Ticket to Ride

Chris Locke is riding the bus. Long story. Very long sad cash-depleted, car-re-possessed story. Interesting to me because b!X has always ridden buses. His is also, a very long cash depleted story, but with a much different plot. My birthday present to b!X each year is paying for his monthly bus pass. “…another word for nothing left to lose..”
I’m picking up on Frank Paynter’s email offer of a ticket to ride Chris Locke about being what, to me, is one of the most crafted and consciously engineered blogvoices out there — a fact that, as Frank Paynter points out, blares in contradiction to what Locke purports to admire and advocate.
When he was riding up front on the Cluetrain, Locke make this statement:
“Whether delivering information, opinions, perspectives, dissenting arguments or humorous asides, the human voice is typically open, natural, uncontrived.”
Paynter sits hard on that statement, and I’m grabbing the seat next to him.
My voice that speaks through my fingers manipulating the keyboard sounds much different than it does when I open my mouth and manipulate my tongue. This visually arranged voice is carefully (at least usually carefully) contrived. And so it is with just about all of us whose thoughts ride through time and neurons and muscles and fingertips and little square buttons before they boom out into what becomes our blogvoices.
Frank’s piece is a great example, and he’s given us a ticket to ride this horse yet another time.

3 thoughts on “Ticket to Ride

  1. And lest I seem to have come down too hard on my friend Chris for eschewing contrivance while being a master of it, I think we need to consider the authenticity aspect. Chris has an “authentic voice” that is amplified and tuned by his superb ability to manage textual nuance and accompanying graphic content. That’s what I think.

  2. RB in love

    RageBoy has fallen in love again. This time with a book. If you read only one book review this year, make it this one. And then Frank Paynter responds, perhaps I should say amplifies, or is it analyzes? And Kalilily gets on a bus with Frank to wonder w…

  3. Ah, but authenticity is something different from “open, natural, uncontrived.” “Natural” implies being without affectation. “Open” implies not holding anything back. Often, the voice communicated through written/typed words is quite contrived and manipulated. Maybe we have to make a distinction between content (in a sense, the mind/heart/soul of the writing) and style (in a sense, the physical manifestion). Voice is a combination of both content and style. What we want is to hear the ring of authenticity in the content, in the thinking, in the feeling, in the motivation. There is no doubt that Locke’s content is authentic. And, not at all a contradiction, his style is a tour de force — nothing natural or uncontrived about it. What gets confusing is when we try to categorize the “style” aspect of Voice as authentic or not authentic. Style is an engineered thing — hopefully, consciously.
    So, in the sense of the “content” of the human voice, Locke is right when he says that that “the human voice is typically open, natural, uncontrived” — typically, the content of what we humans want to communicate to the rest of the world is from the heart, from the soul, from the very essence of our being. At least I think it is so for those who are able to search their souls and honestly look into their hearts. That’s where authenticity of voice begins. The fact that it gets packaged/manifested in a contrived style can be misleading.
    Voice is both what we say and how we say it, whether we project it out to ears or eyes. The authenticity rests in the “what.” But the “how” often affects how openly others are willing to listen.

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