Monday, July 14, 2008

Don't read your idols' blogs.

I've been having a big of blogger's ennui lately, which is a sillier sentence to write than it is to read.

I was going to write a post for This Recording that talked about the five bloggers I had blog-crushes on (nearly all platonic). It was going to include Rich from Four Four, Tracie "Slut Machine" Egan from Jezebel, and Emily Gould. I was considering including Alex Balk because no one else on the Internet can make me laugh and then shake my clenched fists at the computer screen with rage, and then there's Julia Allison, just 'cause. I know enough that name-dropping Julia Allison in a blog post (in the same as Emily Gould!) would certainly guarantee an extra five to ten hits.

When the whole Lizz Winstead / Jezebel thing went down two weeks ago, I watched the entire Thinking and Drinking episode featuring Tracie and Moe Tkacik from Jezebel and had a lot of opinions about it; I thought they were unfortunately unaware that the show could turn serious, and, like most of us under thirty, suffer from the curse of the "like and y'know?" generation that makes everything we say sound incredibly dumb despite what brilliant thoughts are buzzing inside our brains. At the same time, however, I was a little disappointed with what they said, but it was representative of a generation of feminists (and really, a generation of people) who forget about the progress of previous generations and how it opened doors for those that followed.

When I thought about writing this, I clicked around Tumblr and saw that everyone was writing the same stuff. People were arguing about how Moe and Tracie represent (like Emily Gould) a generation of women who are too willing to share personal details about their lives for their own gain (whether that is true and a bad thing is debatable, but I'd like to go on record as saying I never want to read the word "overshare" again, ever). And I don't want to go into a gender studies rant about why male bloggers aren't criticized for the same issues, but the idea is exhausting, much like the idea of writing about bloggers who are all related to Gawker.

The thing is this: I used to avidly read Gawker. I still do, on occasion, but with less frequency. Once I made a comparison on this blog to how the old generation of Gawker editors seemed like "the old people in charge of your college radio station." It was a comparison I made because, as a blogger, I sort of emulated those writers because I really enjoyed what they wrote and how they said it. They really were to me a sort of cool clique on the Internet, much like those music snobs who ran the radio station in college. It took me a while back then to realize that, even though I felt like "knowing" those people was a big deal, it didn't make much of a difference a year after graduation.

What's funny to me is that my friends, most of whom read this blog, don't give two shits about Gawker, and they don't recognize those names that used to be on the masthead. Nick Denton doesn't mean anything to them; neither do Julia Allison, Emily Gould, or Slut Machine. Most of them might not know anything about the "scandal" behind the Thinking and Drinking show, because they don't live their lives on the Internet.

I used to write here with the anticipation that one day I would write professionally, and I would turn this blogging hobby into a way to make money and do something that I really enjoyed. To be honest, the idea seems kind of repulsive now, probably because I realized that work is not necessarily something I'll enjoy, even if it's blogging. And I think that I've changed how I feel about writing about myself on the Internet; I've got a lot to say about myself, but that doesn't mean that I should, especially when having my personal shit become public makes feel a little gross.

I talked to my therapist about this (of all things), and she asked me why I don't keep a private journal, wherein I write about myself for myself. I told her I didn't know, that perhaps it's a generational trend: not only does it feel great to type away at these plastic keys (and save time doing so instead of writing everything by hand), but it's also exhilarating to risk putting yourself on the Internet and to let people read what you have to say. After all, as soon as chat rooms became unfashionable when I was seventeen, I joined my first blogging site, and I've been doing this since.

6 comments:

lkbom said...

"What's funny to me is that my friends, most of whom read this blog, don't give two shits about Gawker, and they don't recognize those names that used to be on the masthead. Nick Denton doesn't mean anything to them; neither do Julia Allison, Emily Gould, or Slut Machine. Most of them might not know anything about the "scandal" behind the Thinking and Drinking show"

Was gonna say.

I don't know the words that are comin' out ur blog.

rod said...

Once upon a time, the private lives of people were much less likely to be broadcast to the world. It was a better time.

matt said...

awww. Our Tyler's growing up...

Jason said...

what is a gawker?

the almost right word said...

i keep a private journal in addition to my blog. i've just learned that there are certain things i want to write about that don't have a place in the blogging world.

Mary Stewart Masterson said...

OMG I can't believe you're realizing what I've been trying to get through to you for YEARS!
You are a gem, don't worry what anyone thinks. Or how many hits you have. And if the real world or the blogosphere doesn't get it, than they can go get thier head examined/fuck themselves!

Audience of one!