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Gordon's D-Zone Arcive (2006-2014)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Blog-o-genesis: 5 Years Later

It's already 5 years from that fateful day on the 28th August 2006 when a younger Gordon was embarking on a journey into the u exciting world of blogs, bloggers and blogging. The aspirations I had for this blog were expressed in the first post I ever wrote . As I announced to the world that A New Blog is Born, I was still getting used to a life as legally blind which, on top of my physical disability, was the cause of many questions. But by 2006, I had become used to my new life as a visually impaired physically disabled person. The problem remained the way people still looked at me. But, then, the point of blogging in the first place was to put across the fact that my life wasn't that different than that of other people. I only did things differently;.

By the time I started this blog, I was involved in disability activism. On discovering the social model of disability, I realized that what I suspected but didn't have the words to express, was true. I had the words to explain that my impairments weren't the source of all my problems but, rather, the way society was organized - in a way as NOT to take people like me into account and in the way it perceived impairments. I know that my impairments pose their limitations. For example, I gave up the dream of obtaining first place in the New York marathon. But, perhaps, I tend to be slightly ambitious. I remain a disability activist to this day but have matured in the way I look at the future over the years. This blog, in a way, has grown up with me over the last 5 years.

I used to it as a diary, an opinion column, a place where I could express my creativity… It was the lace I could write about what interested me and what I wanted to share with the world. It was whee I described how it felt to be blind, and about my experiences after my right eye's vision was partly restored. It was where i spoke of love and loneliness in poetry and prose - which eventually led me to set up the blog Zyhil>. I spoke about some events which were happen'tin my life, such as my graduation in Leeds and the incidents which happened on my visit there. It was through blogging that I could expose, for the first time, a story I had written when I was bracing a serious health crisis. The book, Cosmos could now be available to a wider audience than I ever could imagine through traditional press publishing. I don't pretend it's a masterpiece, but it was the product of a youthful Gordon which remains part of who I am today.

Of course, I cannot deny that I started blogging to gain a degree of fame and popularity. Indeed, vanity did play some part in my early days of blogging. So many things have changed since 2006 that it would take a lifetime to chronicle here. Moreover, I've got a life to live, work to do, friends to make and experiences to go through. Indeed, my recent investigation of Buddhism has dramatically changed my outlook on life. I know that I haven't talked a lot about this here but today I am exploring more and more my spiritual dimension. Not that I wasn't interested in this aspect of myself before but I had neglected it in the past. Thus, this year I started a new blog to explore my life experiences from a different angle than I do here. In this blog, I ask myself questions that relate to the meaning of life and the nature of reality as I grow in my understanding of Buddhist philosophy. The ZoneMind may not be your cup of tea but you can't please everyone.

I have also tried podcasting over these years with varying degrees of success. The truth is that podcasting involves more than I thought, so I had to close down my ZoneCast. However, I recently discovered a service called AudioBoo which permits me to podcast much quicker and easier than ever before. I admit that my voice isn't that radiogenic (is that a word.?) but if you want, you can check out my channel GordonGD's AudioBoos. I hope you enjoy listening… Well, while I'm at it I must admit that I also experimented with YouTube videos but although I have a YouTube Channel, I don't dedicate much time to video recording, so I guess it's just experimental which is code for amateurish.

But enough of self-promoting my online content… It's time to wrap it up!

Yes, Gordon's D-Zone will remain as long as I am involved in disability activism. However, I wanted to talk about how my family of blogs and other online activities have developed over these 5 years. Of course, you can find links to all my blogs and more on my site at gordonGD. All in all, besides the factors that have prompted me to start my first blog explained here, perhaps my greatest motivation came emerged from a need to tell the world that I am who I am today because of my impairments and not in spite of them. That even if there were times when I wished I had no impairmentts, having them opened my mind to unique experiences that I wouldn't have had if I was non-disabled. That my differences prompted me to question convention since I was always, to some extent, an outsider.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Another Crip in the Hall

A song of revolution based on part of Pink Floyd's hit "Another Brick in the Wall". I wrote these lyrics thinking about the cuts on personal assistance services occurring across Europe. It's also a criticism of the medical model and its persistent influence on our lives by reducing our life choices:

We don't need no institution
We don't need no care control
No intrusion in our private lives
Give us back our independence!

Doctor, leave those crips alone
Hey, doctor, leave those crips alone

All in all, it's just another crip in the hall
All in all, you're just another crip in the hall
"You! Yes, you! Behind that stethoscope!

PS: I don't intend this to be a song against doctors and others working in the health professions. However, it's a song against the tendency of medical professionals to look at our lives as disabled people simply in terms of the medical model, attributing all our problems in life to the fact we have an impairment. Believe me, I've met many good doctors and nurses in my life that have been of great help and, in fact, saved my life. But it's a fact that we aren't solely the products of our impairment - a point that unfortunately, hasn't got through in our society.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Into the Internet Wilderness

Into the Internet Wilderness (mp3)

This is my last entry. At least, it'll the only one I will be writing for the next two weeks for sure. I'm also stopping from using social network for the coming two weeks. I have been thinking of becoming an Internet hermit for a while since I started my investigation of the nature of life through my study of Buddhism.

I knew that I had become too reliant, and perhaps dependent, on social media. While our dependent natures are inescapable realities, not all forms of dependence were beneficial. And, I started wondering whether my use of social networks, and by extension, the Internet, getting out of hand?

Was I perhaps hiding from a part of myself which I was reluctant to recognize or accept - preferring instead to choreograph a virtual life and masquerade as a person who was happy enough. At the same time, sincerely attempting to live up to an illusion with all the good intentions.. At the end of it all, I am asking who I had become to my inner self. Could I the free again from the imposition of a disillusioned identity I had created myself?

More fundamentally, I have been asking myself whether I had allowed my Internet alter ego take over the basic values and aspirations I had before I became involved with the network. Admittedly, it wasn't that bad because I did make new friends and expanded my contacts. However, despite the friendships i have made and will make through social media, I think that it's more worthwhile if I took a step back and examine who I am in the context of a changing reality.

Regrettably, I know that the modern world prevents me from being completely separate from the web of the internet spider. Indeed, I will have to keep using email to keep up with my work commitments. However, this fact that doesn't mean that I have to think of myself as a technological "slave". I believe that it is a matter of being mindful of your thoughts and feelings when using technology. Taking care to put it in the right place and not giving it power it does not have in its own right.

I admit, I don't know if I will succeed in living without the use of social media for these two weeks or so.I will do my best to keep up away from social networks. I hope to learn something about myself and will come back with my observations on the The ZoneMind by the end of these two weeks.

So, until the 22ndAugust 2011, I'll be off from social networks, new media, and other forms of internet communication - with the exception of email. Until that date, I wish you all the best!!!

Marsaxlokk, Malta
Tuesday, 9th August 2011