Election 04 and Blog Silence

After the election and the emotionally-charged reactions to it, Michelle and Cindy have started afresh, deleting their old blogs and starting new ones. I don't quite understand the motivations, mostly because they've done it for personal reasons I can't possibly know. While I'm dismayed to lose the old posts, I respect their decision, and they don't owe anyone an explanation. I'm more concerned about the likelihood that some will stop blogging completely, like Rana, who has announced that she's going on hiatus indefinitely, and now Jeanne, who is thinking about taking Body and Soul down.

I know it's awfully melodramatic, but images of self-immolation on a pyre of virtual burning books keep coming to my mind. I might as well say it -- suttee -- because I can't pretend not to notice that these are all bright, eloquent women. It should be obvious that I have nothing but respect for all of the bloggers I've mentioned, I certainly understand the desire to retreat and reflect for a while, and I'll support any decisions they make about their blogs, but it's precisely because I hold them in such high regard that I must object to the decision to stop blogging (in the case of Rana and Jeanne, that is).

NB to Cindy, Michelle, Jeanne, and Rana: Please correct me if I've misrepresented your motivations. People have assigned motives to me before that hadn't even occurred to me, and I don't want to do it to anyone else. I sincerely apologize in advance if I have.


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Reasons and Objects of Offense

I think my reasons were displayed rather murkily over varying posts but it was, more or less, a decision to distance myself from my current blogosphere so that they could decide whether they wanted to read me or not without becoming embroiled in the dissenting opinions I was bound to profess in the post-election phase. I wanted to make it easy for anyone who didn't care to read me anymore. No wondering about whether to remove me from their blog roll.

What you've said is important because women need to retain their voice and their connection to one another, and I don't know what to say about our collective withdrawal, except that it was on different levels. I guess we had different reasons and I don't intend to superimpose my take on anyone else. And I've been reluctant to record my take on it any more than necessary (as you know). A d so I can't respond to thoughts about melodrama. I know how hard it is when you put yourself out there. This is one situation where I'll judge only so far as it judges my own.


Blogs down


I would like to explain further, but not tonight because it's too late. I think there is a gender issue here that needs some analysis.


Losing posts

Someone ought to talk to Jeanne about archiving Body and Soul. I would be so upset to lose some of the posts of hers that have stuck with me, like this one, and the comments.


I also hope they don't give up the ship.At this point in time they are my only solace in this crazy world.I live in Oregon a very proud blue state.Everyone I talk to says how could these people have relected him? I am a 60 yr. old gramma on a fixed income and think those born agains had better pray for me because I think I'm going to need it.I can't afford the prescriptions I need to live now and rates are going up.Is there no hope for the american people.We are killing our young in a stupid war and our poor are throw away people.Welcome to my world.barbann2444

Also Ms. Lauren at feministe.

Also Ms. Lauren at feministe.

The post-election stuff hit hard. I didn't have anything to say about the election, and what I did have, I had no interest in mentioning on my blog. And yet -- I felt odd, posting about my cats and shortbread recipes and complaining about the woman who didn't bother to wait in line at the bagel place last night and so just walked in front of everyone, because she seems to think her time is worth ever so much more than everyone else's.


There clearly is a gender issue to discuss -- look at, eg, Harrison, who was as upset and just keeps posting about being this upset.

I can't explain why other people are leaving, clearly: I'm not. And I can imagine any response I give will be wrong. I don't even know if the election set off something that has been floating around or if it was the main cause.

But I hope people find ways back to writing: there are important voices going away.



Unless it is something unconscious, my gender has nothing to do with why I've stopped.

It's because I have written myself into a corner. Fluffy bits about my day or happy silly quizzes no longer seem appropriate. Yet I am too tired to put in the effort needed to do more serious, thoughtful pieces. And I've never been good at the middle ground.

Doing it for personal gratification is not working, as it makes me feel either trivial or apathetic.

Nor is doing it "for my readers," because there is nothing, as I said, worth writing that will not eat up so much of my time that blogging will cease to be enjoyable. I also have this feeling that, if what I was writing before was so useful, then why on earth did nothing come of it? And why is it up to me alone to carry the weight of the world?

Yeah, it's a cop-out. But I've got enough shit on my shoulders dealing with my own guilt at my own apathy and incompetence without dealing with my readers' disappointment and apathy too.

Writing, writing ...

I have been procrastinating all day today.

I am in the middle of a book (don't ask, it's about weird Continental philosophy stuff), and I have been feeling depressed about being forty-five, past child bearing age -- all the more so, since I am a straight male.

But then, I just started writing, banging away at my computer on a lot of different sites and the next thing you know, I'm feeling a little better.

I may still be able to persuade that blond in the apartment down the hall to go out with me. She'll at least get a great meal out of it. I may yet write a best seller, despite the use of the word "hermeneutics" in my title. My last book sold nearly a hundred copies.

There is till life in this decaying body. True, like Woody Allen, "I am one of the few men who suffer from penis envy." Admittedly, I am only 5' 8" tall -- but people have been known to continue growing well into their forties. Besides, my gym membership will not expire for another month. The world is filled with possibilities.

What I'm saying is that writing is a kind of therapy. It does connect with people in some weird way. I am a Latino, living in a ghetto in New York: Do you think that people as different as we probably are would ever communicate, but for this great medium and the magic of the written word? I doubt it. That alone is a good reason to keep writing. Remember E.M. Forster? "Only connect ..."

Keep writing. I'll read your words.

Weblogging Suicide

TrackBack from The Kitchen: How to Cook a Weblog:

In response to posts written by several weblogging women, including Jeanne of Body and Soul, about closing their weblogs or putting them on hiatus because of the re-election of George Bush, Culture Cat wrote:

I know it's awfully melodramatic, but...

Bloggers shutting down

I've noticed the blogger blues myself, too, and I hope it's not a permanent thing. Jeanne had mentioned before the election that she wasn't sure if she was going to keep Body & Soul going. I hope she does. I get burned out blogging often enough, but if I give myself a break it passes. I hope the others give themselves much deserved breaks and keep blogging.

Trish Wilson

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