R.E.C. and I have set this site to ‘private’ for some time now. There are some things I’ve written on it that I’m not proud of. I wasn’t exactly proud of them when I wrote them, either, but I still wanted to write them on the odd, shape-shifting palimpsest that is our Internet. I could have written them on a Word document if I really didn’t want them to become public, and I take full responsibility for that decision, even though it has caused me and people I wrote about pain. There are still people who I hope will never read this site, which I know is unreasonable, like leaving a diary open and saying “but don’t read it!” Nevertheless, I hope.
The reason that I’m making the site public again is because I want anyone who cares, if anyone does, to be able to read my side of the story and form their own conclusions. In the magazine article that Josh wrote about my having written about him on this blog, he made it sound like I had created this site in order to smear his reputation, which he found “creepy.” Well, yeah, that does sound creepy! But I think it would be hard to read all the posts that Ruth and I wrote and conclude that we were doing anything other than writing, for each other and whoever else wanted to know, about what our lives were like in the aftermath of long-term relationships, from manic rebound highs to depressive lows. Josh also made it sound like the impulse to share details of your private life with strangers was completely alien to him — in an article where he shared details of his private life with strangers. I hardly need to point out the irony there, except maybe I do, because it seems to have eluded him.
When you write about things as they’re happening — which is what most people do on blogs — you lose perspective, or rather, your perspective shrinks, so that only a tiny slice of your reality gets recorded. The cumulative impact of several months’ worth of posts can lead to an entirely different conclusion than a few snippets taken out of context. This is the danger of blogging and also its seductive charm. It’s so easy and fun to report on your current state of mind and your opinions, especially when you have strong feelings, and strong feelings are also fun to read about. You hated that movie! You’re in love with that guy! That person’s a douchebag!
Unfettered self-expression has its drawbacks, though. Like: what if you change your mind? What if you learn some things that make you feel entirely differently about that person, that movie, that guy? The version you recorded is still perpetually available, making you seem wishy-washy or, worse, like a liar if you flip-flop now. Your problem now becomes that the most popular result of a Google search becomes “the truth,” even if you’d like it to be otherwise.
Well: You can’t control what people think, and who cares what they think anyway? By now, the only person who really cares about this stuff is you, and maybe Nick Denton because he is, among other things, a pervert who delights in other people’s misfortunes. Josh is busy altering his odd sweaters with the $2K he got for his article and probably doesn’t give a shit about anything but that money, and the fact that the whole little scandal gave Gawker commenters another opportunity to marvel at the musculature of his torso. It’s better to leave well enough alone, take the high road, and just try to forget about the whole thing.
Well, obviously I couldn’t quite do that. But I also won’t go through that article point by point and refute what I think its omissions and inaccuracies are or try to revise history by erasing or altering anything I’ve written here, tempting as it is to do so.
I made some mistakes, it’s true. Writing this may well be another! But I am not going to shut up just because I might regret what I’ve said later. That might be the smart thing to do, and I’ve tried to, but I can’t. It must be because I’m a blogger.