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click opera
February 2010
Page 6 of 6
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Tue, Sep. 29th, 2009 12:36 pm

In the middle of an interview (in French!) for culturemag Chronic'art in Paris last week, I found myself -- without really planning to -- dropping a bombshell "exclusive" (which, of course, this entry is now de-exclusivising). I told Olivier Lamm (whose own player_pianoblog is pretty great) that I would end Click Opera on the eve of my 50th birthday, in other words on February 10th, 2010. Unless something fairly radical happens to change my mind, that's the plan. From now until February will, therefore, be the last few months of Click Opera.

Now, most people, when they end a blog, just publish less on it and migrate slowly to Twitter and Facebook, or wherever. But I wanted to make a bit of a dramatic fanfare about this, because I think it'll make for a more interesting and dramatic final few months. It's not so much that I want to hear people wailing and gnashing their teeth and begging me to change my mind, as that this might prompt me to cover new topics or try new things in the final days. Instead of seeing readers ebb away slowly, we might even see an increase, a final rally, and a new tone of mutual appreciation and love here.

The last days of Click Opera will feature a trip to Japan, since I'll spend much of December and some of January there. And that's nice, because Click Opera has been about Japan quite a bit, of course, during its six year existence. Posted on Friday the 16th of January 2004, the very first Click Opera entry (now sadly bare of pictures) celebrates now-defunct Japanese magazine site Magazo, and picks six of my favourite Japanese magazines. Only two of them are still in print.

That first entry received just three comments. The first was from me, and said: "First. This is the first entry in Click Opera, the record of the clicks Momus is making as he operates his iBook on a daily basis." To which an Anon signing him/herself as Zachary Daiquiri, Esq, replied: "Can I assume this will be a delightful journey, exploring everything this side of Erasure?" And a LiveJournalist known as improvduck (whose journal has now been deleted and purged) added: "I was wondering when Momus would invade LiveJournal! I'm a very young admirer." Ah, very bliss was it in that early dawn to be alive, to stretch and see for the first time the strange sun of a new planet!

So why am I ending Click Opera? There are lots of reasons. We're coming to the end of a decade, and I've seriously spent about three solid years out of the ten generating copy and fielding comments on this blog. I had a great time doing it, but what it meant was that, after a fairly nomadic and adventurous first three or four years, the decade saw me mostly rooted to a chair in front of a screen. Because I don't do things by half measures, I became pretty much a full-time blogger, and the ugly word was even added to my name: I became "Nick Currie, blogger..." (writer, artist and musician followed somewhere behind that froggy word).

Now, lots of good things came out of blogging. I had an exciting reason to get up in the morning. I managed to sift and panhandle the web and find things of value, things that reminded me why it was good to be alive. Click Opera gathered an exceptionally intelligent, forthright and challenging group of readers with whom it was a joy to chat and even to spar. I learned an enormous amount, daily, from these people. From you. And I never banned the Anonymae, because you can't learn anything without being challenged.

Click Opera got me into surveys of the world's best blogs, and landed me commentary jobs with Wired and The New York Times, Frieze and Art in America. In other words, although Click Opera itself didn't pay me a dime (it even cost me money to host), it did lead to remuneration in all sorts of fairly direct ways. And yet none of the paid blogging work I did had the same vitality, the same zing. My writing elsewhere, for money, with editors, with adverts, usually bored and disgusted me. And it usually got, you know, three comments. Something died when I tried to do for money what I wanted to do for love.

So why end it? Why why why?

