I read part of Caitlin R. Kiernan's Sirenia Digest. The first story, "Beatification", is a nice story about a strange sexual ritual. It's followed by the first chapter from Caitlin's upcoming book, Joey LaFaye. I've only read part of the chapter so far, but I've found it oddly familiar. In tone and in many of the opinions expressed, it rather closely resembles Caitlin's Live Journal. Most interestingly, perhaps, in a complaint regarding people who use their blogs or Live Journals to vent about their personal lives, or, as Caitlin puts it in her Live Journal profile's list of "Dislikes"; "people who whine on lj".
I can't say I feel a similar disgust towards such people (I'm often enough such a person myself), though I can understand the attitude because I did feel the same way for a while. I think my feelings were mainly based on remembering revealing posts I'd made that were cathartic at the time, but which made me feel somehow vulnerable later, not only for the personal information I revealed but also because of opinions expressed in the heat of anger or sadness that I no longer held. So I would look upon people who continued to make such posts as being irresponsible or immature.
But now I'm slightly ashamed of having felt that way. It seems a rather arrogant, or maybe anti-organic, point of view to have about something like a blog, where the frequency of posts makes consistency of opinion impossible if you're a normal sentient creature who changes over time. And why, really, would I want to portray myself as someone who never cries over a broken heart? Who am I helping? People who don't want to deal with sympathy they might feel for my troubles. Republicans, in other words.
There's something to be said for avoiding personal attacks against former friends. It would make a friendship difficult to mend if public documents of personal disputes remain. On the other hand, I've always had a low view of relationships whose health depended on sweeping information under the rug. In my experience, if issues aren't dealt with straight, they tend to seep up from under the rug and hurt things even worse. And I also prefer not to let strangers influence my decisions. If an uninvolved party is upset by an apparent contradiction in opinion I've expressed, it doesn't concern me unless they can provide a solid argument.
Mainly, though, I don't think the phenomenon of people treating their blogs as confessionals is so much a problem of people needing attention as it is a problem with a listener deficit. It's nice to be able to talk to someone like the mass, quiet, audience for whom you can't possibly hope to edit your statement to accommodate differing opinions regarding components of a story or argument, so you largely don't bother. It's liberating, and at a sort of atomic level, it is nice to get that attention. Why not? We all need it; I think it's silly not to admit it.
Anyway, I think I like Joey LaFaye so far, but then, I like Caitlin's Live Journal. I must, since I still read it despite the fact that she's banned me from commenting on it.
I guess I'll get back to history-writing to-day. I better go to the grocery store, though, since a lot of food seems to have disappeared rather suddenly . . .