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Bloggier Than Thou - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
Bloggier Than Thou
I know I'm bound to piss off a number of people I really like with what I'm about to say. But I'm going to say it anyway. It bothers me when people distinguish between Live Journal and other weblog services on the basis of content. The most common argument is that LJs are more confessional and less crafted than the blogs people maintain on Blogger or Type Pad. A corollary to that argument, which bothers me a lot more, is that people who have chosen to use LJ are more immature than those who go elsewhere. Frankly, I just don't see it. There are plenty of abysmal blogs all over the internet, including Live Journal. But many of my favorite blogs on Live Journal are equal to the best anywhere. Of course, I prefer heterodox blogs that mix the personal, professional, and political, so that no doubt slants my opinion a bit. Nevertheless, I'm ranting. And you know what bothers me even more? People who stop maintaining their LJs because they feel they've graduated to a "real" blog. Really. If you wanted your blog to be better, you could have just done your LJ "friends" who put up with your not-ready-for-the-big-time musings a favor and improved the one you already had. Unless, of course, the only reason for starting a new blog somewhere else was to leave those LJ "friends" behind as a way of shoring up the fragments of your hipness, the way you did when you conveniently forgot to return the calls of that well-meaning nerd you sat with in the high-school cafeteria but who sadly failed to match the career path that had you taking LSD and listening to avant-garde noise music and getting screwed by a hippie dominatrix named Ashley all within the first month of college. And if that's the case, then I'm going to be so hot and bothered that my breath will come through your computer screen in a bilious green cloud. Don't pull any of your bloggier than thou shit in my space, mother-trucker. Save it for MySpace where the content really is as lame as everyone says it is. Oh, and could you return those torn briefs I left on your couch? I'm running low on unholiness.

Tags: ,
Mode: incredulous
Muse: In the Event - The Ex - Turn

37 comments or Leave a comment
tommix From: tommix Date: October 30th, 2005 07:22 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I agree with you, but I don't think its fair to assume why I started a blogspot account. It's not because I feel I'm in the "real" world or any such nonsense. I just wanted to post pictures with my new digital camera so my Ma-dukes can look at them. I was never able to do this with Livejournal.

So any distinguishing you're doing is more of your own, at least in my case. You know that I read Livejournal religiously, so what does it matter? I can make a little joke about LiveJournal now and then if I want.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: October 30th, 2005 07:42 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Man, I almost responded as if your comment were sincere! Then I realized, luckily, that you were miming the sincere soul-baring of your average LJer. Cleaver! I meant "clever," but what the fuck? "Cleaver" it is. A mete cleaver. Cleave me, you fork-tongued G-d, cleave me like the main course in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Have I mentioned that my next rant will be about "beaver assessment." That's not even a slant rhyme.
chefxh From: chefxh Date: October 30th, 2005 07:58 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
ah well, I come from shanty Irish, so I'll stay ghere with the proles, thankee... and show my lace-curtain pretensions by adding: good gods, could MySpace be any more inane? Worse than Friendster!
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 1st, 2005 03:26 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Love it. Love proles too.
commonalgebra From: commonalgebra Date: October 30th, 2005 08:16 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
you make me laugh.

"...who sadly failed to match the career path that had you taking LSD and listening to avant-garde noise music and getting screwed by a hippie dominatrix named Ashley all within the first month of college."

ha ha ha.

You should allow yourself rant more. I should allow myself to rant more. real rants, fake rants, rantspants.

incidentally, I think it's pretty fucking absurd to write a journal or blog anywhere on the internet - but so are most things if you think about them long enough. even newsblogs...there's something so...funny about this medium to me. Beginning, perhaps, with the word "blog." Fortunately, for me, absurdity doesn't make something less valuable in my estimation.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 1st, 2005 03:28 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
And that's the key for me. You articulate it so well. Sure, personal blogs are absurd. But so is personal life. It's amusing too me how subsequent commenters, even ones with a gift for irony, read my rant as a totally sincere critique. It's not so funny that they then felt it necessary to continue the "blogs are lame" theme that's more tired in my estimation than everything that's tired about blogs.
commonalgebra From: commonalgebra Date: October 30th, 2005 08:18 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
that was "you should allow yourself to rant more"

I should allow myslef poof read ore. you no?
From: wondrousbeauty Date: October 30th, 2005 08:33 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I love this post.