Because the LiveJournal platform I'm using is being wound down (it has a skeleton staff of 8 right now, I'm told). Because there's a kind of tumbleweed feel to my Friends List these days, as people migrate to Twitter (and "ship" their inconsequential tweets back to the old haunt as if to place a big "Nothing to see here folks!" sign over both locations) or Facebook. Because I don't feel that blogging either can or should be as big a part of the next decade as it has been of this one. Because I wonder what would happen if I put the energy I pour daily into this blog (and I've established a great working routine!) into something like a book, or something else. Because I think it's good to force yourself to change, just for the sake of change. Because I don't want to be a fifty year old man whose life revolves around a blog. Because I don't like some of the conflicts Click Opera has engendered, the hurtful battles that spiralled out of control when I crossed swords with people like Marxy, Alan McGee, or the ILX messageboard. Because I've probably said everything I have to say about my opinions and worldview, on a certain level (which isn't to say that the positions I've adopted have won or been accepted; many will never be). Because switching to another medium (fiction, for example) will be a way for me to put those views and hunches and feelings into new and fresh relationships with each other. Because it is possible to over-expose yourself, and popping up somewhere on the internet every single day is definitely one way to do that. Because I now have other forms of visibility: lectures, panel appearances, conferences, interviews in the press, performance art interventions, concerts, columns, books, records, journalism; enough to satisfy even the most rabid attention-hound.

Because (new paragraph) I don't like the chain letter pressure to come up with something interesting every day, or the way that a couple of missed entries lead to a whole week in which nothing happens, and how I care about that and battle to bring the ratings back up. Okay, I've cited this before as a plus, calling it the Scheherazade Challenge, but look at poor Scheherazade's motives for inventing a new tale every day: all the king's other wives were killed. Is that the kind of pressure I want in my life? Have I considered gardening as a hobby?

What will I do instead of Click Opera? Well, I don't know. Something will replace it, but I don't know what that is at the moment. I'm thinking about going back to my Daily Photos and monthly essays (with their superior art direction and total lack of comment facilities) on the website I maintained from 1995 to 2003, imomus.com. There was something rather magical about just issuing these non-reality-adjusted statements, accompanied by immaculate visuals, whenever good ideas occurred to me. Sure, Click Opera has been a sort of karate course, and its comment facility has taught me to be more dialectical and -- above all -- the skill set of prolepsis, of anticipating reader objections. But is a more moderate, accessible and dialectical me really what the world needs? Doesn't the world need an immoderate, outrageous and concentrated me, just laying out things that only I could think, no matter how wrong they may be?

So let's see what emerges, come February. Someone so ADD-ish, novelty-crazed and restlesslessly intellectually curious, someone who loves the internet as much as I do, will no doubt not be difficult to locate on the web. But who knows, perhaps I'll start a new blog and not tell anyone who or where it is, and just see if I can hide there, doing something a bit different, waiting to be outed.

I look forward to spending more time with my family. Wait! Hell! You people are my family! I look forward to spending less time with you, then. Let's see what it feels like. And let's enjoy these last four months to the very hilt, like a beautiful click-aria at the end of a beautiful click opera.


Wed, Sep. 30th, 2009 08:03 pm (UTC)

It's understandable from my perspective, I used to be a pretty active blogger but it was always tinged with a slight sense of shame, also I often felt like I ws under pressure to produce exciting original copy for a newspaper which nobody read, now in the writing I do I don't really share it with anyone, but it tends to develop slowly in its own time and I will find an outlet for it one day. I'm a huge admirer of what you have done here and am enormously looking forward to reading both of your novels when they are (finally!) published here in the UK.


Wed, Sep. 30th, 2009 10:23 pm (UTC)
why is everyone so damn supportive?

has marxy heard yet?!


Thu, Oct. 1st, 2009 05:17 am (UTC)

Will you at least, maybe at the end, tell more of your early story? It's so scattered and far between and honestly so compelling. I really enjoyed your blog and will continue too. I hate Twitter too. :3

Caws Pobi
Sat, Oct. 3rd, 2009 01:04 am (UTC)

But what am I gonna read everyday?? NME is boooring...

It's understandable though. Better to be a musician or artist than a "blogger". And I hope you do go back to the Thought for the Day essays... I would always wait eagerly each month for a new one to go up, whereas I don't feel bad missing a few days of Click Opera. The essays just had more weight to them.

With all the new free time you can concentrate on things like recording music and, fingers crossed, touring the States again?

A pelican named Thel
Sat, Oct. 3rd, 2009 01:56 pm (UTC)

You'll keep the archives up, I hope?

Sat, Oct. 3rd, 2009 02:00 pm (UTC)

Oh, for sure. Yes, I'm not the kind of drama queen who says "I'm stopping my blog and trashing the archives!"

