The Basement Tapes

Sunday, 14th July 2019 – Many moons ago, I had a blog called The Basement Tapes. It functioned as my own little online cultural ghetto-blaster for releasing a whole lot of journalism I’d published and a few literary left-turns I loved, as well as the odd poem I’d been writing and ideas that were just me searching for something that might not have been attainable in words (but reaching for a meaning anyway).

I lost that digital space during one of those identity-theft nightmares that seem to be the way of modern life. The French poet Rimbaud was a wise man when wrote “I is another.” Has it ever been more this way than it is today, as we build temples to ourselves online and engage in the ongoing construction of our identity in public?

The performance of self becomes your real self. The mask becomes the face. Writers, performers and other artists have tended to be more aware than most of this paradox. And making use of it to move forward. But we’re no more immune to disorientation and upset than anyone else as we try to negotiate this brave new world online. How troubling it was, I have to say, to lose my name and my digital address, to become ‘stateless’ and fall through a hole in the Net while some other ghost ran on without me. To become no-one.

Now here I am again, the same but different… “in another time, in another place, in another face,” as Van Morrison so mysteriously and wonderfully put it in his reincarnation song, ‘Astral Weeks’.

I hope you will like this new-old me as I slowly get The Electrified Journalist up and running and fully rewired. It’s just a few cables hanging from the ceiling and some loosely stacked bricks being put in place for now. But I’m building another power-station here, trying to generate a bright new light.

I’m thinking I can make this version of ‘The Basement Tapes’ a place where I turn on the switch, now and then, to take a better look inside the overall machine I’m building at The Electrified Journalist.

Mark Mordue ©