Friday, June 05, 2009

not now, but soon

Jim found my blog and read the last post. He e-mailed me and we had one of those largely pointless exchanges singular to people who spend too much time online.

But my very real chagrin -- because nobody should have to read another person's uncensored opinion about themselves, ever -- was squelched for good around the time he envinced to be shocked (but shocked!) that I would publish something as private and personal as our lunchtime conversation online. Given that the culture of review-posters more or less revolves around the online airing of intensely private moments -- who does what and for how much and will she take the condom off -- this seems just a little rich.

So, Jim, this is what it's like to be reviewed. I don't blame you if you don't like it. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't either.

Enough of that. But it is a good reminder that times have changed and the days are over when I can blithely talk a ton of shit about whoever I choose (names and identities properly obfuscated) with the security that no one is really listening. It's been a year since the Boing-Boing folks showed up, and once I got over the initial shock, it has been a hell of a party.

Still, times have changed. Blogging has been a lot like dancing in a certain way, with the mirror-twin pleasures of exposure and anonymity. The perfect drug for shy exhibitionists like me -- naked on a lighted stage in front of a house of strangers, and no one knows my name, or anything about me, really, except what I choose to show.

But the island of my privacy is getting a little smaller all the time. If you've been reading for a while, you know I don't post as much as I used to. I have to think harder before I do, every time. For months, I've been thinking about quitting. I went out and bought myself a journal, the real kind, with covers. It's good, but it's not the same. I've thought about running away and starting a new blog, but I'd miss your tiny voices, my old imaginary friends.

So I don't know what I'm going to do, but something's going to have to change. Maybe not quite, quite yet. But soon.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your writing is much to interesting for you to quit blogging. Maybe you could write about the more mundane things in life.

Clever Monkey said...

Yes, I've been blogging less and less as the thin veneer of anonymity is buffed off.

I was wondering how long you might be able to maintain all this.

Still, it has been a fun ride.

Toby said...

Grace,
It's funny, I'm sure a thousand personal blogs have been over this ground before, but yours is the only one I read, so I'm still curious how these things shake out.

There's another element here:

The only person who knows that Jim is being talked about is Jim. I understand that it's hard to look at a mirror from the corner of your eye, but it's hardly the pillory.

The comics I make are light and sweet, but it's my own name right up in the title, and it's strange to talk to a co-worker that has read my old stories about anger, humiliation, failure, and despair.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad jim found your blog! You're right , maybe he will see what it feels like to be "reviewed". He sounds like a scumbag who thinks women are just objects to be used....really- not a MAN at all! If he didn't have money he would have no "dates", but shhhh he thinks women are with him for his stellar personality...

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Privacy is an exquisite treat these days :o)

B said...

Don't leave, Grace! We love you.

Frank said...

Do whatcha gotta do, girl. Who the fuck is the internet, you know? Is the internet going to hug you at night? Besides, if you ever do decide to pop back in with a missive or two, my rss reader will let me know and I'll be here to chime in with the rest of the hive.

Plus, sometimes you need to step away from a thing to know if it is what you thought it was. Fake internet hugs to ya, either way, girl.

Croaker said...

Don't quit, I've thought about it a hundred times, in the end this is your space-- make the best of it.

Mitch said...

You're one of my favorite internet readers. I'd miss reading you if you quit. I'm sure I'd still be interested in reading if you wrote
only things that didn't have the potential to piss off people who know you through your work.

Anonymous said...

You think quitting is about YOU??? Hey, this is about US. WE need you to help us figure out our own lives. We all experience the same things, but not all of us can figure it out without someone with exquisite capability explaining it to us by writing about herself. Stick around. Write when you need to. We're all better off when you do.

Sara said...

Grace - Listen.

You are NOT allowed to quit. When I saw in my reader you wrote something I thought, I have to comment and tell her that she has to write more. Your writing is facinating. It's in the best interest of the internet that you continue writing.

So, nope, not allowed.

Sara

Anonymous said...

I am drawn to your rich voice and story. I will miss u and I am thankful u were discovered, even if it has been difficult. I wish you much happiness and love.
Walker

Jeff Hershberger said...

This: "one of those largely pointless exchanges singular to people who spend too much time online."

