Wednesday, 27 February 2008

To Blog Or Not To Blog

It’s difficult to know sometimes, what to say, in life. Some things, no matter how difficult, should definitely be aired; others, not. But often it’s not that clear which way to go. Myself, I’ve always been of the ‘when in doubt, blurt it out’ school. Hence yesterday’s post. But as commenter Dan said last night, ‘…I'm not convinced that your blog was the most appropriate way of saying this. You may have decided to put your life out there on the net, but maybe [Keith] hasn't….’ Yes. I agree. I really do. But I also disagree, kind of, and for three important reasons:

a) I didn’t break any confidences. It would have been different if Patricia didn’t know that her boyfriend had cheated on her and there was a chance of her finding out through this blog. But there was no chance of that, because she already knew.

b) All of the people mentioned in this blog are disguised. So Keith isn’t really called Keith, Ange isn’t really called Ange, and Patricia, who isn’t really called Patricia, doesn’t really play the cello. She’s actually called Pam and she plays the viola. I jest, but I must concede, it’s not the most sophisticated of encryption techniques. I’m not Graham Greene after all. But on a tiny little blog that only one of my friends reads, I’m certain it’s enough.

Or it least it was. Till yesterday. Now – I’m not entirely sure why, but I guess it’s for slightly misguided reasons of damage limitation - he’s told Patricia about the blog.

I’m guessing he’s probably mentioned it to Ange too. (I don’t think I’m doing him any massive disservice to presume that breaking a small confidence is beneath him.)

c) …I’ve forgotten what the third thing was. Damn. I think that may have been the clincher too.

But still, I agree that really the point is that people have the right not to have their private lives discussed on a public forum. But for Christ’s sake, this isn’t Perez Hilton or Matt Drudge. I only have - at most - a dozen regular readers.

Sorry. I keep trying to justify myself, and I shouldn’t. The fact is, even if he is a smiling damned villain, even if he is a treacherous, conniving, back-stabbing, adulterous dog, Keith is my friend – my best friend – and he wasn’t best pleased with my virtual washing of his dirty, stinking, love-rat laundry.

So I’m sorry. Genuinely.

And from now on, there shall be no more discussing my friends’ private lives. Which is a shame because there is news. But no…. From now on it’s just me and my sordid forays into weight loss and sexual satisfaction.

Speaking of which, two things:

a) This morning I lay on my back and attempted to lift my legs up in the air – just keeping them straight and raising them, like we used to do at school in the gym. And I could manage five seconds, at most. I felt ashamed. Really ashamed. I have to do more to get rid of this sickening blancmange I have the temerity to call a stomach. I think it might be time to invest in an ab roller. Or even better, a 6 second abs system. Complete with DVD. I love DVDs! Wave goodbye to the aberration of your abs in just six seconds! Six seconds! I can’t get over that. What kind of moron would I have to be to miss this opportunity?

Yeah, well. I love the way it has ‘As seen on TV’ splashed over the packet too, like that’s supposed to give some kind of guarantee of quality. Hey, it's been on TV! It must be good!

More swimming I think, is called for.

b) I feel terribly, terribly libidinous. I think it’s a combination of losing a little weight and starting to feel healthier in general, not filling my body with bad chemicals, nascent spring filling up my nostrils when I go for a run, and - not forgetting - my recent discovery of YouPorn. JesusGod. If this had existed when I was 15, I would NEVER HAVE LEFT THE HOUSE!


Oh, and I’m playing tennis again later with Pip. You remember Pip, fitness freak, good-for-nothing and potential dog-murderer. Shit, am I even allowed to say that anymore? Or have I betrayed another confidence?


A guy can’t say nothin’ round here.

Supercool war posters from here.

Afterthought: Do you blog? Course you do. So what's your take on the whole 'tell it like it is' thing? Do you tell it like it is? Or is it just not worth the bother? Do tell.

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Glamourpuss said...

If we are to blog honestly, then this is territory we all traverse. I, too, told one 'friend'. That 'friend' had a big mouth and a spiteful streak and she outed me in places that hurt me the most. But saying that, I have incurred the wrath of others for writing stuff and so I set myself the following boundary, let it be known that it was set and so now, if people don't like it, they can go fuck themselves.

