Tuesday, May 18th, 2010
292

Many of Your Favorite Bloggers are Fake

ARE YOU THE REAL MOE?One of the things that's always mystified me about bloggers is that sometimes they are writing as a persona and not as themselves. It's something I never expect, and when I realize such a thing is happening, I'm always shocked, and even feel betrayed. I suppose it seems natural; people amplify a part of themselves, and disguise other parts, and use "techniques" to emphasize attention on what they are "supposed" to be covering. Many bloggers that you probably know and like have, you may be surprised to learn, been "acting" as if they were someone they only sort of are! One of them, as it turns out, was Moe Tkacik, late of Jezebel, then late of Gawker.

Moe has this piece in CJR now that seems to me to somewhat be two pieces (or two of what should be five!) but that very well conveys the cannibalizing of personhood in the Age of The Brand and the self-destroying economic model of The Way We Print Words (And/Or Money) Now. All excellent points. And, in relation to those two things, or because of them, she says that much of her blogging work was a performance.

Of all the resentments I had accumulated before coming to Jezebel, I had never much dwelled on the misfortune of being born a woman. But women, who so disproportionately bear the nothing-based economy's unrelenting fusillade of invented insecurities and predatory sales pitches, were ideally positioned to share my list of grievances. It makes sense, in retrospect, that a readership so universally practiced in the faking of things-orgasms, hair color, age, disinterest in men one was actually interested in, etc.-would humor the intolerance for fakery that helped define the "Moe Tkacik brand," which was basically an angrier, more recklessly confessional, and more contemptuous version of myself.

This is odd for me because I never thought she was "performing" a "persona," and why would I? I suppose I thought she was sort of a freewheeling lady about town who also thought oversharing was a tactic to get at writing about what she cared about, for sure. But I did not ever think that she might have made a decision that "contempt would just have to be part of the 'Moe Tkacik brand.'" And now, in light of this piece, thinking back on all of her work that I've read before, I'm actually not even sure I know which is the persona: is it the outlandish and contemptuous one or the one that now defines that behavior as a brand strategy?

292 Comments / Post A Comment

Matt (#26)

I am actually a gecko.

Tyler Coates (#451)

I'm straight.

Matt (#26)

I KNEW IT.

KarenUhOh (#19)

I feel pretty.

cherrispryte (#444)

I'm skinny.

RonMwangaguhung (#3,697)

"How can we lose when we're so sincere" –Charlie Brown

I am actually a whirling wombat from Wyoming…

KenWheaton (#401)

On my blog, I am wit, I am writer, I am ripper, I am Beowulf.*

In my real life, I am a cat blogger.

*Sorry. It was on FX Sunday, when I was so depressed** I couldn't even cat blog.

**Or as they say in LOLcat land. I had a sad.

NinetyNine (#98)

Are you sure this just isn't the adaptation of a new persona — the post-confessional mature distancing from previously reckless bloggery?

C_Webb (#855)

That's what I'm wondering. Even if it isn't "like" someone to recklessly confess, if what they recklessly confess are in fact their own actual confessions (got that?), then it's not a persona.

And if they weren't her real confessions, I imagine a whole lot of Jezzies are gonna be a whole lot of pissed.

NicFit (#616)

Bingo.

The CJR piece is stultifying, but what I gathered from it is that Jezebel Moe was not entirely fictional, but rather a previously non-professional aspect of Maureen Tcakik's life. Not sure why this is so reprehensive – in "copping to all manner of offenses I would have elided in earlier jobs," Moe tapped into the ladyblogger persona to make a living, eventually realising her WSJ-savvy was equally appealing to readers: "I eventually blundered into an unexpected intimacy with readers on the dreaded "demand" side of the equation, who turned out to want something other than, or in addition to, what everyone and their algorithms suggested." Who hasn't compromised their authenticity to make a quick buck? Certainly not me.

melis (#1,854)

I would absolutely do it were anyone offering a quick buck. Yes?

sunnyciegos (#551)

I experienced severe cognitive dissonance whenever I was reminded that she was a financial reporter for the WSJ or somesuch dry outlet.

sunnyciegos (#551)

That presumably would not reward run-on sentences.

KarenUhOh (#19)

I'm a boy, I'm a boy, but my ma won't admit it.

kingdiamond (#3,211)

I see right through bloggers' plastic macs.

Matt (#26)

@kingdiamond: Dude, would you like to write for SUMMER OF MEGADETH, because you are so invited!!!

HiredGoons (#603)

To be fair, most people do this in 'real life' too.

brent_cox (#40)

Seconded.

deepomega (#1,720)

Most definitely. For instance, this weekend I'm going to be strapping on my high-speed high-octane motorcycle racing persona (he goes by Racer X).

sjc (#4,730)

Whatever her persona, her writing was always terribly uninteresting.

Matt (#26)

LolCait's not a dude?

C_Webb (#855)

LolCait's a gecko. Jesus, you of all geckos should know that.

Tyler Coates (#451)

KarenUhOh's not a lady?

