12 March, 2008

I have a computer now and a proper desk for it, which looks lovely coming out from the built-in bookshelves, still leaving the doors beneath accessible. I don’t have a chair yet, but that’s really no excuse for why I haven’t been writing. It’s the same old story everyone has, that I don’t know what to say. There are people no longer really in my life whom I can’t fairly analyze, and in current life A. would prefer I not say too much openly about her. I have unuttered worries curled in my heart that should probably stay there. And yet I’m committed to becoming a smart, literate, interesting person again, the kind the people whose blogs I read will want to read themselves. I’m just not there yet.

And I guess that’s the question, how I can present myself fairly and fully when to do so isn’t really possible. Through absolutely coincidence, I learned the identity of a pseudonymous bloggger I very much respect. I’ve let her know this, of course, and I’m willing to stop reading her blog rather than cause any discomfort, though the context in which I know her has nothing to do with the content of her blog. What I’ll say openly because it feels bad to try to keep it secret is that while I deeply respected and enjoyed this blogger, I found her offline persona (inasmuch as I knew it) frustrating at best. So not once but twice have I misjudged the same person, and it makes me feel pretty lousy. I’m just not good at giving people the benefit of the doubt when I don’t want to believe that maybe they’re as uncomfortable as I am in reality. Even knowing I’ll probably get caught in saying this (particularly knowing that?) I want to note that I’m aware I’m a jerk and I was wrong to find someone else jerky. This happens more often than I would like, presumably because I’m very much a jerk.

I’m interested in jerkiness and identity, though, right now. I had some things I wanted to say about reality television now that I live in a normal American household where the tv is on through much of the evening (though my eyes are often far from it) but I’m not sure how far I’ll go now. I’ll just note that we watched the episode of The Moment of Truth in which a woman confessed that she’d cheated on her husband and that she’d loved someone else when she’d gotten married. (That second part particularly doesn’t sound necessarily horrible to me, but there was all the resultant horror and disapproval in the voiceover that you might imagine.) I was just interested in how it was going to be spun, not only the implication that lie detector tests are flawless, but that, well, the love of money is the root of all evil. It’s so creepy and exploitative, but so (to my mind, at least) are most strip clubs and they’re both legal and popular. And hey, if you’re going to be ogled or be open about cheating on your husband or whatever, why not make a few bucks in the process? Although this woman didn’t make any money because she turned out not to believe that she was a good person, despite her protestations to the contrary. This was the only shocking and most interesting part in the whole show.

But I’ve also enjoyed watching The Salt-N-Pepa Show, which is exploitative in the way any celebreality show is. A. at one point was shocked that Salt and Pepa were arguing loudly in the lobby of a recording studio, not caring who heard them, but why should they when the whole world can tune in to their argument anyway? I like it, though, because both of them seem very genuine about their own hangups but also about how much they care for each other. And yet the show pushes them to bite at each other, putting a woman disclosing her history as an abused child in a situation where she’s being criticized by her friend and her life coach for playing out the roles she was raised in. The more scripted or micromanaged parts, trips to ropes courses and healing techniques, seem cruel to me because they’re false. What matters is the connection these two have. But now I’m degenerating into blah blah blah. This time change has left me wanting rest. More later, though, I promise.


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