Bascially, I will not blog details of other people's lives, I will only blog details of how I feel and am affected by said details of other people's lives. To use your example, this would mean talking about how shit and betrayed I felt by Keith's cheating, how disappointed I felt with Ange, and how sorry I felt that Patricia suffered so. It may be a fine line, but it's a line, and it works for me.


Anonymous said...

I sometimes wish I'd started my blog even more ultra privately than I actually did so that I could shoot my mouth off without ever worrying who would see it. It's a bit late now so I have to censor myself a bit or just make stuff up; that works too.
Have you considered using the poodle as the ball when you play tennis? Two birds, one stone, springs to mind.

Anonymous said...

Can you not just tell us if Keith and Patrcia worked it out or not? You are leaving me dangling here grahh..
I hope they do.
K xxxx
(and yeah, I hide my identity on my blog to a hugggge extreme, I'd hate how I feel to get out into public knowledge :P)

La Bête said...

That is a fine line, Puss. I like it.

Yeah, I agree with you, Penelope. If I had told no one about this, then I could say whatever I goddamn liked. I should've. It was a mistake.

Hey K, I shouldn't really. Do you hope they work it out though? I don't know how I feel about infidelity and forgiveness afterwards. I've never been in that position but I think I would want to just stop. I don't know. Anyway, I've said too much.

In other news, it's 6 o'clock and it's still very marginally light outside. So that's good.

L said...

It's a sad truth that in todays world one has to be COMPLETELY ANONYMOUS to express honest feelings. People get so mad when they hear the true honest opinions of others. Why is this? Wouldn't it be nice if we could just hear each other instead of being judged and being so judgmental?

My boyfriend set up my blog and domain name for me. It's my name. And that's great for publicity in the dance world. However, I want to give people a real picture of what the dance world looks like, and if I'm going to remain favorable to all, I can't do that. It's a tough situation.

In your case however, as you are (mostly) anonymous, and because you keep your friends anonymous, I think writing about situations in your life is perfectly acceptable. These situations affect you personally and you write a personal blog. Your readers don't know who you are. Maybe you shouldn't write personal letters to post publicly, as conversations are personal unless you've already addressed the issue with said person. Just my opinion.

Luka said...

I post anonymously yet still manage to upset all manner of people. There are those who, even when you mention no specifics, assume you are talking about them, even if you're not.

Anonymous said...

Isn't the whole point of blogging anonymously that you can say whatever you want? That's the entire reason why I blog, I very much doubt anoyone views mine which makes it easier for me to say whatever it is I want. But seriously, if you can't let everything out to strangers, then who can you let it out to?

Helga Hansen said...

To me blogging it like a diary, except that strangers get to have a peek (and your close friends and relatives don't). Well, that's the theory, anyway. If you have a savvy IT person in your midst, it doesn't take them long to find your blog... and any comments you make elsewhere. Personally, I don't give a toss... if you want to snoop, and read stuff that upsets you, well.... you shouldn't have snooped in the first place!!

As it happens... I have two blogs... but only really advertise the one! ;^)

Musical Midnight said...

I post anonymously. The reason being, most of my "ranting" blogs have to do with my Mother-in-Law, and how she and I don't get along. If she or any of her family were to locate my blog, I would be ridiculed or outcast at best, my entire life made a living hell at worst.

I don't use real names. I have never in my blog identified myself by first name, nor identified anyone else by their first names. IF on the rare chance my in-laws stumble upon my blog and recognize something, I can play it off and ask something along the lines of "What gave you the idea that I wrote this?" which would neither be a denial nor an admission.
There are plenty of crazy families out there. I married into one of them.

In my mind, expressing my thoughts in an anonymous blog is much better than keeping it bottled up until I violently explode at someone. And if they are so offended by what I write, should they ever find out, then I guess we'll show up on the Dr Phil show or Oprah at some point and let the whole world hear about it.

Ginny said...

I Blog honestly. This is hard for me, as my boyfriend (who I met via the Blog) and my best friend know about the Blog, and sometimes things I say involve them.