Matt (#26)

@C_Webb: OH WHAT WE ALL KNOW EACH OTHER IS THAT IT??

C_Webb (#855)

You better, because the rest of us can't tell you apart.

NinetyNine (#98)

Lockhart is his real name?

6h057 (#1,914)

Fucking Lockhart, how does he work?

But I'm not gonna ask a scientist.

saythatscool (#101)

Um, is Moe saying that the professional skateboarder Eric Koston tried to rape her? Because that MAY be news for a journalist.

saythatscool (#101)

Also, how many times has this poor woman been raped? I mean we're entering Tralala territory here by my count.

saythatscool (#101)

And for the record, I am not making light of Moe's rapes. But she just drops this information into the middle of everything else like she's handing out a chip dip recipe and then jumps to the next aimless topic as though nothing happened. I mean who the hell does this? And is that just more schtick?

saythatscool (#101)

And I just looked at the timeline in the piece again and Eric would have been way too you in 2001 to be 19. So apologies to him for the guess. And the there's:

http://jezebel.com/335827/paul-janka-did-not-date-rape-me-last-night

I forgot that one incident wasn't a rape, just a date with a rapist. Still, I have one "rape" and one "attempting non-consensual sex" which kinda sounds like rape.

I guess there are probably a lot of women out there who have similar multiple experiences but perhaps they should be avoiding Paul Janka's apartment?

saythatscool (#101)

*you=young

saythatscool (#101)

Why do I feel like mathnet yakking to herself?

saythatscool (#101)

In conclusion, please stop raping Moe.

Grant G Brown (#3,366)

I could read this all day.

Oh man, you just made me remember that Paul Janka still exists. What's Eric Shaeffer up to?

6h057 (#1,914)

Don't forget, we're talking about gray rape here. You may want to get out the color wheel before you start to tabulate Moe's experience(s) with rape.

Was it Moe who wrote that post on jezzie about her expierence meeting a dude off of craigslist after he responded to her an ad looking for a faux-rape?

Apologies if it was not Moe, I get confused sometimes.

yea, typos. I know.

saythatscool (#101)

You know I can't remember res. And I can't find it on the site either. Maybe someone else can help us?

mrschem (#1,757)

oh memories….

Art Yucko (#1,321)

@res'quacious: that was "Slut Machine".

saythatscool (#101)

@Yucko: So it was Tracie, the other one from that night. Do you have a link by any chance?

Yup, thanks for refreshing me noodle.

Art Yucko (#1,321)

oy… it may have been on StreetCarnage? Honestly, I don't remember. I do remember some very, very blurry pictures taken of the affair, though!

amockingbird (#2,015)

He's got a series on Starz, airs after Party Down. I tried to explain to my friends why we couldn't watch it because he's an awful person, but I couldn't remember details and ended up mumbling something about strap-ons and namaste.

deepomega (#1,720)

Probably too late, but for those looking for it, here ya go

http://www.viceland.com/int/v14n8/htdocs/rape.php

Peteykins (#1,916)

It's true: I am not actually a pink pony, sparkly or otherwise.

petejayhawk (#1,249)

Princess or no?

Vulpes (#946)

Noooooooooooooooo! My dreams, they are crushed beneath your non-sparkly, non-hooves.

HiredGoons (#603)

STOP IT YOU'RE KILLING ME!!!

Next Pete will be telling us that he doesn't even like Kansas!

petejayhawk (#1,249)

I have actually been accused, by the internet, of being both anti-Kansas and anti-Chicago because of some mildly critical jokes I made whilst writing for Deadspin. Which, of course, only proves how insane internet commenters are.

Matt (#26)

Tony Stark's not Iron Man?

Is this Choire's way of saying he hates cats and has a passion for fast food?

Matt (#26)

Well except for Cat. It is not possible to not love Cat.

sunnyciegos (#551)

In all sincerity, is this really shocking? Any of us who have written professionally know that your byline is not necessarily the same as your endorsement. I think that's why drives many of the Gawker writers batty – although particularly, it seems, the women. (I guess I'm thinking of Emily, Tracey and Moe, to name the obvious ones.)

Moe's frankly infuriating writing style and topics did not jive with her pedigree as a Real Journalist. She was rather canny, then. Is it something I would have ever done, hell no. What I liked about reporting was pretending I had nothing to do with the story. How quaint!

I hear you, but I do think when you're writing opinionated and first-person stuff on a blog you're not exactly "teaching the controversy" or showing "both sides" (which, blecho!); you're writing about yourself! As yourself. (Or I guess something nearby to that.)

sunnyciegos (#551)

Right, it takes a certain temperament. Clearly, Moe has it.

Yes! Not as a product of THE MACHINES. Moe's current insight seems fueled by several burnt bridges and the realisation that losing one's guarded public virginity is even worse than losing a tampon internally for several days… one is retrievable, the other lost forever.

bb (#295)

that metaphor is amazing

Multiphasic (#411)

…you're writing about yourself! As yourself.

