June 14, 2002

RageBoy's Topic

Asking for it, I was. I say, "Give me a topic, I'll blog it." Before I finish Gary's "what if you weren't allowed to blog" question, I thought I'd tackle RageBoy's puzzle:

"Privacy is to generosity as iceboxes are to Eskimos. True or false."

I stunk at word problems in school. It may become very clear that I still suck at them. But, not doing something well never stopped me from doing it anyway. Iceboxes and Eskimos. Here I assume one thing, but remember I'm in atlanta where it's like 90 degrees right now: Eskimos don't need iceboxes. Refrigeration is useless. Do I have it right so far?

What about privacy and generosity, and let's stick within the realm of blogging here. Privacy in blogging means what? It means keeping yourself to yourself. It means keeping the personal out of your writing, keeping your family jewels safely within your briefs, quite literallly.

Privacy is something I don't do so well, evidenced by the fact that my kid's face is plastered all over my blog (and her own), as are my loving and sexual longings for my husband, my feelings of horror and disgust toward sex abusing catholics (small c), my childhood career as a shoplifter, my experiences as a kid with a dying father. Little private jewels like that--the experiences I share, those pieces of me I feel compelled to give you.

Does that mean I'm generous? I don't know. I'm sharing huge pieces of my self, for sure. But, I'm sure you can also argue that there's a hint (maybe more) of exhibitionism in it all. Although there is a generosity inherent in all sharing/giving, I get something from it too. It ain't all charity here on allied. I get the release. I get the opening up, the laying out, the eyes, the ears, the souls, and I get the conversation that follows, you telling me you love me "even though."

But let's get away from me for a minute. When you think of bloggers you would describe as "generous," several come to mind--to my mind anyway. They are the bloggers who dare to get personal: Golby, Halley, Marek, Locke, Shelley. They are generous because they dare to lay themselves down naked in front of us: "Here I am. Fuck with me if you want. Or decide you love me. I'm laying down either way."

So cool. So brave. So not private.

But there are generous bloggers who don't push the envelope on privacy to the max too. In this category I'd put Tom Matrullo and AKMA. Theirs is a generosity of spirit and prose and thought. Eloquent, winding prose and voice. Even if they don't always open their chests and show us their beating hearts, they opens our minds just the same. They give us glimpses of their families, their children, the ideas that matter most, but they pull up on the laying down naked thing. Who can blame them.

Then you have the disingenuous, the ungenerous, the very private, the antibloggers. The guy I reference near the top on the right of this page is one of those. I'm afraid they may be growing in number--but I think they'll fall by the wayside eventually.

These are the bloggers who refuse to give any hint of who they are. They remain wrapped and cloaked and yet afford no one that same opportunity. They are all about exposing others without daring to expose themselves. Here the disconnect between privacy and generosity is most clear. They give away nothing. They share nothing. They are absolute privacy. And they are reaaaallly boring. I would like to send them to live with the Eskimos for a month. Maybe then they would have something to say, some genuine experiences to share. But alas...

I must now go be mom, maker of dinner, bather of daughter, feeder of dogs, those other generous roles I play every single day.

So, my answer, I think, is "False."