Jacques Lacan’s article on ‘The Mirror Stage’ describes a pivotal stage in ego formation: the recognition of one’s own image in a mirror. He theorised that the child, in apprehending his own reflection in a mirror, is captured by that image, seduced by its apparent perfection, its immeasurable potential. The mirror image exists in a separate domain to its originator. Reflected, it deflects. However the child may try, he cannot impinge upon the image. It feels no pain when he beats it. It feels no envy, no isolation, no love, no hate. It feels nothing. Except what we project upon it: our own fear, our own yearning, even our own love. These bounce back to us from the mirror image.
Blogging is a paradigm of the mirror, suited to volatile projections of anger, love or other strong emotions. It is a virtual, imaginary space where normal sanctions do not apply and conflictual emotions vie for supremacy. I am allowed to be enraged, sexually deviant, uncaring and immoral within the self-created vortex. When I write, I am speaking to a screen upon which I have projected something of my own, my own libido, of individuation of self, my creative juices smear its surface. Whether someone reads the screen subsequently is initially not relevant. While we can comprehend this temporarily, it is a concept bloggers all too easily forget. Sometimes, we may aspire to being an imaginary community but usually it is as a large, ill-disciplined family to which we offer infantilised complaints and appeals for validation and affirmation to Mama whom we neither know nor understand.