Nah. I pretty much expect everyone is writing about someone somewhat made-up as someone somewhat made-up.

mrschem (#1,757)

…and gross.

barnhouse (#1,326)

But if you ask the Moe T. Brand whether she means what she says? What then?

Annie K. (#3,563)

Oh good question! And I don't like that "brand" business either.

Matt (#26)

Balk has never heard a Leonard Cohen song?

Brad Nelson (#2,115)

He has heard one: "Tacoma Trailer."

HiredGoons (#603)

I'm from New Hampshire.

Mindpowered (#948)

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111!1!!!1!1!!

I'm aghast with the stream of confessionals.

gumplr (#66)

Manchvegas?

mBrad (#1,276)

your comment [#id] was by special request then?

Baboleen (#1,430)

You are funny, or are you?

delrayser (#319)

I actually do not have a cocktail in my hand at all times. Sometimes I am asleep.

My number is actually one digit away from my address.

Tyler Coates (#451)

Have I been mispronouncing "Choire" all this time?

Matt (#26)

Rhymes with "alskjdfhaksj"

oudemia (#177)

His real name is Chad. And he went to New Trier.

6h057 (#1,914)

[INSERT URBAN OUTFITTERS JOKE]

Ha! A New Trier joke! +10.

NinetyNine (#98)

Conversely, Choire, do you always assume bloggers are transparently reporting fact? Perhaps my aversion to Live Journal-y blogs/personalities means it's less an issue, but who the 'person' is often has as much relevance to my consumption as worrying about who the author of a novel actually 'is.'

I never thought blogging would lead greater transparency. If anything, I thought the traditions (some esoteric and intentional, and some technical) of internet interaction would mean people come to understand the gap between text and person/intent in ways not commonly observed outside fussy Lit Crit seminars. But I also never expected readers/commenters to get emotionally invested in what they were reading.

This is not say that people who set out to represent facts (news reporting, or personal histories — anything tied to a nominally objective external reality) shouldn't be held to that. And if one is a good writer, deviations should be evident or explicable for the reader.

NinetyNine (#98)

I should clarify that 'emotionally invested' in the sense that people would take something they read and clearly respond causally as if it were a fact in the world or the person they were reading about was an actual friend — as opposed to responding to the text as text (laughing, arguing, etc.).

My deviations are always self-evident.

At least to perceptive readers. As for the rest of 'em, fuck 'em.

hman (#53)

Who is 'rendit'?

Matt (#26)

I don't know, but I suspect he's (??) totally that much of an asshole in real life.

hman (#53)

Hah, I figured as much! But let's just let him finish mourning Dio's death.

6h057 (#1,914)

I hear he sleeps only two hours a night.

And he was raised in an asylum.

Brad Nelson (#2,115)

I hear he has a cat named Choire and a cat named Cat.

Vulpes (#946)

On the one hand: duh! Anyone's who's blogged or wrote or EXISTED knows that you're not always exactly, or even anywhere near like, who you represent yourself to be in certain settings. Do you act the same way around your parents as your best friends? Probably not. It may not be a very big difference, but there probably is one. I've been a pathetic blogger for six years, and the persona of my blog is close to who I actually am, but not exactly.

On the other hand: ugh! Any time someone starts talking about themselves as a "brand," I get snarly.

So, what's next? Emily's tattoos are fake? Cat is really a chihuahua? Balk is actually a happy, healthy, active man brimming with optimism and good cheer?

Horror Chick (#1,677)

I agree with the first paragraph entirely. Part of human existence is that we're fundamentally limited when it comes to "knowing" other people — our perception is our reality. What you perceive of Moe is how she exists to you. What you perceive of your spouse, whom you presumably know better, same deal.

We read blogs and watch TV shows and put people in boxes based on past assumptions about "who a person must be if they say X or do Y" in order to make sense of the universe. We need to take responsibility for these boxes – we created them. Moe didn't. She's just creating an entertaining persona to get a paycheck. And delivering some valuable news and commentary in the process. Whether that's "journalism" or not is above my paygrade. Though I can't say I really care either way – I'll read her regardless, because she's smart and entertaining.

Fredrick (#268)

This I mostly agree with.

Baroness (#273)

Kids in the Hall, Kevin McDonald as Beelzebub:

"We are all different people, at different times. For example, you're not the same person talking with your mother as when you're, say.. haggling with a prostitute?!!

HiredGoons (#603)

(Imma let you all know jolie can't bake for shit)

Matt (#26)

OKAY YOU'VE GONE TOO FAR, YE DENIZEN OF THE GRANITE STATE.

HiredGoons (#603)

I'm so dead.

HiredGoons (#603)

(also Matt hates Batman)

C_Webb (#855)

You're gonna live free AND die!

saythatscool (#101)

Matt likes Batman?

Matt (#26)

I've never actually seen a Batman movie, but I find Christopher Nolan's other work agreeable for the most part.

Matt (#26)

I have it on good authority that the proprietors of SUMMER OF MEGADETH actually listen to Fleet Foxes all day long.

sox (#652)

I am so quoting this (if you don't mind, I'll of course give you all the credit!).

petejayhawk (#1,249)

I dunno.

