Friday, February 20, 2009

I should really be asleep

My alarm is set to go off in just a few hours, but I can't sleep so I think I'll meta-blog instead.

Blogs are weird. I just stumbled, totally by accident, across a huge, amazing shitstorm in the feminist blogosphere of which I was totally unaware. The shitstorm, that is, not the blogosphere. I can't even begin to comment on the substance of the storm, being both male and white and also not party to the apparently long and troubled history of shitstorms that led up to this one. I know a place that has absolutely no need of my oar when I see one.

However, it does make me think about blogs in general, especially considering the fact that I now operate two of them (and contributed once on a third). The controversy linked above is currently making gigantic waves in an ocean I had no idea existed. I say this as a feminist and a blogger, aware of the feminist blogosphere and a semi-regular reader of (and very occasional commenter on) two of the participating bloggers' blogs. Holy fuck there are a lot of people in the world. Secret (entirely public) communities are lurking everywhere, including behind the webpages I so blithely skim most evenings.

When I started this blog way back about 13 months ago, it was solely for my own emotional health. My way of not having to talk to a therapist. Self-absorption, pure and simple, ignoring the rest of the world, but a necessary move for me at the time. Once I was feeling good enough about things in general, I made it public and linked from Facebook. For a while that link went away, as I attempted to hide from my students, but it's back now, hopefully permanently. I have absolutely no idea how many people read this, though I imagine it's a few more than comment on it. I have noticed that direct questions to my readers go largely unanswered, and so I still think of it as mostly directed at me, with some friends amiably listening in. I'm not trying to change the shape of discourse on the intertubes. I'm not even creating political change. In the end, I'm still talking to myself. Witness the number of times I said I in this paragraph.

The new blog isn't really about that, of course. That's a purposeful redirection of what I say to myself toward other ears. It's an experiment, possibly one that will have an effect on people who are not me. I hope it will. But even with that goal, it's not anything like the blogs discussed in that wild flurry of invective linked above. They (everyone contributing there and in the many other sites that are participating in the intense blogobrawl) have a concept of blogging I just can't wrap my head around; I don't think my fragile self-esteem could support the weight of the kind of blogging they're talking about (and doing). I just can't imagine that many people reading and/or caring about what I write!

It's odd. I like to consider myself a staunch advocate for the public space over the private, but this blog is definitely on the private side and equally definitely staying there. The more public blogs scare me, to some degree, because I don't yet know how to successfully perform myself for others in blog-comment form. As evidence, this post, which is ending up as scattered musing about my own current emotions instead of any larger issues of general interest. Hey, look--it's my navel! Hi, navel!

Some day I'll be able to participate intelligently in some sort of debate on the hierarchies of oppression in the blogosphere, but that day isn't today. Today I will have tea with Van Helsing (in six hours; yikes!), teach twenty college students how to write about music, go to the gym with Z2, and then come home to enter some more data from the last VFE canvass. Then I'll probably play some Scrabble, get up another post or two on the new blog, write some of my independent study paper, and have dinner with Z2, Steely Dan, and anybody else who shows up at my house. That's enough for one Friday.

Maybe next week I'll dismantle the patriarchy.