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May 22, 2008 6:57 AM   Subscribe

Living the life observed, or the life exposed? Emily Gould (formerly of Gawker) writes about the impact her blogging, and exposure on the internet, has had on her life. (NYTimes, registration or use of bugmenot possibly required.)
posted by Forktine (102 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yes.
posted by NekulturnY at 7:18 AM on May 22, 2008


Reg. free link (via NYT's Link Generator).
posted by ericb at 7:22 AM on May 22, 2008


Fascinating how the pendulum swings.
The deeply primal urge to connect with others, to share and be seen, to say I Am Here---This Is Me--- I Exist--- Come Play With Me--- is wonderfully human.

I'm glad there are bloggers; we should nurture ALL forms of human expression.

Yet there is some fine line that makes my Shit Radar go beepbeepbeep; maybe the acrid whiff of desperate self-promotion? My unexplored jealousies? Something else? It makes me turn away from this person.

I need a little foreplay, I guess.

And I don't (usually) feel this way about other media.

What is wrong with me?
posted by Dizzy at 7:27 AM on May 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


Well, I’m an oversharer — it’s not like I’m entirely reformed.

I'll say. That was a little too much relentless self-obsession for me, the accompanying photos especially are just too rich.
posted by The Straightener at 7:29 AM on May 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


I do love the faux 'look how much sadder and wiser I am' tone to the article, while structurally, she is just doing again what she did before. Expect part three in a few years (anyone who ever met her better pray this article doesn't land her a book deal).
posted by NekulturnY at 7:30 AM on May 22, 2008


Whatever the costs to her personal life, it has already gotten her first the Gawker job, and now the cover story in the Sunday NYTimes Magazine, so professionally this is one of the best paths she could have taken. I can't imagine that a book isn't coming at some point.
posted by Forktine at 7:48 AM on May 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Here's his side of the story in the New York Post magazine.

My girlfriend and I have already agreed on where we're publishing our catty tell-alls in the event of a breakup.

But seriously, bloggers, doesn't this piss you off? I mean, haven't bloggers - people of blog? - spent years trying to disabuse people of the notion that this is what it's all about?
posted by bicyclefish at 7:50 AM on May 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


“I’m taking it down,” Ruth called to me from the living room, where my laptop sat on a table, displaying our no-longer-so-secret blog.

I opened my eyes. “Don’t delete it,” I managed to say. “Just make it all password-protected.”


This reads like a Max Fischer play.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:54 AM on May 22, 2008 [9 favorites]


In college, I sent out an all-student e-mail message revealing that an ex-boyfriend shaved his chest hair.

Once a bitchy oversharer who recognises but still tramples on other peoples desire to keep secrets, always a fucking drama queen.
posted by jacalata at 8:15 AM on May 22, 2008 [8 favorites]


I'm with The Straightener. She decided that her online life was too revelatory and then revealed even more, encapsulating her whole blog and life all over again in a NY Times article. That will be handy in making sure that the last few lifeforms on the planet without internet access still know exactly who she is. Also, hon, Emily: brevity is the soul of wit. Edit. Edit, edit, edit. Good lord, how long is that essay?
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:19 AM on May 22, 2008


Two years as a professional writer and she has the cover story in The New York Times Sunday Magazine. How will she ever recover from the damage blogging has wrought.

Feh.
posted by sacre_bleu at 8:20 AM on May 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


HONEST TO BLOG!?

*raspberry*
posted by everichon at 8:22 AM on May 22, 2008


I hope they all drown in their reflections.
posted by basicchannel at 8:23 AM on May 22, 2008 [5 favorites]


Also, now that I'm thinking about it, there is an interesting article to be written about blogging and where personal and public lives coincide, collide and overlap. I think most bloggers at some point have to come to grips with that intersection (Dooce, anyone?) and how they're going to deal with it. This article, alas, isn't it.
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:23 AM on May 22, 2008


I never understood the personal "daily diary" form of blogging. Does anyone care about your life besides your mother? No. Does it expose you to strangers in an intimate way? Yes. The upsides are few and the downsides many. In the end it's ego, otherwise why make it public? There are some exceptions, but it requires talent and skill which is by definition rare.
posted by stbalbach at 8:23 AM on May 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


IANAP, but she sure seems to exhibit signs of Narcissistic Personality Disorder . It's a fair bet she's started surfing the Net already to see what people are saying about her as a result of this online version of the NYT's article. Come Sunday she'll be in heavenly bliss as a result of all of the attention -- both positive and negative. Sad, really.
posted by ericb at 8:24 AM on May 22, 2008


You know, I love living in New York City, and spending some months away has me missing it like a sonofabitch.