ReplyThread Parent

Sun, Oct. 4th, 2009 11:19 am (UTC)

I enjoyed your blog very much. Thank you and good luck with future projects!
/Lars Nilsson (another long time lurker)


Sun, Oct. 4th, 2009 05:37 pm (UTC)
fellow berliner auslander wishing you good future prospects

hi Momus
i saw you give a talk recently at the haus der kultur der welt with honest john rep, universals queen - cleopatra and some germans. You as always were quiet enlightening and above all entertaining. Anyway I wish you well in your future activities. I thought i would link you to my new film - C.I.C. You may find it interesting. Ive been following your activities since '95.


Sparkachu Maelworth
Wed, Oct. 7th, 2009 04:09 am (UTC)

*Cue Sarah McLachlan song*

*Wipes away single tear*

*Obligatory gif*

Sparkachu Maelworth
Wed, Oct. 7th, 2009 04:20 am (UTC)

Wait, DOES THIS MEAN YOU WILL HAVE TIME TO PLAY MUSIC IN LOS ANGELES? I promise I will act like a fangirl from the 60's seeing the Beatles, even though I don't even like them!

ReplyThread Parent

Wed, Oct. 7th, 2009 05:04 pm (UTC)

It's a bit of a shame for a newcomer like myself to read that your blog will be ending come next February. But for posting something almost religiously every day for the past 5 years, I must applaud you. I've never seen someone be so faithful to his internet diary, and being able to write new engaging material and pronounce your thoughts and feelings every single day. You're truly an amazing artist in every sense of the word.

I don't think this means you will be abandoning the internet in general, but just for ease of mind, will you still be contactable via e-mail? There's still so much I'd like to talk about and ask you (I've just finished reading The Book of Jokes; I'll be writing you soon about that). Forgive me if I sound at all desperate, but it's not very often that one of my most favorite artists is contactable and willing to write back!

- Mazie.

Wed, Oct. 7th, 2009 05:31 pm (UTC)

Oh, yes, I'll still be contactable in all the usual ways!

ReplyThread Parent Expand

(no subject) - (Anonymous) Expand

Thu, Oct. 22nd, 2009 11:24 pm (UTC)
the 137th reason not to go

no no no no dont go, dont stop.this is tragic .you need us as much as we need you.momus you ego will crash and burn.you were born for bloggin,its your calling.
on the up side maybe youl compose the perfect pop album.

Der Hut Geist
Mon, Oct. 26th, 2009 04:31 am (UTC)
old timey format

after not reading for awhile i'm excited to hear of a possible return to the old essay / picture of the day format which was a little easier for my backwards mind to handle.

if you do per chance turn to gardening, i have stopped fooling around with flash and have started fooling with plants and have become quite good.


Wed, Nov. 25th, 2009 10:08 pm (UTC)

perhaps not.

Whatever you decide, do remember that bookish option of going back and reading something written at another time, another place and consider leaving it up. Whether you allow new comments or not.

As for tumble weeds in LJ, well there is this faddish aspect of all things internet. And circumstances in each individual life do change.

Which is why I wish you well. Have fun.

Mon, Feb. 8th, 2010 06:44 pm (UTC)
click opera's final public act

Your final appearance will be missed at breakfast, lunch, and late bedtime reading. It is a space in time that I will never be able to fill that way again.

Whit's fur ye'll no go by ye!
Lang may yer lum reek!


Wed, Feb. 10th, 2010 02:59 pm (UTC)

I wonder what would happen if I put the energy I pour daily into this blog (and I've established a great working routine!) into something like a book, or something else.

Yes!! Channel that energy into some old-fashioned physical creative endeavors! I will miss Click Opera, good luck on your new journey.

Its funny you've been using that Harry Smith picture lately. My roommate just found "American Magus" in a local library and we scanned and printed out that very image to put up in our kitchen! http://www.flickr.com/photos/29068858@N00/4318342790/

Adam Bruneau / Super Madrigal Brother

Wed, Feb. 10th, 2010 05:20 pm (UTC)

"Transforming milk into milk," I like that!

ReplyThread Parent
Thu, Jan. 21st, 2016 01:48 am (UTC)

well !! I like it