Friday, January 1, 2010

A New Year's Resolution for A More Splendid Life


I've been writing this blog for just over two years now, and I still don't know what it is. If I were forced at gunpoint to discuss who exactly reads the blog, what sort of angle it takes, or how it's fundamentally different from all the other blogs out there, I don't know what I'd tell him. Or her. I'd probably get shot in the face.

Needless to say, my traffic numbers reflect my scatterbrained focus. Fair enough. We can't all write like Brian Phillips, even though his mellifluous-sounding spectre haunts every inch of AMSL, taunting me. We can't all know as much about MLS as Fake Sigi, or be as reliably knowledgeable about contemporary Canadian soccer issues as the 24thminute. Considering my short-comings, that there has been a handful of readers who have stuck with me over the years is something for which I am more than grateful; I am shocked.

Anyway, where am I going with this? Yes, Samuel Pepys. I had a minor Pepys obsession last year, mostly because it's fun to read English history through the eyes of a highly individualistic, lecherous drunk (an example: his reaction to vomiting all over himself as he slept off Charles II's orgiastic restoration was to identify the mishap as evidence of the "glory of the occasion"). Pepys was what the Internet generation might call a proto-blogger, perhaps a even a "logger." No, that's terrible. He was a diarist, keeping a daily record of his activities as a key cog in the bureaucratic machine of the English court for ten years.

So what does Pepys have to do with AMSL? In my own day-to-day life, soccer is a central motif. Even music, which occupies most of my time, falls under the rubric of football. I mentally compare conductors to football managers, washed up singers to tired players who don't know when to leave the game, genius composers to genius centre-forwards. "If music be the football of love, play on!" Purcell might have put it. I think.

Pepys' diary was more and more on my mind as 2010 approached, and plans for my new as-yet-unnamed serious Canadian soccer blog loomed large. How do I distinguish AMSL from my more serious site? How do I preserve its anarchic nature, whilst still giving it some direction and focus to distinguish it from the plethora of other singular blog-sites out there? Then I thought the blog's surtitle: "The Chronicles of One Fan's Escape to the Beautiful Game." Slightly awkwardly phrased maybe, but I see what I was trying to do there two years ago. I thought of the initial intention behind the blogging phenomena, to record a daily log, for which Blogger Minima was designed.

And then it came to me: I want to be the Samuel Pepys of soccer (without the lechery and drunkenness. Mostly).

Which brings me to my resolution. Beginning tomorrow, and continuing for as long as I can up to a maximum of ten years, I am going to keep a public diary of sorts. On my life as an observer, fan, writer and sometime participant in the game of soccer. Much of what you have got accustomed to reading over the past two years will remain, but will appear within the haphazard circumstances of a lived life, rather than from a neutral "voice of authority." Each post will form an atomized link in a greater narrative chain, telling the story of the ever-changing game of football within the rubric of my own lived life. It could mean you end up never reading AMSL again, or it could mean I win a whole new audience of fans reading something of themselves in these digital pages. Who knows? That's why the future is fun.

Anyway, you can drop by tomorrow to get a sense of what I mean. And a Happy New Decade to you all.

Richard Whittall

1 comment:

Richard Farley said...

Look forward to it. Be sure to tweet. I'd love to know when you commit and entry.