Those of you who are long time readers of this blog will know that it is little more than my personal diary, but it didn’t start out that way. It began as a journal of sorts about the making of a web-vid comedy series I had written – hence the name of the blog. From day one I wanted this to be as forthright as I could make it, boasting that I wouldn’t censor any relevant detail from the record (which of course is not possible – even language choices are a form of censorship) however my intentions were good. The series didn’t end up coming together as fast as I had anticipated and there were a few casualties along the way. Rather than call it quits, give up on the project and walk away I chose to continue writing down my thoughts.

The question for myself became: why continue using this medium? It’s just as easy to write freehand in a notebook that could be kept for my own cathartic purposes. Writing about intensely personal issues/feelings and broadcasting them via the internet is not easy besides which its an incredibly arrogant act – I mean who the hell wants to read my story anyway?  Its not as though I’m writing about a privileged life here. This aint no “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”. Its been a notably shitty few years for me, which have featured –– business failure, long periods of unemployment, physical injury, betrayal, bouts of depression, relationship breakdowns, loss of loved ones, financial disaster (pending foreclosure and bankruptcy) and emotional instability; its been a right bowl of cherries.

In truth, I considered packing the blog in, I was beginning to depress myself, never mind the poor bastards who had the misfortune of reading my misery. Then quite a while back I began talking with D – a guy I’d known from days long ago when I used to work at The Tube Club in Brisbane. I was seventeen and a student at UQ. We didn’t really know each other back then, I knew of D, he was a regular at the club and good mates with a bloke who used to work at the club with me. D told me he had started to read the blog as he had an interest in film making, but continued to read as the subject matter evolved to include my personal hardships. He told me of his own personal trials and said he thought it important for guys like us (with a tendency towards melancholia) to have an outlet. Then he said the all-important phrase “…your blog helped me.”

From that day the blog has taken on new meaning for me. I suppose it’s a source of empathy for those who, like me, have been down on their luck recently; but as importantly my wish is that it becomes a source of hope for those people too. We’re all in this together, those who aren’t making ends meet, who are out of work, who are in pain, the injured, the heartbroken, the seemingly beyond help.

I searched online to find a similar blog, and didn’t really find one. There are heaps of self-improvement blogs and life-hacking sites that range from everyday solutions to the mystical. They tend to place the burden of responsibility directly on the shoulders of the individual, and while this is partially valid, its not always helpful to someone whose situation seems overwhelming or whose difficulties have arisen due to a drastic change in circumstances.

There was no blog I could find that consisted of the simple stories of a man trying to get by. And there are millions of us! Guys in their middle-age who need to re-train because the job they’d always done no longer exists. There are entire industries that no longer exist. Guys for whom facing themselves in the mirror each morning is a challenge or finding the motivation to complete another 10 job applications is daunting. Guys who’ve lost face, family, friends and loved ones because of a world wide disaster – its a  travesty that the destruction of peoples lives can be diminished to a three letter acronym –  GEC (Global Economic Crisis)

Men aren’t generally good at the self-help group thing, we’re happy to join interest groups and clubs; but asking us to admit to a problem? Nuh-uh.

So here it is I’m laying it all out on a plate. You’ll get it all – my bad days and good, my loves and loathing’s, my reminiscences and plans for the future, my successes and failures.

I have no clue how many people read this blog… Ive never tracked any stats at all, I haven’t even set it up properly so people can subscribe or make comments. All I know is that you’re reading, for whatever reason, and I’m glad you are. Thanks.

About Simon

Simon Houghton creator of The Bloke Show started life as a baby, going on to become a boy and then a man, at which time he became an actor. As time passed he went on to be a director, later still he became a sales guy, then a business owner. Most recently he regressed and became a writer. Then a driver, then an actor again. Decisiveness is not one of his strong suits.
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