Saturday, September 01, 2001

It's time for me to answer (for myself) the question: what the hell is this about, or rather, why am I writing this, why does anyone write these online diaries, why would anyone read them or want to read them, why do we (me and the other people who write these things) have such exhibitionist tendencies?

At the beginning, I told myself that I was writing this to keep a record of my painful struggle to learn Swedish, that I would be motivated to keep it up if I did it so publicly and with the attendant rewards of being read by people I don't even know. How that is supposed to be a reward, well, I guess anyone reading this would understand.

Anyway, I started this with a modicum of self-doubt. How could I be interesting without revealing too much? It seemed to me that the most interesting stuff to read is the most personal, provided it's not too pathetic, too repetitive, too banal. Plus, the husband is way too connected to the people who fill the gossip rags of Sweden for me to be too forthright, at least about a some things. I keep worrying that for the right person this could be a sort of journal á clef, so I don't put anything particularly juicy or maybe even interesting about anyone in here.

So, I thought briefly about writing the whole thing in the third person, but decided that was just not in the spirit of a journal. So I picked a tone, and dove in, knowing next to nothing about the psycho-sociological philosophical semiotics of this blogger stuff.

But now as I stumble about, I happened on a page from this guy who used to shepherd something called the Metalog Ratings at!, both apparently now defunct. And he wrote:
    I lost interest in weblogs. They were never a great passion; over the last year or so they've become much less interesting, and much more, well, precious. Make me care about you and your weblog; don't assume that I do. Junk the "mystery" links, the cutesy lines, the breakfast, lunch and dinner menus.

And I realized, Jesus, I've been writing breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. I've been, well, maybe not precious exactly but definitely a tad on the arch side. Cutesy lines? I'm not sure exactly what he means by cutesy.

The only trap I seemed not to have fallen into is peppering my posts with mystery links. Well, maybe just accidentally touched it with my big toe without actually falling all the way into the trap.

Which brings me to the question, why would anyone want to read this? I honestly don't know. I don't know if I would read this. And, while I know I would like to have people read it, on some level it doesn't matter. So, maybe I can just skip to the next question.

Which is: why am I such an exhibitionist? I guess it's an American thing. Andy Warhol and the whole ''15 minutes of fame concept,'' which the Internet seems to have changed into ''famous to 15 people who would normally not know you.''

The Swedish word for the day is kändisar. It means famous people. - by Francis S.

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