I would write about something like this, because it would have affected me deeply and I imagine it did the same for you.

Bottom line is - Blogs such as these are kind of therapy. A way to get everything we feel, no matter how overwhelming, out. And you wanted to talk about him on your anonymous Blog, so you did. Because it helped you. And that's okay.

Suzi said...

I've had numerous blogs, and was openly myself on most of them. After being ostracized by my family for months following a post in which I vented about them fucking up a Vegas holiday with their petty bullshit, I shut down my public blogs and started a new, anonymous one. I HATED it. I was constantly letting things slip, and since my regular (non-family) readers had followed me, they sometimes slipped up in their comments. Plus, I couldn't publish any of my photos on my blog.

Eventually I outed myself, but still didn't tell my siblings about the new blog. And even though a family member recently discovered me, I've made the decision to speak my mind on this blog. If they don't like it, they can stop reading. Like I said in a recent post, Life may not have a Close box, but blogs do.

La Bête said...

Thank you all for your feedback. It is really fascinating, not least because it's a fairly new phenomenon. Ten years ago, this didn't exist at all, did it? Even five years ago it was not a common thing - now the world and his day-old baby have got a blog and everyone's having to decide just what the hell they're doing it for. And who. And it can be really problematic. I hope no one else I know finds out about this. So I can tell you all what utter shits they are without having to apologise.

Rygantron said...

The people who know me in real life are so used to me barking and bitching that I'm like white-noise to them at this point; they CERTAINLY aren't going to be offended by my blog, of all things.

Hell, half of my friends can't even fucking READ, so unless someone dictates my insults to them, I'll be in the clear for, like, ever.

Anonymous said...

Some people I know or read the blogs of will only write on their blog what they are willing to say to a persons face. So if you were able to say all of what you wrote to Keith here on the blog to Keith in person, one of the more recent 'golden rules' of blogging hasn't been broken.
Perhaps it would have been more appropriate to write Keith the letter privately and then write about the letter and Keith and your involvement here. I don't think you necessarily need to stop writing about your friends or loved ones completely. Just be firmly aware of why you want to write the things you do in a public forum. If you can't think of any good valid reasons, then you know it might be self-indulgence driving you and perhaps a step back needs to be taken.

It's what I've learnt, anyway.

Bittersweet said...

It is a difficult question to answer .. i want to be frank about what i have to say, so it is essential that i am anonymous. I suppose i can simply take responsibility to keep my (and therefore 'their') identity secret.

Most people read blogs to be entertained/amused/comforted .. so many reasons, but not, i imagine, to collect gossip about specific people. I would have no interest in the true identity of characters, i don't suppose most readers would .. but it is always fascinating how people react.

...Nessy... said...

Sometimes, I'd love to tell people about my blog, especially the stories I wrote in the past...

...but having read some of the comments in here, I'm glad I've kept this one secret under a tight lid...
(Yes, I can't keep anything from my best friends).

I can talk as much as I want about people I know, and not worry that they're going to find out, but even so, I change their names, and other details.
Just In Case.

Anonymous said...

Having been "outed" a few years ago and losing three very close friends over the discovery of a post ranting about something one of them did during a very difficult time in my life, I discovered that while I do not want to be sensered, I do not want to repeat that experience. I also concluded that having friends who refuse to talk to me about the problem and use email as a way to take the piss out of me were people I was no longer interesting in having in my life. Granted, this may be a bit different than what you are experiencing.

So, I am anonymous and no one I know in real life knows about my blog. Even when we think we are completly covering our tracks we can be found out...just ask The Girl with that one track mind. An extreme example but, still.

I blog freely becasue my blog persona has absolutly nothing to do with the real me. I still hope no one I really know finds my blog. I'll lose that freedom to say what I like.

In the end, one must judge for themselves what to write about and whom to invite to read it. Blogging about people who know you and your blog is dicey at best and on the other hand, it's your life too and these things may be happening to them but, it's also part of yours.

Either way, just keep writing. The freedom of saying what you like can't be replaced!


p.s. by the way, i'm new 'round these here parts and really REALLY like reading your blog :)