An Explanation

I’ll remember the day my first blog ended. This was a blogspot operation. It was the day I discovered the ‘next blog’ button on the top of the page. It took you to another (apparently random) blog in the blogspot network.

User-experience-wise, this was probably the 2008 equivalent of chatroulette: half of the blogs were unserviceably lewd and the other half farcically irrelevant. An advertisement for an online singles service, followed a finnish poetry student, followed by a home-crafts guru with pictures of her cat.

A few times a week, then, I would take my favorite thoughts out of my little head and put them on blogspot. There, they would enter the mix of ‘next blog,’ wedged between somebody’s vacation in Africa and grainy nudes of serbian celebrities. I suppose my unique capacity for neurosis is illustrated by the fact that I managed to feel two separate and possibly opposite anxieties about this.

The first anxiety was an exceptionalist anxiety. My thoughts were far more sophisticated, I was far more intelligent than my fellow-bloggers. It was completely unfair to myself to put the brilliant things I had to say on this platform. The second anxiety was a perfect complement to the first: it was an egalitarian anxiety. My thoughts had no more value to add to the world than Gavin’s daily image archive or the photos from the Clarksville crossfit. This was even worse.

[Much of life follows this pattern: the inability to decide whether we are not worthy of the world or the world is not worthy of us.]

This, my third blog, is an effort to evade the egalitarian and exceptionalist anxieties. It has an inspiration and a premise: to ask and answer interesting questions about American living under circumstances which have been called ‘late capitalism,’ ‘post-industrial,’ or simply ‘now.’



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