Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"Well I wouldn't tell it..."

My grandmother pulls out this phrase when she hears of people willfully divulging dirty or embarrassing facts about themselves or their family, or occasionally someone else's family.

This strikes at the very heart of blog ethics. What is permissible? Can I chronicle stories in which other people fail? What if one day they read it? For that matter, what should I write about myself? Dare I divulge that I have insecurities and opinions, that I don't always toe the line, that I have a soul?


While a few people such as "Perez Hilton" have made careers out of blogging about the misadventures of others (namely celebrities) most people's blogs only contain VeryVanilla content about themselves and perhaps their friends or loved ones. They rarely post incriminating photos or admit to having any weaknesses and they never post about other people's shortcomings.



Also, most people's blogs suck. Like vegan cookies, when you strip out all the good stuff, you are left with pure cardboard. Mmmmmmmm...

I often find myself torn. I want to post what I'm actually thinking. I want to post about the noteworthy things that I and others say and do. Sexy, dirty, funny, tearful stories involving colorful characters. That's what's interesting. That's what we love about Twain and Tom Robbins. This is why America is infatuated with reality t.v. I never had such a devoted readership as when I got my heart ripped out 16 months ago. People couldn't wait for the next installment of woe is me. As for others, can they really exist on eggshells, worried about what someone might say?

But where to draw the line? Some lowly Philadelphia Eagles employee was recently fired because his facebook status referred to the Eagles as being stupid for trading Brian Dawkins. Now I never call my employer stupid because that's just asking for it. But when I posted a New Year's Eve photo of me sipping the completely legal libation that passes for absinthe in this country, no less than 5 people asked me if I was sure I wanted that out there.

Certain members of my family filter my blog and then pass the purified portions on to other members. While they mean no harm and only want to spread the (g-rated) news, it's hard not to feel like they are ashamed.



I curse. I make mistakes. I have a huge ass tattoo on my chest (that I almost cried getting). I can also work harder better faster stronger than any corporate mollusc. I am jack's unadulterated opinion.

6 comments:

Kezza said...

If you really want to post the juicy stuff, you could always anonymize it. Or you could start a "secret" completely anonymous blog where noone knows it's you or who any of the characters are.

Is my blog Vanilla Vegan cookie?? I do censor it a little bit, but there are certainly MANY "incriminating" photos on it as well....

81trucolors said...

Anonymity takes the fun out of it. But no, your blog is not vanilla. Vanilla Cream Stout maybe.... :)

PunkyPickett said...

"What is permissible? Can I chronicle stories in which other people fail? What if one day they read it? For that matter, what should I write about myself? Dare I divulge that I have insecurities and opinions, that I don't always toe the line, that I have a soul?"

-- write about yourself all you want, but don't splash other people's pain and drama on your blog. If you did, it would mean you don't have a soul. A blog is a blog is a blog, and if you have to define yourself by what you write on it, I feel really sorry for you.

GnightMoon said...

I am constantly grappling with these issues as well. I have found that people take it very personally when you blog about them, and now I have to be extremely careful when I write about others. It has gotten me in too much hot water in the past. As for myself, I think honesty is the most important quality a human can possess. So I try to write with 100% honesty - but you just can't write about everything in your life, unless your name is Joel Patchell. (And that's why his blog is or was the best).

willowjp4 said...

I think my blog is a low-fat cookie (I realize we’re talking about your blog and not mine here, but stick with me). It’s not vegan because I’ve broken social taboos in my blog, however, it’s not chalk-a-block full of goodness either, and it is locked from the public. I figure if someone wants the fatty goodness, they have to take the effort to converse with me.

I think you should post to your blog what makes you happy. If you think a post will sir the pot, or strike a cord, and in turn cause you stress or distress, then perhaps reconsider the post, otherwise fuck ‘em. It’s your blog. Be vanilla, be decedent, sinful chocolate, or just be whatever you feel like being for that post. We can’t all be Spicy Oaxaca Chocolate. ;)

Walker said...

Everyone has raised some good ideas. Unlike other blogs that deliberately search out mean things about people (usually celebrities) Truman doesn't pull random people into his blog. That being said, if you talk about a football game in which the quarterback screws up and loses the game, you can't talk about the game without talking about the quarterback. Likewise with some instances in life. If someone has a profound effect on a trip or event, how can you NOT talk about them when talking about the trip. As long as you don't go out of your way to build up how terrible, or any other adjective, they were tell it like it is. People get all up in arms over everyone else's self-esteem, but not any repercussions from that persons actions. So coming from a dedicated reader, Keep it coming and I trust your judgment and self-censorship abilities.