in the eye of the beholder

This is mostly brought on by what Susan had to say... but it is something that I think about often as well.

Why do we bloggers blog (or as dooce might say, blobbers blob)?
In a word (well, two): to entertain. To entertain ourselves, to entertain others, just for the hell of it. No where in my contract with the outside world does it say that I cannot exaggerate, story tell, or otherwise deviate from the rather monotonous existance that is my life. I don't come out with blatent falsehoods... but if my night was more of a meow and i make it sound like a ROAR, well that is my perogative, and I think you are all happier for it. (Can you pick out the four words in the previous paragraph that I had to sound out in an attempt to spell them?)

Honestly, if I wrote only the exact progression of my daily existance M-F would go something like this:

January 26th, 2006: I woke up today, which was an amazing feat in and of itself. Then I lay there and stare at the ceiling for a few minutes wondering what I did to deserve morning to happen to me. I got up, peed, brushed my teeth, showered, brushed my hair, put on deoderant and yummy smelling cranberry perfume, then dressed (meaning tried on 37 different outfits because while I am low maintance, this morning was particularly difficult), grabbed my backpack, and left for work. I took the train, looked at girl scout cookies in the train station, lammented my lack of money, and froze my nipples off walking the 4 or so blocks to work. I worked, or at least was a bodily feature in my office at work, ate lunch at lunchtime (normally something in a box that says microwave meal), then left at 5. I froze my nips off again walking back to the train station. I read as the train carried me home, where Travis was waiting (preparing dinner, deciding on dinner, staring at the fridge in confusion... whatever), and we eat. Then we lounge. And maybe watch Tv. Then we sleep.

January 27th, 2006: Repeat.

To be honest, I don't really deviate much... but hasn't everyone learned by now to take things with a grain of humorous salt. Nothing (and no one) in this world is 100% "angle-free" (except for all those adorable babies).

Okay, so maybe you are getting the impression that I am talking about the "million little..." whatever stuff. I am and I'm not. It encouraged it. But suddenly people are feeling the need to explain themselves, to defend themselves, and frankly there is no need. And f-it, I won't!*

(*I guess technically one could say that this whole entry is an explination/defense, but that wasn't exactly what I was going for... and frankly, going out on "I won't" sounds a lot better then going out on "well, I just did!")


  1. I left a comment at Susan's site pertaining to this.


  2. I agree with you, Meegs. What baffles me about Frey is WHY he felt the need to--well, let's go with exaggerate to such a grave degree. That's what I can't get my head around.

    For me, blobbing is about trying to make sense of my life, particularly the parts that are neither fun nor funny. When someone is living a difficult life--say, battling addiction or raising an autistic child (off the top of my head)--it helps to tell the story. And telling it in a public forum--a blog or a book--offers a chance to find support from readers.

    And that's where Frey really loses me, particularly in light of today's admission that he fabricated so much of the story. Why on earth would anyone make that very difficult experience out to be WORSE than it was? Unless the entire goal was to sell books, or be on Oprah.

    Which I find terribly disappointing.

  3. What I find terribly disappointing is this moral high ground everyone seems to be taking with this one particular book. William mentioned how readers invest themselves - I suppose a reader might approach a set of memoirs differently than a novel, but the whole "A Million Little Pieces" situation is a microcosm of life and yes, blobbing. To someone who feels betrayed or scorned because a set of memoirs had fabricated elements I say, step back and gain some perspective. This book is a car wreck and you bought it because it is just that. Frey's brilliance is that he recognized the demand for this sot. Suburban housewives eat this shit by the pound to help offset the mundanity of there own existence. So in questioning his motives, if the conclusion that we all arrive at is, "he did it to sell more books" is that so bad? Is that a bigger crime than...let's say pharmaceutical companies gouging the sick and old. Nike selling products produced through indentured child labor, or our nation pushing 'democracy' like its a cure-all when in reality, democracy might have just killed any hope of peace between Palestine and Israel.

    "'You're taking the highlights of your life. It's a work of art, it's selective, it's subject to memory, A memoir is art, it's literature. It's not journalism, it's not a documentary.'" -memoirist Lili Wright, author of Learning to Float (2000)

  4. Sorry, I just read what I wrote which gets an A+ in passion and a D in structure. I suppose it is never a good idea to justify a crime by listing 2 or 3 that are more heinous...and so I will say this, I approach the Frey book as a piece of literature that is filed under a particular genre - Memoir. I suppose a good, formal evaluation of the book would take into consideration the history and ethics of the genre. And I suppose the public at large feels like these ethics have been violated. Historically, this has often yielded progress.

    Almost a century ago, Marcel Duchamp put a public urinal in an art gallery and called it ART. I am not insinuating that these two situations are of equal historical significance,,,only this:

    Pushing ethical boundaries within an artisic sub-genre has historically angered ONLY the bourgeoise consumer. In my limited experiences, those that seek TRUE artistic progression have a degree of flexibility as far as rules and ethics are concerned.

  5. I haven't read the book, but my mom has, and when we were discussing it on monday, she said that it is disapointing to hear that parts of it may be made up because "the most amazing part of the book is the fact that you are reading it and thinking, how could someone have LIVED through this?" (pretty much an exact quote from our conversation). So for her to hear that it might not be true, it takes away the shock factor and true horror of the story.
    For me, when I blog, I rarely use dialog because I never think that I can get the conversations exactly right. So if I sit down to relate a funny incident, I tend to stop typing because I can't remember how the whole thing went, and I don't want to put anything down in error. Does that make sense? So I am very into truthful blogging, so much so that I have a very boring blog, but the main purpose of lehighbaby is to let all our family and friends see brenna as she grows up. If they find it boring, that is their problem!


Leave me some love!
~ Meegs