early morning a few months ago should be enough to turn away any souls bemused by my ramblings.  And yet, hits.  Not too many – ye are a fickle beast, internet fame, and thanks be for that – but, I marvel: thousands of real hits.  Eyeballs on.

And thanks to wordpress magic, I know where those eyeballs were before they alighted here.  I know what you Googled to end up here, or which of the other sites I write for shone a light into this particular crevice.  But – don’t fear my awesome power.  I mean to use it wisely, or at least to make a little fun before I come to the increasingly laboured point of all this.  And thus, almost a third of the hits All Things Uncertain has had have (and what an excellent turn of phrase that was) been from searches for free porn; Redtube in particular.  Cannabis too has come up increasingly, perhaps – do I dare to dream? – through some reinvigorated interest in the subject given the British governments recent un-re-de-classification of that choice herb.  The rest – from curious readers of the sinister cabal of blogcritics, the kindly ladies at Heroine Content, the occasional Digg, and a bunch of brave Google wranglers whose peculiar search terms instil in me some honest to goodness pride.

Whether you’ve come here for a book review or a satirical take on the news, some pointers towards a little five-fingered pornography or the pseudo-lucid thoughts of a resolute smoker, I welcome you, one and all.  And I tell you: this internet is a powerful thing to bring each of you here.  Soap opera moms will not accidentally watch Sunshine and behorned teens aren’t often likely to care for feminist critiques of environmental fiction.  And yet here – here on this site, yes, but largely here, on the internet – all those things can exist together; if not always harmoniously.  It’s a crying shame that the three Ws have brought with them so much pointless conflict – forum trolls should be hobbled by law, for instance – but for all the newscasters and journos and their incessant fearmongering, there’s plainly more to the internet than corruption and kiddy fiddling.   Even this most sporadic of sources demonstrates as much.  When a crowd gets big enough, a few fights are bound to break up.  We think, therefore we are; but we were before, too, if not exactly as we have come to be, and in those days the animal in us all was what made us.  These days the fights are in forums as well as on battlefields, and frankly the sooner humanity can confine its innate differences to chat rooms in mIRC the better.

At the end of the day, in spite of all the squabbling, the internet clearly serves to bring people together in a way and on a scale the world had not known possible before.  We need no longer be defined by those businessmen who put our interests in special little boxes to bump up their bottom line.  These days, you can enjoy contrary interests.  You can write about tactical anime RPGs as well as politics and fisting and law and television.  Strange as it was for me to realise it, there is a place for All Things Uncertain.  There’s an audience out there that can find its own way more freely than ever before, who can pursue what interests they have without fear of recrimination or discrimination.  Everything has its right place, indeed, but in this new world we can each decide for ourselves where that place is.



  1. The creature that occasionally steals your couch and drinks all your Pepsi said,

    I’d submit some witty and astute comment attributing your varying interweb popularity to the meandering regularity of your posts but I have not the patience for such concerns at this moment.

    I thought I’d just pop by here to say hello and lo, my work is done.

    Do you have Mario Kart yet? I needs to play it. Perhaps I shall venture to your house on the 20th or thereabouts. Can’t say I didn’t warn ya!

    ~ You know who

  2. allthingsuncertain said,

    Of course I know who. So I have the Mario Kart, but all in all, meh. Niko calls louder and longer – and soon, Liberty City will be mine. But you’d be welcome to stop by. Remember the $5 toll on the bridge crossing though…

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