Best thing anyone has ever said about this blog: “it makes me feel less alone in the world.”
The least best, but somewhat thought-provoking thing anyone has said about this blog lately: “I don’t want you to quote things I say on your blog.”
Which I kind of just did–but I paraphrased. And I won’t be quoting the things he said next, which apparently were the items of concern. Nor anything he says in the future about anything, because–I get it.
Really it is a composite quote, of this guy as well as others who maybe haven’t, but I know might like to say the same thing, in various ways. I do occasionally run into folks who emits a real antipathy toward, if not my blog, the idea of a personal blog in general. And somehow, their expression of antipathy hurts my feelings. Which is ridiculous–because it is not about me–exactly. I am not a blog. I am not the general idea of a blog.
But I keep a blog. And my sense is that the judgement I feel is not aesthetic. It’s moral. And maybe kind of aesthetic–because we live in a world where who you are as a person is defined by your taste. If you like Christian Rock–you get put in a box–the world assumes they know something about you as a person. If you wear high-waisted mom-jeans, or love Justin Beiber, or Avatar was your favorite movie last year–these are signs of who you are.
So it’s hard to have either your moral or your aesthetic behavior questioned–at least for me. And the less secure you are in your own beliefs, the harder it is to be judged on things. The whole thing makes me very very sympathetic to individuals and groups who have to create their own code (moral or fashion) in the face of a generous amount of public opposition. Like the civil rights movement, the LGBT community…and Bjork.
People judging inter-racial marriage: I don’t care. Because the idea seems so antiquated, and wrong, and almost everyone I know personally would never think about that, so that criticism would only come from a stranger anyway.
People judging my taste in clothes: I care a little. It’s hard to let go of fourth grade. And watching Project Runway doesn’t help.
People judging my actions that I write about, motivations for writing in public, discretion in protecting or using people in the world around me as subject matter: It’s food for thought.
As I consider limiting my subject matter more and more, I should say that I’ve been fortunate that Paul loves to be talked about, written about, blogged about. He’s really perfect for me in this way. In Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods. It’s been a topic of debate whether the character of Stephen Katz –the book’s strong personality and comic foil, was real.
I have my own personal Katz.