Saturday, July 25, 2009

Why Blogging Has Made My Social Life Better than It Has Ever Been

I’m waiting for my friend to wake up and pity me because yesterday I inexplicably busted my thumb trying to help her pick up a hot Australian. Overnight my thumb did not heal and she did not get laid. What else is there to do but blog until she arises from her slumber and we attempt to assuage the other’s pain and suffering? I promised not to post anything during my mini-vacation, but as my partner of 11 years says, I can justify the breaking of any vow.

So instead of writing a close analysis of a poem or a more general polemic, I’m going to argue against the idea that you only develop superficial relationships through blogging and/or Facebook.

Happy to say that my most gratifying recent relationships have come from blogging. If you don’t believe me, then you’re stupid.

(I use the word stupid a lot lately. Even when I’m teaching. "That's a stupid thought," I'll say. I find that it shames the student into thinking harder. Try it sometime. I guarantee results.)

I have never felt closer to gay men than on my blog. This is the first time I feel apart of a genuine community. To anyone who finds that pitiful, you’re stupid.

Listen as to why.

For someone who is intimidated of gay men, I find that I can hold a conversation without having to deal with their bodies. And by that I mean there’s no distraction from the narratives they tell. For me the best part of sex are the ways in which someone enters and exits. That’s how it is for me when I read a story. Middles are tedious.

My favorite part of sex is the moment right after the man decides to take off his shirt and right before the man’s shirt is completely off. You can sense the vanity (“I’m excited to take off my shirt so he can see me”) and the insecurity (“What if he doesn’t like what he sees?”) To watch a man in this brief moment of excitement and duress turns me on.

(My second favorite moment is to see a man with good pectoral muscles. It makes up for the fact I wasn’t breastfed.)

This same voyeuristic thrill occurs when I read a post on a gay man’s blog. I’m always curious how that gay man will begin (“here’s something that’s on my mind so you can see me”) and their closure (“What if he was bored with what he read?”) Furtive fucks are the best.

Bloggers can say all they want about not caring what people see, that they’re writing their blogs for themselves and no one else.

But they do care. Why wouldn’t you put your thoughts in a private journal if you didn’t?

Personally, I prefer blogs that read like a journal where every petty detail of their lives are revealed.

I’m pro-pettiness.

When I was younger, I loved to discuss challenging topics or what felt pseudo-philosophical. I can still hear myself saying, “We stayed up all night talking about art and life and poetry, etc. etc.” It’s cute. But now those nights are few and far between. Now I like to hear how someone’s body is failing them or how someone’s job is driving them crazy or what they had for dinner. That now comforts me. Grandstanding bores me (although it seems that’s all I can do.).

But when I read other blogs, I just want to know how someone trudged through their days and what little joys were held in store them.

That’s why I love status updates on Facebook. The more insignificant, the greater the appreciation. Banality binds us.

And what is love? What ultimately is the foundation for a long term (or short term) relationship? Isn’t it partly the finding of someone else’s tedium mostly bearable?


  1. I love this.

    "And what is love? What ultimately is the foundation for a long term (or short term) relationship? Isn’t it partly the finding of someone else’s tedium mostly bearable?"

    But since I find my own tedium mostly unbearable, I suppose I'm just doomed.

  2. This entry helped me to verbalize something I'd not been able to before.

    When I read someone's banal Facebook update, my reaction is that the person has courage: the courage to believe anyone gives a shit that they are running and errand, eating breakfast, or cleaning the house. I'm not being sarcastic.

    I, on the other hand, live in fear of posting those updates which expose my life as the ordinary humdrum it usually is. This is why I rarely post: I feel a weight to post that which I believe will bring a smile, that one thought out of thousands which may actually be useful to someone else. See, this exposes me once again: while others may post tedium, regardless of another's reaction to it, I have the hubris to assume my posting may be of some value.

    I guess I feel as though I owe something to the online community: as though I have no inherent value - I must "bring something to the party." Were it a dinner party, it would be as though I brought a bottle of Merlot from Jewel that was $7.99 marked down on sale from $14.99. We don't need another shitty bottle of wine. We have tons of shitty bottles of wine. Bring something useful or get out.

    Honestly, this blog entry seems to have uncovered a fear of being euthanized for just not being that fucking interesting of a person.

  3. I gave a talk once about blogging. That topic sentence shows how warped of an idea that was and unable I am to say no to people who ask me to do things, stupid though they are and stupid though I be. At the end of the talk, this woman punctured the whole premise of blog as community by thinking blog-friends a fake, plasticy community but there's a depth of friendship that comes, maybe from the banality but maybe also from the person willing to post to the whole world on the off-chance someone will be brave and comment also publicly. The publication of what's usually private, like conversations, seems somehow binding.

  4. Wow. Steve. I'm just home from a party in Rochester. You should have been there.

    I am proud of you for this entry. Does that sound maternalistic? It's not meant to be. I miss you--Anne

  5. Exactly. Also, this makes me feel better about my banal, self-involved blog. No one cares, but maybe someone cares.
    And I agree about love. Finding someone else's tedium bearable. Indeed.

  6. I love this post--great definition of love, and I actually find plenty of things in the banal that make me feel actually blessed for having read them--closer to my friends and enlightened--yes! enlightened--by the remarks of strangers. Lovely.

  7. I'm not sure which I find more disturbing about this post: that you brag about emotionally abusing students (and hint at abusing your partner) or that others either ignore or congratulate you for it. But of course since I don't get it, I must be stupid.

  8. Anonymous---If you're going to make aggressive comments, at least have the courage to make them under your own name.