Saturday, May 28, 2005

GKC about the INTERNET

Did you know that Chesterton wrote about the INTERNET?

Yes, actually he invented the INTERNET...

Of course it is just too funny for me, when I say in e-mail shorthand that his CW (short for "Collected Works") are available from IP...

but in this context IP means Ignatius Press, not "Internet Protocol"! Ha ha!

Well, so he didn't write about the INTERNET. Actually, he wrote about Bloggs.

No, no! I mean blogs. Though he did write about Bloggs, too; he actually started something called An Encyclopedia of Bloggs, which was about his wife's family. [Maisie Ward, Return To Chesterton, 15]

Well, sorry to mislead you again. I am wrong, wrong, WRONG.

He did not mention the word we now call "blog" but he just about predicted them (not technologically, but in essence) - and he certainly understood the usefulness of the idea behind them.

In order to understand the quote which reveals this, you need to know some background first. In 1925 GKC finally had his very own newspaper - called G. K.'s Weekly - and he could publish whatever he wanted (well, up to what propriety and the law allowed, anyway) - at least, he was its editor, and he did not have to face someone else's editorial revisions. So, in a very early issue he wrote:

This paper exists to insist on the rights of man; on possessions that are of much more political importance than the principle of one man one vote. I am in favour of one man one house, one man one field; nay I have even advanced the paradox of one man one wife. But I am almost tempted to add the more ideal fancy of one man one magazine ... to say that every citizen ought to have a weekly paper of this sort to splash about in ... this kind of scrap book to keep him quiet.
G. K.'s Weekly, April 4, 1925, quoted in Maisie Ward, Gilbert Keith Chesterton, 497, emphasis added

Isn't it wonderful to think that we are doing something GKC also got to do? Something which he wished for "every citizen" to be able to do?

I cannot resist a postscript, since GKC mentions "splashing":

I believe in getting into hot water. I think it keeps you clean.
[ILN March 10, 1906 CW27:142]


At 28 May, 2005 19:07, Blogger Jeff Miller said...

G.K. also said if it was worth doing it was worth doing badly - a definite call to blogging.

At 29 May, 2005 18:45, Blogger Dr. Thursday said...

Yes. And I do it very badly.

Just for reference, that is from GKC's What's Wrong With the World CW4:199 where hs is commenting on education, women, and heing a mother. (How shocking!)

(And say, Doctor, who on earth is going to read those long posts, with interminable footnoted excerpts from a dead English Catholic journalist? Oy.)

Hee hee. The best part about this is I get to be a columnist and you get to write letters to the editor - then I rebut them and you write again, and repeat ad libitum. It is such fun!

Another GKC blog-prediction:

"...if an editor can only make people angry enough, they will write half his newspaper for him for nothing."
GKC, Heretics CW1:100

And GKC did it all the time. He and a guy named Blatchford got into a newspaper argument about Christianity, and look what resulted: Chesterton wrote Orthodoxy, one of the great books of the 20th century.

Do you realize that all this went on just 100 years ago?

Who knows, in some argumentative web out here (or in here, or whatever) someone may be working towards one of the great books of the 21st century...

At 30 May, 2005 02:26, Blogger atheling2 said...

You mean Al Gore DIDN'T invent the Internet??? ;-)


Post a Comment

<< Home