Blogging Off

Your blog's great—nice dirt on Graydon Carter!—but can it buy me a beer?

The original goal of these parties was to meet each other face to face (in order to convince any skeptical friends that they know everyone they've linked to in person and it isn't as freaky as it all seems), but as the blogging has become epidemic, there are fewer people to convince and more people to meet and, consequently, link to. Bloggers collect links the way I used to collect scratch 'n' sniff stickers: Whoever gets the most/best wins.

4. They have created a new world order.

Just Gawking: I bet you're linked on Wonkette today!
illustration: Andrew Sklar/Patric King
Just Gawking: I bet you're linked on Wonkette today!

My society, that of the media-driven entertainment/publishing/music-business-involved/obsessed mid-to-late twenty-something, is being divided into a caste system that I believe in years to come will have the power to control virtually every facet of off-line life.

In order of fabulosity, the Blogging Caste System:

  • Bloggers who live in Williamsburg and work at Condé Nast/ are in a band

  • Bloggers who live in Williamsburg and know someone who works at Condé Nast/date someone in a band

  • Bloggers who live elsewhere in Brooklyn but can get to Williamsburg easily, ideally by bicycle

  • Bloggers in general (residents of other parts of the country are fine, so long as those parts are Chicago, L.A., Seattle, or Manhattan)

  • Non-bloggers who work at Condé Nast/are in a band

  • Non-bloggers who went to high school with someone who runs a top-tier blog

  • Non-bloggers who live in Queens and operate barely solvent literary magazines, the literary magazine being, as we all know, the blog of 2000, the old black, so over, etc.

This last group will eventually be sent to some sort of work camp where they will be forced to silk-screen T-shirts and knit legwarmers out in the hot sun all day. There will be nothing to read in the work camp but archived issues of Salon, and while residents will be allowed one 10-minute session on the Mediabistro personal ads every week (in hopes of marrying up), they will be prohibited from listening to any CDs released post-Strokes, lest they accidentally become a professional music journalist (the only career that holds the power to trump the Blogging Caste System).

5. Did I mention that blogs are ruining my life?

I am no longer getting work done. I am not sleeping enough or eating enough or editing my barely solvent literary magazine, because the aforementioned issues have made it a social imperative that I check up on all the goddamn blogs every single day (and make comments) so that people know I care about their lives/band/Condé Nast.

Additionally, I must Google my own name on a weekly basis in search of mentions on blogs, in order to know What People Think About Me. This is a dark, paranoid enterprise, capable of destroying even the staunchest feelings of self-confidence if the search should turn up evidence that, say, someone who actually showed up at my literary event did not enjoy it, or that someone has posted incriminating pictures of me, pictures obviously taken by a cell phone when I wasn't looking. (Remember: It isn't paranoia if they really are blogging about you.)

Listen. My name is Whitney Pastorek, and I do not have a blog. I am not on Friendster, I do not live in Williamsburg, and I do not think Death Cab for Cutie is a particularly great band.

But I exist. I am a good person, a good friend, and my thoughts and opinions have weight and merit. The bloggers do not control me—they only control each other and massive amounts of bandwidth, which isn't even a real thing, just something made up by web-hosting companies to charge more! People! If you find yourself on the lower levels of the B.C.S., join with me in saying NO! NO to letting them diminish our self-worth! NO to letting them drag us out to flash mobs! Turn your faces to the sun! Stand and fight!

Whitney Pastorek is the editor of Pindeldyboz, a barely solvent literary magazine based in Astoria, Queens.

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