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Rex Sorgatz

The side-benefit of dating Jewish girls in this silly city: my Words With Friends gameplay has become much better!

may 29
2008

Rexposed

I think this, partially, is what I was also trying to say:

It's not far off to say that the demographic that cared about this story most was the New York new media crowd. That group's open access to megaphones and soapboxes belies its exceedingly small and unrepresentative nature -- so much so that with a collective eye blink it can light up the blogosphere with vituperative chatter about what's, after all, just a story about the by now unsurprising pitfalls of playing with the Web's peephole-filled boundaries between public and private.

9 comments

Promises, promises.

I don't know why you bother to promise to stop posting on particular topics (you did the same thing with LonelyGirl15, IIRC). If you find a topic interesting enough to post about, it's probably still interesting enough to post about no matter how many times you've touched on the topic previously.

posted by Mertseger at 11:29 AM on May 29, 2008

Actually, that's a pretty stupid observation, no? It practically contradicts itself. How can one confidently say that the New York new media world cared the "most" about this story at the same time calling it small and unrepresentative (which is true) because it has the soapbox of blogs? The article got 1000+ comments on NYT from "average" non-NYNM world people.

I mean, how could people who cover New York media NOT be interested in this story? Of course they were gonna say something about it. The interesting aspect is that the rage was felt more in the heartland.

The only people guilty of small-mindedness and inflating megaphony self-importance are Emily Gould and the NY Times editors who thought the rest of the country would find value in such a piece.

posted by krucoff at 11:41 AM on May 29, 2008

@Merstseger: It's one of those audience problems. A lot of people who read this site are sick of that story, sick of Julia, sick of Gawker, sick of self-referential bloggy blog. Me? Conflicted.

@Krucoff: I'm not sure anyone is necessarily disagreeing, though that "megaphony self-importance" is a little more complicated than your name-calling suggests. The contradiction, however, between you and LAT may be in how to define "care about" and if comment counts is really the best indicator.

posted by Rex at 12:21 PM on May 29, 2008

I think the thing that's been bugging me about this has been the attempt to maintain traditional definitions of public and private. After all, Gould's decision to 'become more private' had to be rendered publicly for it to become real. And I'd guess that part of that has to do with the persistence of online identities - that, somewhat akin to an author's words, they exist even when you're not there. So one's online persona becomes like a reference point on a map that you orient yourself in relation to and unlike a book, it quite literally exists 'out there' in the public sphere rather than being tied to a physical object. And I guess that's why I think this quote is off when it calls the dissolution of the boundaries between public and private 'unsurprising'. It's very surprising, because it represents a constant reconfiguration of 'private identity' in relation to a public object, in a manner that was not possible when 'the public' could not be located on a screen. If Derrida is the proto-Web-theorist then his sense of identity and language as always flickering between presence and absence would seem to be useful here.

I think this is why the usual accusations - it's narcissistic, 'why should I care?" - strike me as short-sighted, largely because they're asking the wrong questions.

posted by Nav at 12:50 PM on May 29, 2008

Well yeah, the "care about" part is exactly what I'm calling silly. It's not really definable. Are we measuring comments counts vs. number of blog posts? It's a meaningless jab.

posted by krucoff at 12:53 PM on May 29, 2008

I HATE THIS BLOG POST AND I'M WRITING THIS COMMENT TO LET YOU KNOW THAT I CARE ABOUT IT.

Basically, I think there was a lot of that.

(For the record, I thought NY Mag doing the I-count was unfair, I think the accusations of self-importance are unfair, I think all the rabble about the cover is unfair. I think the only really fair argument, which is the one I see from so many people outside of nyc, is: why should I care about this? It's not that this stuff doesn't matter, because it clearly does. But I think the story was actually damaged by being this intensely Gawker-focused first person account. That's not Emily's fault -- it's just her story. But I'm just not sure it's the right story for what the magazine was trying to accomplish.)

posted by Rex at 12:59 PM on May 29, 2008

If you think the public vs private thing is a worthy topic, I agree. Of course it is these days. Is Emily's "story" important? Um, sure, as part of a larger narrative and analysis. Hers is such a small piece that gave no real insight other than the obvious and the issue would have been far better served if it was written by someone else. Especially as the NYT mag cover story!

And Rex, you gotta get off this New York vs everyone else mentality. It's fueled by newcomers like you who think it's something real to write about. It's not. We're all the same. I know that's boring but it's the truth.

See ya in the Hamptons, sucka!

posted by krucoff at 1:33 PM on May 29, 2008

KRUCOFF! GO TO YOUR ROOM!

posted by Choire at 4:11 PM on May 29, 2008

Daily life in New York City is significantly different than life in any other part of the U.S. Anyone who thinks this difference doesn't have a big effect on the perceptions, assumptions, and preferences of media professionals in NYC -- well, I guess they just show how different your perceptions, assumptions, and preferences can become when you live in New York.

posted by Keith at 4:19 PM on May 30, 2008




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