12.16.2004

The Wrath of Blog I: Existential Justification*

*I sincerely apologize in advance for butchering Heideggerrian and Existentialist concepts. (It was meant with an attitude of being-in-funness.)

The Absurdity! I just read a new comment to my Introduction post. Here's the comment:
If I were a guy (which i am) I wouldn't date you because you would write about our relationship on your blog. That's creepy. Lose the blog. Go to counselling.

Message from Anonymous


Fair enough. My reply:
Bite me. I've been in therapy my whole life. You see where that's taken me. Your counseling comment aside, thank you. It was good for me to hear and I'm sure you are not alone in that sentiment. It's probably the majority view. I appreciate that you took the time to type it because I needed to resolve my thoughts on the question of this blog's being.


FOR THE RECORD: IF I HAD TO CHOOSE BETWEEN A GOOD MAN OR THE BLOG, THE BLOG LOSES. As much fun as it's been, it doesn't keep me warm at night--among the other things it doesn't do. The tricky part is finding out if the man is worthy of ditching the blog.
****
Below I've written some Existentialist* justifications for my blog, in order to show that it is not creepy but an expression of my Dasein. * See the apology above for my misappropriations

In the beginning. . . Finding Purpose in Angst
1. My intention with CitC was to write stories of past dating debacles as a way to cleanse my palate of them. By purging the tales I hoped to effectively reduce my potential for bitterness.
2. This blog has provided many more hours of entertainment and satisfaction and thus fulfillment of self than most men I've dated.
3. When I began blogging I was in the throes of despair caused by the rejection of my being, yet again. I retreated into a shell of isolation as I tried to reconstruct myself. I thought I'd never date again. So I realized that there was No Future (for us! da na na nuh na!) to endanger with my present blogging.

The 'Thrown-ness' of Blog-Being and inevitable change
1. Even in exile, more life kept happening. I couldn't stop it--in spite of my Sysiphian efforts! Since moving to NYC there has constantly been some man sniffing around.
2. Because the beginnings of courtship are the most entertaining phase they make good reading. Until I am in a relationship with someone I don't owe them special loyalty (I don't even use their real names.) I feel no remorse for using the material because these romantic skirmishes are un-owned. No structure binds us to them or to each other.
3. It is a futile exercise for thin-skinned men to pursue me anyway. My caustic humor drives them away. The strong men who survive that shouldn't get scared off by anonymous internet exposure.

The contextual import of dating: Finding significance in the Other
1. Is this really so different from telling your girlfriends about your dates? I don't think so. Should I arbitrarily alienate the Stranger from this conversation? I see no reason to value my unknown blog readers less than my friends.
2. The woman 'Sex and the City' is based on wrote a newspaper column about her sex life and then she metamorphosed into a millionaire. Is that creepy? Maybe, but compared to that, my little non-profit celibate blog is an insignificant gnat.
3. Is it the content or the technology that induces more anxiety? This is how women talk about men. They discuss ALL the details of their dates then analyze them. The content is real. Or is it that the technology de-humanizes the most human of experiences and behaviors? And thereby undermines our identity as real beings? This probably disturbs the people who use words like 'creepy' to describe their anxiety over my blog.
4. Because I find myself separated by long distances from my girlfriends (Even NJ is long distance from NYC) blogging makes conversation more efficient. They can read my story in time, then call me to discuss it.

The Embeddedness: For Authenticity I face the communal whole
1. I enjoy the public discourse and attention. I've learned a lot from CitC threads, I think other people have too. In this way, I contribute to the whole of which I am a part.
2. I accept and embrace my nature as a blog whore who needs to increase traffic. Give me a break, a girl's gotta do something. My only vice is drinking caffeinated Diet Coke!! And now, I expose myself on the internet.
3. The blog is an excellent tool ready-at-hand for developing my writing skills. The public frame in which I place it forces me to take more care with the craft. I spend hours on each post fine-tuning each word. Then I get immediate reactions from readers that show me which language use works and which doesn't.
4. When I inevitably find myself unemployed upon graduation, I will need a new career or I will be left with No Exit. Writing seems a sensible second choice for one thrown into that circumstance.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

At least you're not the type of blogger that posts in one friggin' long run-on sentence filled with typos about how you love the guy that sits in front of you in class and you know he has a girlfriend, but dream of him dumping her and marrying you. Or have super-short posts about how your feet smell. (I've seen them! I kid you not!)
I think you have a great thing going here, kiddo. Keep up the good work!


Message from Sister T

Anonymous said...

I guess if you were my daughter (and I'm old enough for you to be that), I'd sit down with you and watch an old movie on TV and then listen to you until 1:00 in the morning (very late for me). That's a drill I know, 'cause I have my own daughter. I think you need a dad to do that for you. Until one comes along for you, think of 1 Nephi 11:17:

"And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things."

There's comfort and insight and strength there, if you think about it long enough.
 

Message from Lowell

Anonymous said...