I like Moe's stuff. But it was pretty obvious that it was a shtick, wasn't it? Her Deadspin performances were the best, really.

Matt (#26)

So Choire's never actually played Super-Homo Water Volleyball?

carig (#4,986)

The Deadspin days were clearly shtick – but yet also very, very "look at me." And her CJR piece is very "Look at Me," by Jennifer Egan.

I kinda felt like I was reading a book proposal in essay form. (Although for all I know, she actually has a book deal now and just conveniently left that part out?)

brianvan (#149)

I'm actually a genial florist from southern New Mexico.

Lord, I read that as "genital florist" and then I didn't know what was being confessed….

propertius (#361)

Something to do with Lady Chatterley's lover, I think.

oudemia (#177)

Or something to do with Georgia O'Keeffe. Who was also from New Mexico, come to think of it.

C_Webb (#855)

Balk isn't NewtoJezebel, but NewtoJezebel is actually Balk.

Matt (#26)

"If you stare too long into the abyss, I didn't really steal that iPhone." — "Nick Denton" (not his real name)

maebefunke (#154)

Is your fax machine buzzing yet?

C_Webb (#855)

No, but there's a pigeon named Precious tapping at my window. It has a piece of pink stationery secured to its foot with a scrunchie. I'd read it, but I hate birds.

6h057 (#1,914)

"You know there ain't no such thing as Nick Denton, it's just Krucoff when he's drunk." -Tom Waits

BadUncle (#153)

Post-modernist argument that everything is performance in 5, 4, 3, 2….

6h057 (#1,914)

Don't worry, when they're faking it they'll also brag about their beej-giving skills.

I suck at sucking.

6h057 (#1,914)

Where's Scott Thompson in a white suit when you need him?

generic_ (#4,985)

TODOS SOMOS CHRIS GAINES

maebefunke (#154)

Gimme 500+ comments plz so I have something to read tonight during the Lost commercial breaks.

C_Webb (#855)

I have high hopes for Maureen's post on dating column commenters, too.

C_Webb (#855)

MAURA's post. Rats. See?

C_Webb (#855)

I'm sorry!

gumplr (#66)

Mental image that made me smile: Chris Webber at his computer, submits a comment then notices an error a half-sec too late, and calls for TIME OUT.

fek (#93)

I'm reminded of Robert Cormier's I Am The Cheese, here.

Can you remind me what that book was about? It's buried in my adolescent subconscious, and it tries to surface with surprising frequency.

Mar (#2,357)

It's like 'The Turn of the Screw,' but more '70s.

Tuna Surprise (#573)

I guess this is as good a time as any to confess: I am Ronbo.

sigerson (#179)

No, I AM RONBO.

cherrispryte (#444)

WE ARE ALL RONBO.

Brad Nelson (#2,115)

I am Damo Suzuki.

Matt (#26)

WHY DID YOU LET THAT SHITTY 00s FAUX-GARAGE BAND RIP OFF YR NAME MAN??

cuiveen (#370)

1. Jezebel. Ugh. 2. Matt, honey, I think you have an Awl problem. I know that you think you can quit when you want but….

Matt (#26)

If loving Cat is wrong then I don't want to be right.

KarenUhOh (#19)

I think every last one of us should just take it back.

6h057 (#1,914)

So, like, when is blabbery gonna be the new insidery?

sjc (#4,730)

The real question is: can Emily Gould somehow turn this into a 10k New York Times Magazine article about how blogging like totally sucks?

Matt (#26)

Millions (of Bloggers) Now Living Will Never Die Because They Were Mainly Just 'Concepts' in the First Place

Matt (#26)

#post-rock humor, #post-humor

hman (#53)

TORTOISE JOKES? You are making TORTOISE JOKES? I heart rendit.

NinetyNine (#98)

I heard he's an asshole in real life.

Matt (#26)

WHY DON'T YOU WEAR A BATHING SUIT ABOUT IT, NIC??

NinetyNine (#98)

Almost always is nearly enough

6h057 (#1,914)

#ring_put_on_in

Is this like when someone writes something sexist/racist and then comes back and employs the "it was sarcasm" defense?

6h057 (#1,914)

Like when someone asks if it's okay to use the word nigger?

Or bitch nigger?

So confused.

cherrispryte (#444)

I think "fake" is too strong a word here – unless you were being deliberately attention-grabbing in the title! Saying "I didn't hide my contempt and I wrote about things I otherwise wouldn't have" is way different than "I said I was something I wouldn't."

cherrispryte (#444)

aw fuck accidental submit! I meant "I said I was something I wasn't" for that last sentence there.

Also, it's long, but I suggest you go read the entire piece.

C_Webb (#855)

I actually loved "I said I was something I wouldn't."

OK, I may regret going there, but …

I've noticed there's a pattern among many popular female bloggers: As time goes on, they tend to eventually disavow their previous blogging persona/behavior, apologize for it or take pains to assert that it didn't reflect their "real" personality. This is particularly true of those whose prior blogging persona might be described as "abrasive" or snarky in some fashion.

