samedi, décembre 19, 2009

The Stranger

Yesterday I was exchanging emails with a guy I had interviewed for a story. He's good with the quotes, smart, and very opinonated -- no shock then, that many writers call him up and ask him to, err, pontificate. He's got a liberal point of view, he was a journalist himself, and he is nice about giving reporters what they ask for -- the pointed quote.

As one often can in email threads, we digressed, to chat about an acquaintance with a conservative public persona. Our friend is a very nice guy in private, but very much "in your face" when he comments for attribution.

A sense of weariness came over me. "It's like a pavane" I wrote to J. "Everyone knows their moves, and their lines."

If I have one consistent criticism of my fellow journalists, and of myself, it's that we construe complexity sometimes as dualism -- Republican v. Democrat, single v. married, librarian v. sexpot (sorry don't know where THAT came from). Yet as we grow, hopefully we make room for all of these complexities within ourself.

What of the relationship bloggers? Mommy bloggers? Dad bloggers? What about bloggers who run from categorization like me?

We trade in self-revelation, hopefully written in a way that touches something common in someone else.

Most of us don't want to share all of our complexity -- we don't really know the people at the other end. I've been the subject of enough crazy comments in venues like the Washington Post to know I don't want to hang all the dirty laundry out. And intimacy needs to grow in real time. Yet it seems that sometimes our online personality can become detached from our real self -- or glamorized -- or take on an energy that is potentially toxic.

Where are you, fellow bloggers? Are you and your online persona one and the same? Do you stray off the reservation?

Or are you another participant in the predictable dance?

If so, do you ever think of taking some real, not virtual, risks?

Talk to me.

1 commentaire:

BigLittleWolf a dit…

Talk about a good topic. Or should I say, the source of innumerable discussions.

I don't care for categorizations, but I recognize their usefulness in some aspects of the world. Categories simplify so we can begin to process, allowing us to start from generalizations and then go deeper. They're useful in marketing. They're useful in art. They're useful in the sciences, and perhaps not so much in politics...

But they are only a starting point. A means to situate a product, a service, a person - with the challenge being when others remain at the level of generalization and go no deeper.

I am a writer, a mother, a "learner" and a hybrid when it comes to cultural influences. So I write about (almost) everything, from those perspectives, and others.

So many boundaries blur. I find that an advantage. An uncategorizable world is frightening to many people. Too much gray area.

As for the public persona, it certainly serves its purpose as packaging, performance, and privacy screen. I think some "real lives" are more distant from the person projected (publicly); others are closer. At moments.