Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Band Of Bruthras

“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers….” 
— William Shakespeare, King Henry V: Act 4, Scene 3

* * * * *

I don’t know what happened, but yesterday morning when I checked my Blogger account, it told me that my reading list was empty and that I was not following any blogs. I just assumed that Google did some resetting, so I decided to re-follow the blogs on my blog roll, completely forgetting that I have probably more than a hundred blogs listed under “Links.”

I was only on letter B but I was already tired and dismayed. So many blogs had either been taken down or the last entry on it was back in 2012. The blogging boom of several years ago has gone bust. Online personal diaries have been replaced by special interest columns, public relations articles, and paid marketing. And the bloggers of before have now taken to Twitter and Facebook (and sadly for some, Instagram).

Still, there’s something to be said about full-on blog entries. I’m talking essays, not Tumblr-sized entries that read like tweets with pictures. It takes skill and thought to present something that goes beyond 140 characters. (Facebook allows longer posts, but really, a “read more” button often acts as a hurdle more than a welcome mat, unless you know the one who’s posting, or the first few sentences are compelling.)

I followed only pink blogs (with just one or two exceptions). And what a colorful bunch, the many shades of pink! It was great to hear disparate voices offering particular points of view. My blog feed looked like a smorgasbord of various concerns and musings, gay and not-so-gay. There was no such thing as “trending,” unless it was the day after Miss Universe.

Blogging afforded anonymity. It allowed closeted or discreet gays to speak out (or “act out”) what they couldn’t in public. For some, blogging was the venue that allowed them to spread their butterfly wings and take flight. Twitter could accommodate a condensed version of their blogger persona. Facebook however proved to be too public, too tedious for the closeted bloggers. But alas, Facebook hijacked the online conversation.

And so most of these voices moved on from blogging. They are still very much online, but they’re expressing themselves in shorter bursts. And in real time—the rise of smart phones and “unli” promos created the perfect storm, allowing people to be always connected. The “comment” button allows real-time exchange and dialogue. Ideas are submitted, examined, liked, and rebutted with the speed of Internet connection.

Thank god some of us still continue to blog on. When I finished going through my blog list, I ended up re-following more than 20 blogs. There are as many motivations as to why gay bloggers continue to blog as there are colors in a rainbow.  When I first started, I wanted to “put on a show” (thus the name of my blog); I thought of it as a personal experiment to see how much of my persona I can present to the online public. That quickly evolved into, well, bathhouse stories and other sexcapades, with reviews of plays and movies in between. Nowadays for my initial reactions, quips, and take on things happening around us, I take to Facebook and Twitter; I reserve my more lengthy musings for my blog.

We may not be as prolific as we once were, and we may not command the same number of readers as before. But perhaps it matters not why we continue; we just choose to blog away. Whether by tweet, FB status, or blog, pink voices should continue to be heard, now more than ever.

P.S. – And just as sudden as a computer glitch, my reading list is back to what it once was. Ghosts in the machine, I tell you; ghosts in the machine.


Mac Callister said...

nakakalungkot nga na only few bloggers continue to write. i miss those days where i could smile and laugh just by reading their stories thru their blog.

i can't stop blogging. hinahanap hanap ng katawan ko,kahit na i am addicted to twitter too.

Mamon said...

na-miss ko yung magbasa tapos hahanga na lang ako sa husay ng pagkakasulat nila. mahaba man ito o maiksi, tula man o sanaysay, nakakatuwa yung makabasa ng iba't ibang paksa sa iba't ibang istilo ng pagsusulat.

pero marami pa namang bagong henerasyon ng bloggers na nagpapatuloy sa pagsusulat. hindi man katulad ng mga manunulat noon, andun parin naman ang sigasig nila upang makapagbahagi ng kanilang kuwento.

rudeboy said...

I regularly get that Google glitch that says you're not following any blogs, too.

I usually just hit Refresh and all's right with the world. I wish hitting Refresh would make all the abandoned blogs come back to life, too.

Oh, well.

Still, the fact that it got you to write this entry means that glitch ain't all bad.

citybuoy said...

Oh McVie, I completely hear you. I miss the days when I'd have too many blog posts to read. Thank you for not stopping what you do. I hope it inspires all the dormant pink writers to pick up their pens (err laptops?) and start blogging again!

PS nawala din yung follow list ko. was gonna refollow pero pagtingin ko, it came back din. weird.

joelmcvie said...

@MAMON: You're right. Another blogger, Kane, observed that there are new pink bloggers cropping up here and there. I guess either I rely too much on my Blog List, or I don't blog-hop enough. But then again, the online time I spend for blogging (whether reading or writing) has diminished as well, thanks to other distractions. (Don't get me started on Candy Crush; luckily, I've moved on to 4 Pics, 1 Word. LOL!)

@RUDEBOY & @CITYBUOY: So the glitch in the matrix is a common occurrence pala. Me take da red pill.

Guyrony said...

Yet here we are, still standing.