Yet I don't notice a similar pattern with any male bloggers that I can name. They don't seem to undergo this later-in-life apology/disavowal/reinvention syndrome.

Is there something societal/cultural at work here? Or am I just off-base in this observation — and probably sexist to boot? I dunno, but this is something that's struck me for a while now, and this latest thing from Moe seems to be yet another example.

THIS. And slutmachine.

Are you saying that chicks are all liars and men are honest? I hear they take break-ups harder too.

Also I used to be very open about the sexing part of my life but got too much grief about it. So I just leave that part of my life offline. Maybe that happens to other woman's online personas as well.

Also, I used to be very open about the sexing part of my life but got too much grief about it. So I just leave that part of my life offline. Maybe that happens to other woman's online personas as well.

Bah! fucking double post.

sox (#652)

My therapist says it's because women process anger as guilt? So they unleash the anger and then feel super bad about it and want to make it all better?

NinetyNine (#98)

Related: there's a lot of talking about shaming/oversharing/sex talk, etc, and the usual back and forth about if blowback is overly censorious/sexist, etc. Can anyone think of a male oversharer who isn't widely considered to be an asshole (Tucker Max, etc.)? There's the residual issue of un-gendered = male, sure, but I can always think of one or two writers in a given 'women's' site/mag that are explicit about sex/dating. I can't do the same for other sites. I guess the best I can do off the top of my head is Drew Magary, and he's married.

carpetblogger (#306)

wow. Slutmachine. That's so 2006 (?).

theverbald (#1,748)

I don't know this for sure, but it seems to be a process for women in general to kind of mature this way. When I was in college, my girlfriends and I would discuss every. single. detail. of whatever event warranted such microspection. As I've meandered through my 20's each little detail means less, and so as I've changed so has my writing.

Maybe what is happening in this trend you've noticed (and I kind of thought the same thing) is less the writers saying "THAT'S TOTALLY NOT ME!" and more "That's not really all of me now," because that's precisely what happened. These women gained more experience, see the world a little differently and don't want to be understood only as the women they were 5 years ago.

And of course I'm just conjecturing here, but I agree with you, MisterHippity, insofar as it doesn't seem to me that male writers really go into the amount of detail that women do. So maybe the reason it seems like only women come back and say 'this isn't exactly who I am,' is actually truth. Maybe Moe, et. al., have been presumed to be the embodiment of the details they previously provided their audience for so long that they're only saying "There's more to me than the words I wrote X years ago." And maybe the men don't have to do that because the men never said "THIS is who I am," or "THIS is what I believe always" in the same way the women did?

Or something like that?

carpetblogger (#306)

My problem with the current crop of young female writers is that, while technically very competent, they mistake observation for insight and detail for perspective.

"Oh," you say, "that's a function of youth." Go read Slouching toward Bethlehem or The White Album, much of which were written in JD's late 20's and 30's. She's the shit.

HiredGoons (#603)

Men blog like *this* while women be bloggin' like *this*

Matt (#26)

@HG: Am I right??

What about that airline food? What is up with THAT?

Men blog from Mars, women blog from Venus!

theverbald (#1,748)

it's more like women just don't understand that we're just not that into them?

HiredGoons (#603)

LIVEBLOG FROM NEW YORK IT'S CATURDAY NIGHT!!!

Slutmachine cleaned up her act just in time for her wedding registry.

Sarah, don't we all. Except I've never made it to the alter so my act is still filthy.

Baboleen (#1,430)

I have written that sometimes I feel like an outsider to this group (of invalid versions of yourselves?) Is that the same as feeling like an insider to your authentic personalities who I'll never actually correspond with?

roboloki (#1,724)

hold me

Nom de plume, DUH!

Confession: I'm not still commenting in the "Who Are You Awl" thread.

saythatscool (#101)

Lastest.

Multiphasic (#411)

I'm unclear as to how many there can be.

6h057 (#1,914)

Last of the lasts!

saythatscool (#101)

Good to the LAST drop!

6h057 (#1,914)

So LAST nobody cares anymore.

dontbother (#4,783)

You'll never create me like I create myself.

jfruh (#713)

107 comments and nobody's pulled out this Vonnegut quote yet?

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be."

skybarn (#304)

And that end of every day I'm exhausted from keeping up my "work" persona so that I don't say something that is actually funny and get myself fired. I know, I know, why don't I just look into the kind of job I have and then I could bravely say funny things online like some people. This is what a famous writer said to do! My stupid little, easy to decipher "pseudonym" actually allows me to write and act like myself, even more than when I write under my real name.

Matt (#26)

"Is this the real life?/
Is this just fantasy?"

-Roland Barthes

deepomega (#1,720)

"Don't – stop – me – now. If you want to have a good time, just give me a call."

- Immanuel Kant

NinetyNine (#98)

"So forget all that you see/
It's not reality/
It's just a fantasy"

- Luce Irigaray

C_Webb (#855)

"Come on, baby/
Do you do more than dance?"

