13 September 2011

A Pragmatic Attempt

I have been agonising over this blog for months now. Probably even a year. Which is odd, because beyond the confines of my brain, the blog didn’t really even exist. Oh some people knew about it, that’s for sure, but more than the blog, they knew of my agonisations over it.
I wanted a name. A really good name. I liked the names based on idioms, or clever merging of the subject’s name, with some other snazzy word. I liked the linguistic trickery of something only a few words long, but still enrapturing enough to get you hooked. I liked blogs that were specific in their topics, but also the esoteric nature of many other blogs out there. I liked it all, and I wanted in.
I write like crazy at work, and sometimes at home, but I have never really put it out there, and I wanted to do this, and do it now.
The only problem is, you need a name.
First I thought I would merge my name somehow with a popular phrase or some such thing (like how Mark Zuckerberg’s blog was called ‘Zuck it to me’ on The Social Network). However it didn’t take me long to figure out that there were no really catchy phrases utilising the phonetic chunks in my name. Not much rhymed with Mort, or the ending of my first name: ‘thew’. I relegated any instances of Matt into the abyss for the same reason that I dislike people shortening my name to this in the first place. Because it’s my gods damned name people!
My initial attempt was failing. I noticed the tentative blog entries that I had been writing and saving on a thumb drive becoming ever more outdated. If I got this thing started up around August, would my thoughts on the Arab uprisings really be worth sharing? Are people still morning the loss of Ryan Dunn, or fascinated by the planking craze?
Thus I moved tack. I thought rather than get the name, and start from there, I would analyse the ‘feel’ of my posts, and try and figure out the theme I was working with.
So many blogs out there are professional in whatever field, blogging their lives and careers, and whatever other passions they have woven into their existence. My own sister has done this in creating a blog that is a testament to her creativity, as well as catching her quotidian goings on. The damned enviable creativity that, as a younger child, I had always felt had depleted the family gene pool upon my arrival, so that my genome was left scrapping the bottom of the barrel.
‘Nope, no more artistic flair or crafty creativity here, but we do have asthma, short-sightedness, lazy eye and some more ailments lying around.....’
There may still be some unresolved issues here.
Anyway, i knew that once I understood the ethereal creature that was waiting out there to materialise into my blog, it would be all the easier to name the beast. Unfortunately, this too was more troublesome than I had hoped.
There was no pattern; there was no common ground from which to draw my blogs foundations. One day I was commenting on the news, the next on office life. Follow this up with a rant on religion, a discussion on philosophy or an analysis of some scientific principle and you have the making of a hodgepodge of a blog, with no clear purpose.

The task of finding a blog name began to consume me. I started with a list containing scads of potential names, drawn from any number of sources. There were Zeppelin lyrics, Beatles song names, a smattering of obscure words pilfered from language blogs, as well as a few mangled idioms with my name frankensteined unsuccessfully into them (does anyone regret me not calling this blog The Long And Mort Of It? No. I didn’t think so).
In the end, the name I chose wasn’t even on the list. It came from that most erudite of sources, the venerable Christopher Hitchens. Well lets not make it sound any better than it is; it came from an article he wrote, in which he was lambasting Rupert Murdoch.
He called him a ‘ruthless Antipodean’, which had such a nice ring to it I had to open the trusty dictionary to see what it meant.

dean (plural antipodeans)
    1. An inhabitant of the antipodes.
Right getting there; but what are the antipodes?

 (plurale tantum)
    1. Any two places or regions that are on diametrically opposite sides of the earth
    2. The southern hemisphere
    3. Used in UK to refer to Australia and New Zealand - (once common, now less so)
Nice. I was pretty happy with this word, though it has at its heart the views of an inhabitant of the Northern Hemisphere, i am endeared to its old school composure, and hell; the language i am speaking is inherently northern hemispherical, so i might as well enjoy it.
In fact the antipodal point is something rooted in mathematics, with it describing the opposing point on a sphere, so at least i can try and claim some link to myself, in my love of mathematics.
Something else which i liked about this name in the end, was that even if you didn’t really know what it meant, it didn’t matter. If you couldn’t be bothered looking up the word, you still knew that my blog was written as thoughts from somewhere, regardless of the origins.
So after months and months of searching for an appropriate name for my blog, I hesitantly settled on the above; Thoughts From the Antipodes. I am not completely happy with it, but I was beginning to see more potential blog posts pass me by while I sat pondering the perfect name, and it dawned on me that I should be focusing on the guts of the blog, not merely its face.
So here I go.
With any luck I might just actually keep this blog going longer than any of my past ones (the record so far is a mere month, so the bar is set low; just like I like it), and hopefully a will get a general feel for it along the way.

Well there it is. A short introduction to this blogging attempt, with an explanation of the final name chosen. No doubt as the days go by i will be trying to intersperse my blog entries with some (hopefully still topical) throwbacks, so dear reader, i hope you enjoy this online manifestation of the goings on in my mind. With any luck it will be more rational and entertaining that it sometimes seems from my end.


  1. Haha! Jealous of my creativity are we? Mathew, need I remind you of your big brain? You're an encyclopedia on legs my boy, no reason to be wishing you have artistic ability. You can do so much more with your brain! I can only make things and think of other things to make!
    Plus, you look cool in glasses. I was always jealous and wanted glasses too!

  2. I will not stop calling you Mat.

  3. "I will not stop calling, you Mat" ?
    WTF ?

  4. I wipe my hands and feet off the matter.