...hits the nail on the head. A great observation. Ugly words flow so much more easily outside the constraints of seeing your antagonist or being seen by others.

Great observations, and atmosphere. This is why I read you.

Sra said...

I read a lot of blogs regularly -- lots of downtime on my job. Yours is truly one of the best and definitely the most consistently good and interesting ones. I would feel bad if you stopped. There are a lot of shitty writers with blogs. You are a very good writer with a blog. Since you always change people's names, I don't see how getting personal is a problem. It's what makes this so raw and beautiful too. I think the real problem is with people you know in real life who know about this. That's the vulnerability. If I hadn't in ited my family to read my blog, I'd be more personal and open still. Now I am also limited, which is less exciting than being able to say what you really feel. So I understand the issue. But I hope you keep writing anyway.

Anonymous said...

Jim did not enjoy his 15 seconds of fame? What a shame. But the real question is... did he react like a girl?

Sorry I haven't gotten back to you little miss mysterious but my living situation has turned into a clusterfuck of fees and lease agreements.

Miss'ya tall white girl, there is something intriguing about feeling like the short-little mexican. -jj

Grace said...

Hi there, my little beaner. Jim's reaction was predictable yet fascinating.I desperately wanted to republish our e-mail exchange here, but I asked he said no. :( I wish I didn't feel like I need to respect that, but I do.

Tara said...

I highly recommend taking your blog private and letting people subscribe. A $5 paypal door-fee keeps out the people who wouldn't want you to know they're spying on you, and has the added bonus of ditching readers who don't value your writing or are just hanging around to scream WHORE in the comments. It's worked pretty well for me.

Anonymous said...

i can't help but be a little jealous of Jim. I'd like to be reviewed. Sometimes I think people see things in me I've hid, sometimes I magnify things, flaws, they haven't noticed.

I'd pay $5 if you started screening your blog. I'm Boing Boing residue, and I value your blog quite a bit

Anonymous said...

your blog is a little candle in the dark. just saying.

Paul Engel said...

I, too, a boing-boing'er, would gladly pay for a subscription to your writing.

Anonymous said...

Don't quit writing just because of one guy. The majority of people out there aren't going to mind and you have a lot of people out there enjoying your writing.

Mitch said...

Grace,

Unless you are going to reveal nothing of yourself personally--which is kind of hard, given how you write and that your life is the primary topic of the blog--there's no way around the fact that each time you post, you leave more cyber breadcrumbs to who you are. I hope you don't quit, I truly hope you don't (Though I would pay the $5.00 to read you if it came to that). But ultimately, unless you're in the category of an Andrew Sullivan or Heather Armstrong or the other bloggers who make a living running a single person blog, what you're doing is a hobby that we are privileged to watch.

Whatever you do, it's ok. Whatever you do, it'll be the right decision. And wherever you land, thanks for sharing yourself here.

Anonymous said...

like the guy ^up there^ said, do what you gotta do.

yes, we clearly love reading your blog. but it doesn't exist for us - it exists for you. if it's not working for you anymore just stop.

Anonymous said...

i love your writing. i could read books full of just you writing about breakfast and bike rides. hope you don't fade away...


you are too good not to write a book. oh yes, please write a book. and if you do post about it here because i will check back here weekly forever even if you never post again.


--anon

Mister Blue said...

Normally, I'd just default to calling you a pussy and move on, albeit very disappointedly. However, I know a few people in your profession and I'm sure that most of us cannot understand the very real potential for disaster that you face in situations like these.

That said, I think you might want to stop being such a pussy. I've been pissing people off on the internet since 1995 (back when I was just "blueboy"). Hell, most of the rules associated with internet message boards exist because of me and people like me - the brotherhood of snarky assholes. Over the years, I've been "IRL'ed" more than once, and I've endured some very nasty confrontations (I had to arm-wrestle one of the Meat Puppets once), but I'm still here. I have a feeling that you're going to hate this comparison, because it's so annoyingly obvious, but more than a handful of people knew who Diablo Cody was and where she worked when her blog was at the height of its popularity, and she also came out of it in tact.