-Jacques Lacan

propertius (#361)

((gazes at shoes in silence))
…..

-Ludwig Wittgenstein

6h057 (#1,914)

"Obama is a shit-fuck." -Scott Baio

cuiveen (#370)

"This is not my beautiful house./This is not my beautiful wife."

- Michel Foucault

Mindpowered (#948)

All I know is that the price of Olives just went up.

- Socrates

Art Yucko (#1,321)

parergon:________________________but since we're in dialectical oppositionof the Pocket Sized Tlingit coffin and the[ ] Adami's calculative voyeurism of the singulative trait[ ]passe partout

-Jacques Derrida

Art Yucko (#1,321)

[redacted]

-Deleuze and Guattari

"If you can't annoy somebody, there's little point in writing."

–Kingsley Amis

sigerson (#179)

So, how is Moe/Maureen different from any other young artist/writer who compromises to get their foot in the door and build publicity? I'm thinking of Miley Cyrus, for example.

Matt (#26)

This has been a hot-button issue on summerofmegadeth.tumblr.com today: Do you think Miley Cyrus is really a Maiden fan or not? We would have a vote or something, but we are not a real website.

Miley has access to better drugs?

roboloki (#1,724)

"men are the dreams of a shadow" ~ pindar

Rod T (#33)

I don't know. Sometimes I think I'm a really awful writer when I meet someone that has their "opinion of me based on reading my work" that does not jibe with the reality of meeting me. But then I assuage this feeling by reminding myself that not everyone has good reading comprehension.

Vulpes (#946)

Or more positively: maybe you don't realize how AWESOME YOU ARE, Rod!

Let be be finale of seem.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice cream.

Though I think what we've got here is more Tasti-D-Lite.

atipofthehat (#797)

The the.

Ken Layne (#262)

I think the journalistic takeaway here is that "girls are liars," is that right? Also, I am a character written by Maura Johnston.

Vulpes (#946)

I knew that beard was hiding something!

Matt (#26)

You created Late Night Shots, didn't you?

andj (#1,074)

I want to like Moe (I often like Moe!), but this read like a cover letter highlighting her journalistic achievements.

brianvan (#149)

Well, then, what a sad resume! Fired, fired, fired, fired, and fired.

Not that I say that critically… we all know that Moe is smarter than many people who hold secure jobs at serious news outlets. You won't see an NBC News correspondent going undercover at an apparel store anytime soon.

It's called "Blogger Realness Drag". Have none of you seen "Paris is Burning"?

saythatscool (#101)

That takes me back.

Rod T (#33)

I'm doubting that Moe is LaBeija material.

HiredGoons (#603)

UM 'Paris is Burning' is going to be a Broadway Musical.

Matt (#26)

Hashing Tags to Blog Posts to Hash Tags To

Matt (#26)

#j. spaceman was his real name

kingdiamond (#3,211)

The bloggers at summerofmegadeth.tumblr.com are looking for me. Are they "real"?

To them: If there was any way I could actually contact y'all on your site, I'd be happy to out myself and be best pals 4EVER and we'd all go see that Rush doc together and LAAAAAAAAAAAFF thinking about how they're from Canadia and have that 20-odd-part song called "By-Tor and the Snow Dog" on Caress of Steel etc etc.

Matt (#26)

DUDE: aaron.lefkove@gmail.com and/or yrjoeyramone@gmail.com

We are IN NO WAY real, and "Xanadu" from Farewell to Kings has always been a SENTIMENTAL FAVORITE.

La Cieca (#1,110)

This situation reminds me of the convenience and the utility of two old-fashioned devices: the pen name and the blinded anecdote. The former is handy when doing performative writing "about" a character that is sort of based on yourself, because it avoids confusing basically honest types like Choire.

The latter helps prevent you from seeming quite so much like a total asshole when dishing previous employers and co-workers and as such at least momentarily distracts future employers and co-workers from the first idea that pops into their heads, i.e., "This bitch is eventually going to stab me in the back too."

This seems to be a pretty selective, and harsh, reading of Moe's (Maureen's?) story.

I'm interested in particular with one facet of her story. (Which by the way I called "excellent" or some such, and people should read it.) This take is "selective" in that I focused on that one facet, the one that interested me! It surprised me! I thought I was reading and enjoying the real Moe all these years. But the real Moe, we now find out, had "never much dwelled" on (what she sarcastically refers to) the problems of being a woman, even as now she was writing about those things every day. And the real Moe then amped-up her outrage and used it to create a caricature of herself in her first-person writing. I'm not saying that it's not, like, HER. I'm saying, on her own terms, she adopted a persona to deal with the sometimes awful task of pro blogging and it distorted what Real Moe thought and felt about things.

saythatscool (#101)

OK you two, but what about the rape claims? That's an excessive amount of rapery and near rapery for any one person to actually handle.

And I say that having toured the Congo last year.

