Who reads this shit?

November 14, 2008

It’s almost 9 and I’m poised to hop in my car and head to the gym to attempt, once again, a 5K on the tread mill before my knees give out. I should stick with the bike. Bike is safer. And yet, as runners know so well (something which, I myself am learning for the first time), nothing compares to the feeling of energy your body generates when your legs propel you down the road– or in my case, propel me no where closer to anything but the dashboard of my hamster wheel. 

So, I was reading Citizen of the Month, checking out his links page and was overwhelmed at the gazillion people out there blogging. Not that this hadn’t occurred to me years ago. Because it had. And I became obsessed with wanting my own blog until I realized I had nothing to say or too much to say. For that matter, there’s always been a fine line between exposing what I think is “interesting” and going overboard– 

Example of going overboard:  I was telling Nuria last night that I had it in me a while ago to publish my diaries from the divorce. When I started transcribing them though, the reading was tedious. I came off as sounding uglier than the ex. Here’s this pathetic woman allowing her husband to do the stupidest shit and instead of taking action, all she does is bitch about it. And to make matters worse, she hasn’t a shred of dignity left and ends up sleeping with him as a means of shutting him up. And she writes: “it’s all for the kids. Keep it together for the kids.” Then there was my mother on my case, saying, “what are you adding to the world by writing something like that?” and “what will the children think when they read that some day?”

Needless to say,…I gave up the divorce journals and the blogging.

There is something so self-serving about blogging. Don’t think I don’t know what’s going on. I feel the egocentrism oozing from my skin sometimes. I’m privy to certain people’s judgments about bearing my soul on places like facebook and myspace. And quite frankly, the attention some people seek in their blatant “LOOK AT ME” status updates is quite ugly. As the lovely Ms. Meagan McCamy said, facebook can be kind of like walking through a hospital in a hospital gown with yer ass showing, but you’re in denial that you’re an exhibitionist. 

Thing is, I love the written word. I love to write. I write on napkins at restaurants. I write on public restroom walls. I write a million emails a day. And I have written in a journal since age eleven. I have 97 hard-bound volumes that line the bookshelves of my office like doctor’s reference manuals. Writing is a part of me. Keeps me real. Keeps me raw. And so is sharing the goods and exposing the reality of who I am–who people are. I can’t tell you how often I come across friends of mine that say things like, “John and Mary have the perfect marriage.” And i think, bullshit. John probably wears women’s pantyhose and Mary is anorexic because John is a control-freak. Their kids have A.D.D. and they both had to tap into John’s 401K because Mary is a shopaholic. People are so disturbingly into protecting their perfect identities and looking good that when something does go wrong (and it does), the amount of shame and humiliation is enough to bury them.

I’m not talking about airing one’s dirty laundry. I’m talking about being real. Anyway. 

There was a point to this. And the point is– whether blogging is self-serving or not, so be it. I’m not going to change. I love reading other people’s secrets. I’m glad there are a million people out there doing it. It goes to show not how egocentric people are, but rather, how we all need to reach out and touch others. There’s no shame in that.  I am drawn to confessions. And i love sharing in the commitment people undertake to expose themselves to the world. It’s not so much for attention, as it is a manner in which to communicate. It is not so much egocentric, as it is a belief in oneself that his or her words have impact. It is a way in which so many people try to connect. Try to feel alive. It’s why Dante wrote his Inferno, why da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa. Why S has tattoos. And G wears her hair in a ponytail. It’s why the tiger lily is so f’ing orange. Because inside we are not empty.

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2 Responses to “Who reads this shit?”

  1. Neil Says:

    Blogging is ego-centric and such, and there are way too many people doing it. But I have always viewed it in a much more democratic light. Like you mentioned, most of us want to express ourselves. But in the past, in order to be published, you had to go through an elitist system, proving your worth to editors and publishers. With blogging, anyone can write about their life or dreams, even people who write POORLY. Some see that as a negative. What right does some mother in Wisconsin who never went to college have to express her dopey thoughts in public? I find it amazingly cool. While I appreciate all the great writing that occurs online, it is the revolutionary nature of the publishing system that truly excites me. Some of us have 1000 readers and others only 10, but still — it is writing for the public, expressing our inner most thoughts for someone else to read. Most of us are no Dante or da Vinci, and most blogs are boring as hell. But it is still cool.

  2. sevenperfumes Says:

    So very true, Neil. And thanks for the post. I’ve worked for the Painted Bride Quarterly, literary magazine for almost 7 years. I know that elitest mentality well. But I too, dig the voice of the common man. I think it’s far richer and idiosyncratic than the polished stuff. In fact, it was always my dream to create “Slushpile, a magazine of all the stuff that didn’t make it.”

    Who determines what society deems publishable anyway? Sheesh. Yes! There’s a lot of bad writing out there. And yet, Jimmy Buffet and Danielle Steele sell millions of copies of their stuff. It makes no sense. Thanks for the comments.


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