In Retrospect…

This would be the first post in 4 years, and also the first post celebrating 14 years of ‘Leidartikel’.

No, blogging is no longer in trend – so this anniversary probably felt hollow to me. I’ve followed dozens of amazing Malaysian blogs in the past decade or so and many died a natural death. I’ve no idea what possessed me to suddenly take up reins to blog again but it did feel that something was long overdue.

My next immediate post would be to complete the Johann Strauss Jr.’s famous waltzes series for good. I’ve always tried to finish my projects whenever time permits but I admit that most of my enterprises (even those outside of this blog) have frequently met a premature end. For now, I don’t have a clear idea if I would even continue this blog beyond the above planned post but let’s see how it goes.

Now that I have the future more or less addressed, now’s the time to look back amusingly and at the same time with absolute honest reflection at Leidartikel’s past. Here’s a quick summary:

  1. I’ve been writing a shitload of rubbish on this blog since 2006 till about maybe, 2012. Take a look at my archives – tons of old video games (Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Megadrive) that no one absolutely plays anymore, of Arsenal’s slide from EPL champs to also-rans and Dutch football, music that I don’t even care today, irrelevant soliloquies etc. It holds true – the lack of good content translates to appalling visitor rates – regardless of whether the good old days of blogging is dead or on life support currently.
  2. Most content were written using some old Microsoft blog writer. No, that’s not the problem. The problem is that I somehow had an amazingly poor sense of color that most of my early posts are now illegible because they’re in yellow or white. The picture library that accompanies most of the posts are also an extinct breed all of a sudden. That’s too much work to repair them even for nostalgic reasons.
  3. Further to 1 above, writing rubbish is fine as long as they’re funny as hell. But boredom is the killer. Somehow I’m just unable to earlier express how I really feel about something and in the end, I played it safe. The result is a sterile environment where this blog is as interesting as that of the diary of a monk. No, I’m not advocating writing angst-filled entries or grumpy threads criticizing everything and anything which revolves around the sun. It’s plain simple – until I’m able to say what I mean, then I won’t be able to mean what I say.
  4. Ok before this retrospect descends into self-flagellation, I do want to say that my craft-modeling works on ships, armored cars and infantry is something I enjoyed. No, I concede that the pictures do suck but that’s because I took them with a toaster. I do love building 1/700 scale waterline ships and would do so when time permits. Oh, yes – and also post only the finished product replete with paint / rigging. Natural grey kits do not count as finished.
  5. For a long time since its publication in 2008, my utterly irreverent post on the Classical Collection published by Orbis, De Agostini was impactful for 2 reasons – (a) the number of view and visits to this site naturally swelled after it was published. Of course, it attracted people for both good and bad reasons but: (b) I was proud that it witnessed the birth of a project by someone by the name of Steve Woolley. You could see his name appearing in the comments section just so I’m not bullshitting. Now, Steve approached me in 2010 via email because he wanted to index the music tracks issue per issue within his entire Classical Collection. That’s a whopping 106 compact discs captured in a massive encyclopedia on Microsoft Excel format replete with indexing and song title / length etc. In his first comment on the post, he wrote that he “have been labouriously trying to rip and catalogue my collection to my PC and Hard drives. Thanks to your site I have finally completed this task“. No, sir – I salute you – it’s your own hard work and credit alone – Well done! We probably shared our admiration of the now-forgotten collection but that’s far as it goes. Nothing monetary involved and that’s the beauty of it. That said, we are / were not friends by any means but that does not mean I wasn’t impressed with his work. The link to his site is no longer accessible but while it existed, it was a beautiful little refuge – the effort of a dedicated craftsman.
  6. To resuscitate this dying blog, I tried dabbling in earnest on travel and food blogs since my visit to Hong Kong and Macau in late 2013. Truthfully, I arrived too late in the game and woefully unprepared – lousy camera, skill and quality of pictures taken, concept of presentation. All poorly executed. This was the time when Facebook was at its zenith and people just don’t have the time to trawl blogs to admire pictures. Maybe blogs would still have some traction if it had some vital information sure, but I didn’t consider that aspect too much. Today, though – I look back fondly at this pitiful task of travel blogging which didn’t really hit off. Hey, sometimes the journey itself is the memorable one, not the end product.
  7. I’m running out of mileage on this reminiscing trip. One last aspect is – regardless of the many mistakes I made in life and on this space – I did have a lot of fun writing on this blog. It doesn’t necessarily reflect a lot of my life in the past 14 years but it’s important to recall that writing was therapeutic on its own. It may not have made any impact (and I don’t think it ever will seeing as I’m now likely to use IG or whatever social media) but I think of it now as an improvement in my life over these years in several ways.

So, there you have it. The future and the past so far in 2020. Will I repair this poor old blog? No, as I mentioned above, I don’t see any future for blogging as a whole currently. I would however, from here onwards, add only quality content that would bring value to people.

Also, it’s the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic now as I type this entry although many countries have eased their respective lockdowns in interest of economic rejuvenation. We’ve heard of the following like a broken record – our lives will be to adapt to a ‘new normal’, we have to live with this coronavirus till a vaccine is found or not, face-to-face interaction will probably never be the same ever. It may be the rise of blogging again or a late renaissance and it may be another fascinating 14 years of Leidartikel.

Finally, 2020 may be the annus horribilis for many who suffered the financial and health effects of this pandemic. I’d like to share that most of my blog entries in late 2007 to 2008 were written at a time of abject personal circumstances and suffering the harsh realities of making my way in the corporate world. Near penniless and jobless during that period, and facing rejection after rejection from hiring companies for many months due to the 2007-2008 financial crisis – nonetheless, the light at the end of the tunnel did come eventually. And good will come to you too if you persevere.

I wish you all the very best in life and be blessed always.

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