That's fair, and you seem more sympathetic in your response here than in your original post, where you seemed weirdly almost condescending? I mean, this is a question that I used to wrestle with a lot, and I remember several conversations that you and I had while we were at Gawker about the pros and cons of adopting–whether consciously or not–an online "persona."

Rape is really common. Pretty much every woman I was friends with in college was raped. Well, date-raped in that we were hanging out with the dudes prior to the raping part. So, this doesn't really have anything to do with moe personally, but I can see it happening to someone repeatedly. Especially if the experience does not make them much more guarded.

C_Webb (#855)

She links to Emily's Times piece, and the two really are embedded, in odd ways. Moe delineates how she came to Jezebel via more conventional journalism, while Emily makes her personal blog the heart of her piece, yet both end up explaining/defending the self they put forth for their readers. And Nick Denton hovers over it all.

cherrispryte (#444)

@saythatscool – What do you think makes her statements excessive? The world is pretty damn rapey.

I was only jumped once while walking home at night but I fought him off and ran away.

STC if you feel you've missed out on the whole rape experience you could post an ad on Craigslist and set something up that way.

saythatscool (#101)

@WW: See I agree with you. I knew plenty of women who were date raped too. They just didn't chuckle with Liz Winstead about it afterward or throw it in as an aside in a long tale about covering Mattel for the WSJ. Should she be affected? Is that what I have come to expect after hearing so many rape tales? Perhaps I am jaded. But multiple rape stories followed by a "let's head off to a rapist's apartment and hang in his loft bed" post on the Jez just seems either criminally cavalier or inauthentic to me.

saythatscool (#101)

@CS: Not excessive. In fact, the exact opposite. Cocktail banterish and glib. You know what I mean. And perhaps, that's a shortcoming with me. That I expect something. You know what I mean? But I bet I could figure out who she was accusing of rape in the piece because the world of professional skateboarders is so small, it's just a process of elimination.

HiredGoons (#603)

I have multiple lady friends who have been sexually assaulted (I can barely say that word) – it is far more pervasive than many people think.

saythatscool (#101)

@kitten: Your posts are dead on. I can tell by your tone that somebody tried to rape you and that you were seriously scared. I don't see that in Moe's piece.

All I see is another anecdote, thrown out for commercial consumption in between a series of other equally banal anecdotes.

saythatscool (#101)

@HG: Maybe my original question didn't come out right because it really relates to what I was talking about above in my other comments. So let me try and rephrase, do you think that the rape asides are an affectation brought about by real events or the enhanced (albeit possibly real) stories of a writer looking for a good yarn?

cherrispryte (#444)

I think sometimes you make light of things and pass them off glibly because that's how you cope, how you own it, etc. I don't know Moe, I don't know what's happened to her. But just because she doesn't adopt what you see as the appropriate tone doesn't mean that her experiences aren't real.

Doesn't everyone who blogs for a living have to take on the persona of "One Who Gives A Shit About 8 Things Per Day?" I know that everyone has to deal with the "pretending to give a shit" problem in their jobs, but usually not for an audience of thousands including commenters, all of whom think each post is propelled forth into creation by your intrinsic passionate need to share. That basic persona is just a given, and that it often leads to the necessary creation of another persona is just natural. It's not natural to actually care about 8 things per day. [Also: everyone who didn't read the piece other than the pull-out, should go and read the entire thing, because as Choire mentioned, it is EXCELLENT.]

Also why was this thread rape-jacked?

saythatscool (#101)

@cs: Fair enough. I am a glib asshole and it's my way of coping. Always has been. But as to what she wrote today in terms of branding and selling Moe, does that make you question the original stories anymore? Is it possible that she just muttered something drunkenly to Liz and then got caught up in the ensuing shitstorm? That seems like brand Moe to me. Same with today's story. It's just "Oh, woke up and fought off Tony Hawk who had raging hard-on and wouldn't take no for an answer. Went for poppy bagel. Why do those make my pee smell funny anyway, etc…" You get it. And then years later to go to a known rapist's home who immediately starts undressing her and groping her during an "interview," that does not ring true to me.

saythatscool (#101)

@LR: Sorry for the threadjack. You looking cute in that dress Lindsay…

La Cieca (#1,110)

The Jezebel Effect.

Multiphasic (#411)

@La Cieca

I totes agree.

Matt (#26)

I know man. This thread is about summerofmegadeth.tumblr.com.

saythatscool (#101)

LAST.

katiechasm (#163)

She still actually slept with Blakeley, right? Maybe she's a method actor.

brianvan (#149)

THREAD OVER!

NinetyNine (#98)

This comment should have been couched more carefully.

6h057 (#1,914)

I'm going to make a Courage Wolf with this.

Multiphasic (#411)

Um, of course "Moe" was a construct. I basically cottoned on from the way that a number of my friends who fell under the "white female mid-20s" umbrella absolutely idolized her. If everyone's asking, "Why can't I be like that?" the answer is most readily, "Because no one is."

But ya know what? So was Dorothy fucking Parker. Astonishingly, she didn't really fuck anything that moves after four martinis. This isn't about being a blogger, it's about being a writer, which is to say, a storyteller.