I started a separate blogspot account because I wanted an academic blog where I could make connections with folks and not have my personal life sort of out there. I really like the other space (and "personal" things have inevitably come up, of course), but LJ feels safe. Like I can post here and the people I trust with those posts (especially filtered or friends only posts) are folks who don't hold me to the standards academics often do, even the academics on my list.

I've found myself defending LJ on similar grounds as you do, even though I have made separate spaces for myself. They are both spaces that I value immensely.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 1st, 2005 03:29 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Well, in your case the split makes total sense. I'm not opposed to splitting. I'm not even opposed to splittling from LJ. But I do think it ridiculous when folks think they're moving up by moving out. Interesting entries on marriage, BTW
frostedfuckhead From: frostedfuckhead Date: October 31st, 2005 02:18 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

quite on point.

i think the 'immature' bit comes from the fact that it is so easy to set up a blog on livejournal... and it was one of the originals so far as I know, and certainly the first to get popular. and, let's face it, if someone informed you of these prejudices and you went and searched random lj's you'd probably find much evidence to support their conclusions. i haven't been to the other hot blogging spots, so i have no idea what their content is like -- undoubtedly it is shitty.

of course, anyone reading this journal realizes there is quality to be found here, and anyway it's pretty asinine to give a shit where your blog is, unless you plan to rock your own webspace.

domain names are nifty.

cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 1st, 2005 03:31 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I'd love to rock my own webspace. But it takes too much time right now to set things up. I wish you'd post more about "safe" topics relative to your stay. Maybe you can do so in allegorical form? Let me know what you're interested in reading genre-wise, when you figure it out. I'm reading Pattern Recognition and Sebald's Austerlitz right now.
danthered From: danthered Date: October 31st, 2005 02:29 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
More Rant-O-Meal Please!
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 1st, 2005 03:32 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Thanks! I'll have to channel my housemate more often. . . :-0
From: e4q Date: October 31st, 2005 04:25 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
see, this is what happens when you 'know people'. not always a mistake, but always a risk.
see also 'art is not a real subject' 'cultural studies is not a real subject' 'rental is not a real home' 'not having children is not a real lifestyle' 'that is not a real job' 'where you live is not a real city' bla bla bla
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 1st, 2005 03:32 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
The punitive "real." Any better?
hollsterhambone From: hollsterhambone Date: October 31st, 2005 06:18 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I like this side of you.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 1st, 2005 03:34 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I'm not sure whether I do. I mean, I have a hard time letting go. But maybe I should worry less and do more. Nice to see you back in full effect.
tpratt From: tpratt Date: October 31st, 2005 08:34 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
What's funny about this is that you were probably pulling punches, weren't you? Blogs are lame. Friendster and My Space and Live Journal and Blogspot are all lame. I love to read what my friends write, and every few months I'm inspired to shake some literary piss dribbles on my journal. I even post comments on a Seahawks blog over on Blogspot now and again. But thinking one format is preferable to another is funnier than shit. Ca-ca is ca-ca no matter what box you wrap it up in.
From: fredoluv Date: October 31st, 2005 11:06 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)


Yeah, I think all blogs are pretty lame as a matter of GP. I started mine when a couple friends who'd moved asked me to do something along those lines so they could hear stories...but overall they just seem to serve as another online way to waste time. There are some that point me in new directions musically or pop culturewise...but I'd hesitate to even hold that up as an exception, I mean, who really needs to read another blog entry talking about how great Clap Your Hands Say Yeah are, or talking about how disappointing the new Fiery Furnaces are?

A couple things:

I have a handful of myspace blogs I read regularly that are about 150% more entertaining than anything I see on LJ or blogspot.

Charlie, you've seen demographic breakdowns of who uses LJ, right? The community you're sort of enveloped in is pretty atypical...when people (myself included) slag on LJ, it's more of a rant against that generic user, not the exceptions to the rule (like KDD, for instance, someone with a clear voice to pair up with interesting stories and opinions).

The regimented layouts on LJ also enforce this wall of sameness -- my eyes just glaze over after a few pages.


bitterlawngnome From: bitterlawngnome Date: November 1st, 2005 05:09 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I don’t know about your brain-
but mine is really
I come home from a day on the golf course
and I find all these messages
scribbled on wrinkled up scraps of paper
And they say thing like:
Why don’t you get a real job?
Or: You and what army?
Or: Get a horse.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 1st, 2005 03:33 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Source? It sounds familiar. I've been reading Donald Barthelme of late. I love the dark humor in his minimalism.
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