There is no way in hell Nishiki needs an introduction to those who have reached this blog post.
A while ago I was passively following the accelerosphere, unsure if I should join the discourse or just keep watching. The language seemed intimidating, everything had an academic vibe to it. Everybody sounded very intelligent and the sentences of their blog posts were perfectly manicured and reached maximum efficiency. At least that's what it looked like to me at the time.
Until Nishiki. At first, I was happy to finally have found somebody who explains things to brainlets like me in an accessible fashion. That quickly wore off though, it didn't take me long to "click" with the whole discourse. Just needed to make that initial mental jump.
But for some reason month after month I kept coming back to Nishiki's blog. Did I find the content useful? Did I like his aesthetics? No idea. But I kept coming back. After some time has passed now, I can finally look back at it with clear(er) vision.
First of all, it was the rawness of his writing. It's not very often I can describe somebody's writing as raw, visceral or cerebral. Even though these words are overused in contemporary reviews of absolutely anything, I feel they really do apply here. When I read non-fiction online there are two places my brain might often go:
- A place of massive cognitive overhead. If a post is essentially a hypertext I become partially detached, browsing in my brain through the concepts mentioned in the article.
- A place of relatability. If the text is down to earth then I, as a reader, simply intake the words and play back the emotions of these words in my head.
Don't get me wrong, both of these styles of writing are necessary and I am not bashing on anybody here. But Nishiki, at least for me, rode the line between these two places perfectly. And it is really hard, since this line lies in the middle of a vast jungle that exists between these things.
There is enough content in every paragraph to keep me thinking and at the same time enough emotion to cut right through any thinking-haze that the content might put around my mind. It's a precise cut right into the spinal column and a direct injection of information. It feels real.
I share the same feelings about his music too. It is direct, straight to the point, but not sacrificing any complexity, weirdness or aesthetics for this rawness.
And all this is well and good, I can appreciate his writing all day every day. But I don't think that just good writing, even as well as he does, could have pulled me in so hard.
What drew me to his blog was once again, his skill in tightrope walking. This time it's him walking the line between these abstract ideas and a life of a real human being. I am sure most of the people reading this enjoy thinking about complex and heady topics. Philosophy, politics, economics, all kinds of heavy mental concept-weaving. And that is fantastic. I believe it is important. Most of us, however, know that these theoretical experiments and exercises of ours will not lead to any direct action in the meatspace. At least not from us. Not right now.
This sounds like a moot point right now. How can we take action? Isn't antipraxis what we're doing already? Of course we can't bring patchwork to life right now. Of course we can't whip Capital into the next gear. But that's not what I found in Nishiki's writing. I found real impact of these ideas on one's life. That might as well be the case for everybody in the sphere. But it doesn't shine through in anybody's writing.
This duality of civilian life and these abstract theories is what I found in his posts. The blackness creeping in, mundane things losing meaning. The lack of compartmentalization of the theoretical interests into a separate part of the mind. That is something I struggle with (or maybe I enjoy it?). The push and pull of absolutely inhuman ideas and the flesh. This was something that resonated deep within me, I found a kindred soul in this heresy. I am not saying I am thankful for any suffering he might have gone through, but I am thankful for him finding the skill and the strength to document some of it.
I don't know him personally, I have never talked to the man, everything I know about him might be false. I don't really care though. His writings were (and are) an important thing for me.
I love the blogosphere and especially the one around cavetwitter and related entities. I really think it's a special thing we have. I love all kinds of posts. Heavy, light, scientific, speculative, experimental - all of them. The clashes of ideas are beautiful. And Nishiki just added that much more to it.
He once wrote this:
There are going to be some break-out successes here. I fully expect there to be wikipedia pages and NYT exposés on half of you people one day.
I believe he deserves his own wikipedia page too.