(All of the things above being said, the real Moe actually really is pretty amazing! She's hilarious and wild and entertaining and sharp. So even if it was a 'persona' well, the real thing's pretty over the top too!)

Maybe she does not realize that what she calls her online persona is who she really is.

Multiphasic (#411)

@Choire

I've run into her once in my life, at Botanica, and didn't really strike up a conversation (because I'm terrible at speaking to human beings), but I certainly believe you. It's not just that she came off as better than life; lord, most of the women I know are hilarious and brilliant and can drink me into my grave.

There's a whole essay in this, I suspect–because I keep losing this comment to autorefresh, implying that I am writing said essay. But to sum: it was more her psychological resilience and control that so many girls I knew seemed to idolize. But it's more nuanced than that, because that just sounds like I'm referring to her sexytimes tales. I'm not!

(and then blah-blah some stuff about how observation-vs-introspection can be used as a false empowerment, plus some probably unwarranted generalizations about women, then some pondering as to whether it's good for America, an obligatory mention of Lizz Winstead, &c. &c. autorefresh fuck fuck fuck)

amockingbird (#2,015)

See, I didn't get this piece as being about her making herself into a persona for the blogs. It was about discovering that by removing the veneer of "I'm objective, not biased at all" and letting your experiences openly color your writing, you get readers to connect with you and follow you to pieces they normally wouldn't be interested in. It's nothing new, there's a whole generation of women who still revere Sassy magazine in part because their writers broke that wall and became people for us, rather than just bylines. Moe just amped up a personality Maureen had had to keep squelched professionally.

iplaudius (#1,066)

Everybody, now: stop thinking texts are people. They aren’t.

HiredGoons (#603)

I really am a dry, glib, sarcastic quasi-liberal alcoholic gay Yankee Jew in the New York Media.

In short, I am this country's worst nightmare.

Baboleen (#1,430)

You make me laugh EVERY day!

HiredGoons (#603)

I'm glad!

cinetrix (#47)

There are JEWS in New Hampshire?

HG, the only Jew in the village?

cinetrix (#47)

Oh thank g-d. That'd totally skew my whole "New Hampshire is the lost state of the Confederacy" theory.

HiredGoons (#603)

Vermont. The joke was perhaps a bit obscure.

PinkPundit (#155)

This is kind of mysterious. I always thought that Moe was really smart – too smart for a lot of the stuff she wrote sometimes, but by today's standards, that's not so terrible – and pretty serious. Is that the part that was fake?

sajrocks (#2,067)

Warning: internet persona may contribute to singlehood.

fairest (#413)

There's a Bill Hicks quote for this somewhere. Whoever this chick is here Goldman piece for AOL Finance (which I think you originally linked to?) rocked.

fairest (#413)

*her Goldman piece* (which is not a eufunism.)

KarenUhOh (#19)

This is like the time Richard Lawson and LOL Cait were dancing for each other in front of the mirror in a nightshirt and Ellagood strolled into the frame in the same nightshirt.

Too through-the-lookingglassy?

brianvan (#149)

You're basically proving what NYMag said about us two weeks ago. Insidery Gawker ex-pats striving for wit.

That said, Ellagood ought to drop whatever "real life" she has and get back over here stat!

Ellagood married Chief Whahoo!

(I never get tired of reporting that, because it's so fun to say.)

C_Webb (#855)

Remember when Choire killed Ellagood and then couldn't stand it and brought her back five minutes later? Good times.

jolie (#16)

@all: It was worth wading through this mess just to read this.

Who was it who sent Choire the shoes?

KarenUhOh (#19)

Ummmm….I'll never tell.

Sheila M (#2,375)

I am an actual CJR subscriber, and I loved Moe's piece.

I am also bored with rape-talk.

brianvan (#149)

I think this comment section was destined to go off the rails in a Godwin's Law kind of way, but with rape instead of Hitler.

I am also not surprised that it is a continuing necessity to shield the identity of rape victims in the press… because, well, this is what everything in life would devolve into.

Sheila, well there's always abortion-talk…

Clip Arthur (#2,024)

This all reminds me of the reaction people had towards causal Friday back in 1991. PEOPLE WEAR T-SHIRTS?!?!?!?!!?!?

C_Webb (#855)

I find "causal Friday" far more interesting than "casual Friday," myself.

Clip Arthur (#2,024)

It's "caUSAl" because we live in the USA, you Commie.

Some pig indeed!

rula (#3,558)

Sounds like you need a vacation – you're not firing on all synapses. Is willful naivete the new sincerity?

hugesunglasses (#2,696)

Are you telling me that kid Carles may not be sincere?

RonMwangaguhung (#3,697)

My last name is not Mwangaguhunga. I just wanted to go with something "exotic"

NinaHagen (#131)

I'm Marlo Thomas.

NinaHagen (#131)

And late. Very late. Always.

i am happy

cherrispryte (#444)

LAST?

mrhalabi (#5,074)

realy

sigerson (#179)

LAST

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