JL, it might be true that a man rates above an average blog, but I think you're going to have to look pretty hard to find one that beats out CitC. You are really outdoing yourself these days!

Seriously, what guy thinks dating is confidential anyway? Don't all women talk about all the details with their friends/roommates/sisters/random female strangers anyway? How is anonymous blog publicity any different? You would think most guys would at least appreciate the enduring value of their own unique 15 minutes of blogging fame. 

Message from Dave

Anonymous said...

Here's the deal. It's not that the guys hate others reading about them (since their identities are protected by pseudonyms), but that they hate reading about themselves. That's my theory, anyway. I personally think guys who can't handle it are too insecure to handle us anyway.

Also, the strangers who read it and think "stay away" aren't aware of how much isn't written. To them, the blog represents the sum-total of your life, which isn't fair. It's only a representation. 

Message from Kwirki Girl

Anonymous said...

I am trying to not look too closely at the mermaid. If you lust after a woman you deny the faith.

That mermaid is right next to where I'm typing. Since you are not using names of people, and all, and you are not ripping on people in my view, just telling a story, the c i t c b l o g shouldn't produce anger in my opinion.

This isn't required reading by the government. 

Message from Anonymous

Anonymous said...

Awww..shucks, Dave. Thank you. The amount and quality of my post output is directly proportional to the amount of work I am procastinating. Because this is the end of the semester when I should be grading and lots of other things, you should have high expectations for the blog.

I agree with you, I don't see why this person doesn't recognize the enduring AND everlasting value of anonymous internet fame. And it does seem more telling about the commenter than the blog, someone who has a problem facing his own relationships or communication issues or something.

Good to hear not everyone thinks I am a purveyor of creepiness and damning myself to eternal singlehood because of my blog. 

Message from JL

Anonymous said...

Anon,
I am sorry for tempting you with the mermaid, but it is in my nature as the seductress-mermaid type to do such things. And besides, it's not a *woman* you are lusting so you aren't denying the faith. You might be a weirdo with a fish fetish but you can still be faithful.

Lowell,
That sounds nice, your daughters are lucky to have you. I got over wishing for an emotionally supportive father years ago. At this point, I'd settle for a nice boyfriend to curl up on the couch with to watch a movie. ;-)  

Message from JL

Anonymous said...

You really spend hours writing each blog? Wow, I throw mine out there as fast as I can write them. No doubt that is why you blog is so much better than mine. Damn you. And then you have talent and stuff. Double damn. Oh well, I'm probably good at other stuff.

And just so you know, writing is not a sensible choice as a career. Only do it if you love it, not if you think it's sensible because you're likely to be horribly disappointed if you jump in with that expectation.

Oh yeah, and this was a brillant post! Brilliant I say!


 

Message from Lisa

Anonymous said...

Lisa,
Thank you. I spent all day on this one and actually looked up those damn words that I couldnt' remember. Everything takes me longer than most people because of the ADD, but most posts take at the least 2 hours and up to 6--but that's with interruptions. And part of that time is because I write them in blogger so I look at the preview then go back to change a sentence then preview then change a word, etc. (Except those short little What up? posts.) And then I still edit them in the days following their posting. If I weren't doing this then I'd be watching tv, so that's how I justify spending that much time blogging.

Yeah, I meant the 'writing as a sensible backup plan' to be funny because it is an even worse field than academia. I have big plans to spend my life as a pauper. :-) 

Message from JL

Anonymous said...

"I meant the 'writing as a sensible backup plan' to be funny"

Oh, I see. I must have turned my irony meter off. Perhaps you should consider professional poker. It is a sport now you know.  

Message from Lisa

Anonymous said...

Two words: Free therapy.  

Message from Faye

Anonymous said...

Faye,
Amen to that. I don't have health insurance.

Lisa,
sarcasm is really hard to convey textually. We're used to cues from the voice and face. None here. I didn't work up the joke because I was probably tired by the end of the thing. So there were no cues to alert you that irony was coming. My fault, not yours. Thank you for the kind advice though. Your blog is great in it's honest spotaneity and emotion. You're a mother, you can't spend hours writing for your blog.

I'm actually really bad at poker if I'm trying to win. I can't bluff to save my life. But if I don't try to win and play with no strategy whatsoever then I do quite well. I make all my bets arbitrary and irrational and no one knows wtf I'm doing. Then I don't have to bluff because I don't know what I'm doing either. 

Message from JL

Anonymous said...

Volatire said, "It is an infantile superstition of the human spirit that virginity would be thought a virtue and not the barrier that separates ignorance from knowledge". I have to say that I agree. I mean, what is it about not having sex that makes someone "holy" or "worthy"? What is it about sex that makes one "unworthy"?

Look at priests. Tell me, honestly, that you think it is healthy for men to go their whole lives without having sex. So why is it ok for a woman like you to pass her sexual prime masturbating but never enjoying the real deal. It makes no sense to me. Will someone please explain?!? 

Left by Smart Monkey

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