So, the old blog has been pretty much steady-set since March, and two seasons is more than enough for a single design. The uber-minimal dirtstyle plus the background I ripped from koshi had a nice feeling, but I'm not satisfied with it anymore. More directly, I'm also not satisfied with my writing lately. Feels like I'm lacking punch and flow and voice, the gonzo spirit at low tide.
Part of this is no doubt my own physical and spiritual fatigue. It's been a long week, full of things I can't quite publicly discuss, that other people might not understand; meetings with my attorney, an Iraq war trophy knife choping up 17-year old pain pills, dark glances into the abyss of post-modern capitalism.
Secrecy wearies me, and if it were all the same I'd turn my whole life into some weird performance piece, tell everyone all the shit I did. But it's not all the same. The presumption that you might write something about an experience colors it for you, and people react differently under those circumstances. At a minimum, one must consider that an autobiography has other characters in it, many of whom may have bosses, some of whom may have discovered Teh Google, and so I feel restrained.
In the best of all possible worlds we'd all live somewhat more open lives, and whether or not there are myspace pictures of you doing keg-stands wouldn't be an issue, but a shame-based morality is the spiritual companion to our debt-based economy, and so many of the best and truest stories of the human condition circulate as a sort of samizdat; secret underground utterances of the sort you get into trading once you've determined that some Other is perhaps trustworthy. "One time I got so drunk and then..."
I can see why those kinds of stories are fun to swap, and part of it is certainly the aspect of the forbidden or transgressive, but the hiding still rankles. At their core, these stories have value not as mutual blackmail, but because they reveal us in our most unguarded and vulnerable moments. This is also another reason why they're sensitive, but it's an indictment of our lives that we feel the need to be so protective, so hard.
Anyway, I've been trying to think of creative ways around it, considering a formal departure into more traditional gonzo journalism, the use of pseudonyms, etc.
This is an inevitable consequences of a pubic audience as the stakes move up. An alternative would be to Privatize this blog, as a number of upstart web enterprises would offer me tools to do. Basically there are plenty of ways to write and only have your friends read it, and maybe that should be enough for me, but I'm too invested in my own persona and too far gone into the ticklish gratification that comes from autobiographical exhibitionism. I have even developed the classic artists delusion that this matters somehow.
In addition to figuring out how to post more juicy bits, behind the scenes there are a ton of technical issues to deal with. The server that this and Vagabender are hosted on needs to be retired, and beyond visually refreshing things here, I'd like to take a stab at leveraging my alleged professional expertise towards achieving the mission of this website.
Which begs the question: what exactly would you say you do here? Well...
- I've enjoyed the turn back towards personal life-story over the past year, and I think the family and friends who compose around 80% of my audience have enjoyed it as well. I want to stick with that, perhaps augmented with a little obfuscation around the details to free me up a bit.
- I also want to do more writing that could have some enduring value, getting back to the old "this is your brain; this is your brain on the internet" concept that I've pursued over the years in fits and starts.
- Finally I would like to make myself a more powerful public aggregator. I find that I actually use my little "aggregamatron" tab above a lot, and I could do something even better that would at least be useful for me, if not necessarily interesting to everyone else.
The ultimate goal is to create a site that continues to serve my goal of keeping people I love up to date with my life story on whatever schedule works for them, but also has an increasingly "sticky" public footprint which can serve to help me promote the ego-goals I have in the wider world.
Oh, and I want to start making videos. Noel is a goddamn inspiration.
In the end, I write here and not on paper because you read it. Tell me what you want. Email is fine. I'm a hopeless pleaser.