I don't imagine that "Jim" wandered over to this blog by using a divining rod. Obviously, someone told him, and the list of people who would recognize him based on your one post can't be very long. Good luck working that out, but while you're doing so, please consider the possibility that your quitting this blog might be irritatingly satisfying to whichever stinky bitch ratted you out. Just sayin'.

Finally, while I hate the idea of an invite-only blog, if you think you could be in real danger, it's something to consider, as is the program (the name of which I forgot - sorry) that enables you to monitor the IP addresses of everyone who reads the blog.

pete_at_raspberry said...

Hi Grace

Your blog is beautifully written, and I always look forward to reading it. But, it's your blog, and if you want to stop then stop.

But I will miss you.

Eureka said...

I echo many of the comments above. I've been following you religiously for about a year and a half. Yours is the only blog that has remained true to your voice, has been consistently enlightening and flows with increasingly rare grace and beauty. I deeply value your words and your stories.

At the end of the day, this is your space. Know that you are encouraged and read by people from all corners of the globe. Only stop blogging because YOU want to.

Krafty Like A Fox said...

I don't really know what to say that hasn't already been said, but this has been a month of changes all around. If you are moving towards change, I hope I get to follow you and your writing. If not, it has been a true pleasure and I'm grateful for the lessons of authorship I've learned from your example. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

So few bloggers own up to the delicious miseries of writing. Good for you. But writers always expose themselves in public. It's the compact we make with the demon inside. We get to ejaculate our shared thoughts and relieve the pressure, but it must be done in front of an audience. And eventually it becomes participatory art when the audience realizes they're part of the act. That heightens the madness, but it deepens the experience at the same time. There's a terrifying authenticity that can only be won with time. If you started over, the thrill wouldn't be there.

That said, reading your material has been a treat and I hope you continue. If you do, I'll return. If not, I may see you elsewhere. You must do what's best. But know that you're a standout writer, because you're willing to show your scars and find some small meaning in them. Those Boing-Boing folks, of whom I am one, knew what they had when they sent us over. Thank you for whatever you can give us.

Chelsea said...

"this is what it's like to be reviewed." haha. You go, girl.

MissTara said...

I've really enjoyed discovering your blog and reading the archives these last few days. I'm in the adult industry too, a phone sex worker, and I find such striking parallels between your world and mine.

I agree with your devoted readers that your writing is beautiful and full of richness. I'd hate to see it end just as I find you:)

All the best,
Tara

Anonymous said...

I know a couple people mentioned this already, but Jim sounds like a giant hypocrite. He builds a life judging people based on what they can do for him, disposing of them based on superficial details like an oddly-shaped nose or too much cellulite. Then he's all shocked and shaken when someone else evaluates the things HE does. I'm sure he (and that guy - okay, those guys that called you a prostitute) would try to argue that those women choose to be judged in that way.

Someone like that obviously can't have all the control they want in real, egalitarian relationships, so they prey on people with low self-esteem or people who make a profession out of the "girlfriend experience."

What I'm getting at here is that the fact you don't buy into this bullshit is the very reason I read you. Please don't let Jim take away your blogging impulse. When you're done, you'll be done - Jim or no Jim.

And, Jim, if you're reading this: maybe if you'd just be a better person, then you wouldn't have to obsess over how people anonymously portray you on the internet.

Chet said...

You are inspiration -- in how you write, in what you write, even in how you balance publication and privacy.

The thought of Internet pollution overwhelming your pointed light crimps me with despair.

Jim's obsession with your safety now seems almost threatening.

PH said...

"Only in the beehive can one find the human touch, find that city of sights, sounds, smells which one hunts for in vain beyond the margins of the ghetto. To live outside the pale is to whither and die. Beyond the pale there are only dressed up cadavers. They are wound up each day, like alarm clocks. They perform like seals; they die like box-office receipts. But in the seething honeycomb there is a growth as of plants, an animal warmth almost suffocating, a vitality which accrues from rubbing and glueing together, a hope which is physical as well as spiritual...small souls perhaps, burning like tapers, but burning steadily--and capable of throwing portentous shadows on the walls which hem them in."

Henry Miller says it better than I ever could.

I hope you keep a hand in the beehive, sweet. Even if you don't I'll always remember your writing and come back to it.

love & flowers--