The Tar Pit: an introduction
About eight years ago I started writing. I suppose that's an idea bound to arouse the intellect of your average guy in his late teens, although most of them have next to no subjects to approach. I myself had no idea what I was going to write about and I'll confess this has changed very little in these years. But I felt an urge to write, in very much the same way someone needs to pee after five beers. And I was motivated by two main ideas that I can remember.
Firstly, I had started reading seriously since three or four years before. I hadn't read much else besides Romanian literature, which, mind you, can prove to be excruciatingly dull at times1, but I was interested in structure and in how to write after reading all these books, the same way I had been interested in how to make music after listening to rock and so on. I never claimed I could do it right, all I knew was that I had to try it.
Secondly, I had found blogs as a way of expression on the Internet. I had started using computers shortly after learning how to read (at about five) and was spending most of my time mindlessly reproducing Basic code on a Z80 Spectrum clone, so I could draw geometric shapes and the likes. At ten I already had a good idea of how to use a PC and at twelve I was browsing the Internet on dial-up on Friday evenings. Two years after getting my permanent Internet connection, blogs were looking mighty cool and Wordpress intrigued me so much I decided to give it a shot. I made a hosting account on some Geocities-like platform2, installed Wordpress and wrote my first post, entitled "Another Brick In The Wall...". It was an article about mostly nothing, but I didn't care; I thought I had become a blogger.
However, that didn't stop me from writing other articles about something, some of it even interesting stuff. To be honest, I didn't care if it was interesting to anyone else, since all I felt was sharing my experiences with "the Internet", regardless of whether that "Internet" included anyone except myself. But I interacted with people, and I kept writing about stuff. And it felt good for a while.
So why did I decide to start another blog? you might wonder. Well, I always felt pretty good about having a clean slate. Sometimes such changes are bad, other times they're beneficial and, finally, there are those times when change is necessary, and I happened to find myself in the latter situation. Sure, the new blog™ isn't going to be fundamentally different from the old blog™, but I felt there was no other way to go.
There are also some technical reasons behind this decision, but I'll cover them in another post.
And what's with this "Tar Pit", anyway?
The only novel taught in Romanian schools in the first eighth grades is, as far as I know, "Baltagul" ("The Hatchet"), written by one of the first Romanian communist writers, Mihail Sadoveanu. The novel attempts to make a parallel with the myth of Isis and Osiris, at the same time introducing traditional Romanian themes and motifs. I suppose the only reason they keep it in the curriculum is a dumb sense of nationalism.
On the other hand, I spent the summer before my eighth grade reading Marin Preda's "Cel Mai Iubit Dintre Pământeni" ("The Earth's Most Beloved"), which, if nothing else, is a good read on the wrongdoings of the Romanian Communist regime. Also, the book's rather dubious philosophical content made a deep impression on me at the time.↩
Now as dead as Geocities itself.↩