the Wakefield Doctrine (…’give a starving man a pen and he will stab you and take your wallet, teach him to write and he will create a blog and stab a million people and try to take their wallets’
I was speaking to (one of the other) Progenitors last night, discussing the Wakefield Doctrine in general and this blog in particular. We got on to the topic of writing styles and attracting a following or at least a continuing readership. At one point he said, ‘look, what we have here is not a hobby blog or a poetry blog, it is not even a blog about what we think about religion or philosophy or anything else! It is an original idea, unfamiliar to people who might come upon it, so don’t expect most people to get it on the first try!’
That was a good point. The actual writing part of having (a blog) is new to probably everyone who gets it into their head to start one. Of course I am not counting the professional/trained writers, those people you can spot the second you get to their site. (These ‘writer blogs’ look good, read good, right out of the gate.) No mistaking them. But their subject matter is often secondary to the execution, they appear to be writing for the sake of writing. Not the worse thing in the world to do, but a little skillfully executed prose goes a long way when there is no original content. As for the rest of us, we start with a writing style that is clearly untrained. After a certain period of time, after the majority have given up the ‘blog project’, those of us who remain comprise the garage bands of the blogosphere.
Well…, that certainly was the long way back around to my theme of the difficulties encountered when trying to convey an original idea with no formal training in the medium. (I once wrote in a Reply to another blog to the effect that, ‘in olden days if I had the money, I would get pamphlets printed and stand on a street corner and try to get the ten or twenty passersby to stop and take one and read it. Now I have the internet. I can try and get ten or twenty million passersby to stop and read my little electronic pamphlet’.)
The creating and performing of music is a major element in the background of the (original) clark, scott and roger. We all grew up in a time when, if you were not planning a real career (doctor/lawyer/accountant) then you played in a band. In fact, 2 of the 3 Progenitors still do to some extent or another. The metaphor of learning an instrument without formal instruction and performing in public are recurring themes in the lives of the people from which the Wakefield Doctrine has sprung.
The ‘garage band’ metaphor is actually quite apt. Back in the day, we spent time among friends playing in living rooms. That sounded good but it was not enough, we had to see if we could get the same reaction from strangers. So we practised in garages and (in one case in a 14′ by 14′ room in an abandoned factory building), but we practised and eventually went out and played for high school dances, then wedding receptions and (finally) bars and night clubs. The underlying motive remained the same throughout, ‘could I get the reaction that I got from friends when I performed in front of total strangers?’
This blog is the attempt to get the same reaction that I get from friends and family when I talk about the theory of clarks, scotts and rogers only from total strangers, people who have never heard of the Wakefield Doctrine.
This thing has legs. I bet that with time and a stack of Marshalls the theory of clarks, scotts and rogers will have a following. I make that statement because I have had people that know of the Wakefield Doctrine tell of hearing people who have heard it third hand, make statements like ‘man, what a roger he is’, or ‘not too much a scott, is she?’ So if the Doctrine is sustainable enough to propagate on a purely anecdotal level, with a little effort and a lot of promotion and an increasingly efficacious style of teaching and illustrating the concept, everyone will know about clarks, scotts and rogers.
So, in keeping with the theme of this Post, if you are new here and are reading this, write a Comment/Reply. (Metaphorically applaud or throw a beer can at the stage). This thing will continue…