But the part of it I absolutely can't stand is the fact that so many people actually think this kind of thing is normal--that everyone should know the minutest shit about their life, because they're soooo important and soooo interesting. I know a 20-year-old girl with a fairly banal lifestory who goes around telling people she's writing her autobiography, without the slightest hint of irony. Even the people I knew in LA were better at hiding their all-encompassing narcissism than many New Yorkers I've met. This particular repulsive publicity hound is only one among millions.
posted by nasreddin at 8:28 AM on May 22, 2008


Look at me, look at me! Everybody look at me!
Comments at the NYT.

Comments at Gawker.
posted by ericb at 8:29 AM on May 22, 2008


She is being savaged in the NYT comments, for those MeFites who cannae be arsed.

It's pretty satisfying, actually.
posted by everichon at 8:41 AM on May 22, 2008


Fascinating.

What a self-centered person, though. It's astonishing that there isn't a thought of anything aside from celebrity, no mention of politics, the world, science or the arts, not even video games or a novel. It's pretty awful.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:44 AM on May 22, 2008


I sortof feel like she's a really really really exaggerated example of me, and a lot of other quasi-bloggers I know. Which made the article really interesting to read. I would never do that to my personal life, but there were a few parts that I empathized with. The urge to use a personal, diary-like blog for the purposes of revenge and then the mixed feelings of ha! take that! and oh-shit-i-better-take-that-down-immediately were emotions I've definitely felt.

It's livejournal school, really.
posted by lunit at 8:47 AM on May 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


We should start a collection to set her up on a date with Max Gogarty.
posted by Dr-Baa at 8:50 AM on May 22, 2008


Good gravy -- at least Dooce got fired. Nothing happened to Emily at all. And yet, thousands of words would attempt to disprove that single fact. Far out.
posted by gsh at 8:58 AM on May 22, 2008


I wonder if she fashions herself to be a real-life Carrie Bradshaw.

BTW -- here's Emily Gould's To-Do List for this coming Sunday:
6:00 a.m. -- read as many comments at numerous blogs. "All about me!"

11:00 a.m. -- Wander around my neighborhood in Brooklyn, slowing down at outdoor cafés ("Look at me, I'm using a French word") to see if people recognize me.

12:00 noon -- Head over to Manhattan.

12:30 p.m. -- Stroll by brunch spots in the West Village. "Hey, it's me!"

1:30 p.m. -- Head over to Chelsea. "I bet the gays love me by now. Especially the catty queens!"

2:30 p.m. -- Sashay through Soho.

3:00 p.m. -- Hit Mid-town with a stop at Bryant Park. Pull out NYT's Magazine and hope others wandering by my table notice that it's ME! Take advantage of the park's WiFi "hot spot" to update my blog about the days adventures.

4:30 p.m. -- Stand at the crosswalk at the corner across from 'Strawberry Fields' in front of the Dakota. Hope that those who read the Times this morning recognize ME. Hope that the tourists who couldn't give a shit about ME think I live in the Dakota!!!

6:00 p.m. -- Head home to Brooklyn. Check obsessively online what others have said about me. Extra points if my meanderings have been noted at Gawker's Stalker Map!!! Send e-mail to Josh ("Hah! Fuck you, sucker. You made the Post. I made the goddamn fucking New York Times!!!)
posted by ericb at 9:06 AM on May 22, 2008 [5 favorites]


More on the NYT article at Gawker: We Are All Emilys.
posted by ericb at 9:09 AM on May 22, 2008


I do love the faux 'look how much sadder and wiser I am' tone to the article, while structurally, she is just doing again what she did before. Expect part three in a few years (anyone who ever met her better pray this article doesn't land her a book deal).

I love how she takes this distant tone and talks about her "former self" while describing events that happened no more than two years ago, and much more recently than that if I'm reading this correctly.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 9:10 AM on May 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'd hate to be known the way she is...I don't have the self-confidence.
posted by onepapertiger at 9:21 AM on May 22, 2008


It's livejournal school, really.

FYI, I don't think they give you your degree in livejournalism until you learn proper use of "summary quotes."
posted by dersins at 9:24 AM on May 22, 2008


I find it hard to hold the self-centerdness against Emily in this particular context. The commissioned (?) article is, after all, meant to be about her worlds colliding while blogging. What I find difficult to accept, as mentioned above, is the bloody l e n g t h of the piece. Don't they have editors?? I skipped a third of it and still read too much. Beyond anything, it's mostly banal and boring, like toenail clippings and hoiking up tenacious phlegm.
posted by peacay at 9:27 AM on May 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


I don't know who that person is, I don't read any of the websites that she has written for, and after reading that article I don't want to do either. In fact, I will do the only thing in my power to hurt that abhorrent self-obsessed person: ignore her completely and forget who she is within a matter of days.
posted by ND¢ at 9:40 AM on May 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Good lord this thing is looooooooooooong. But yeah, now she's in the NYT, so she's "made it." Whoo-hoo.

I kind of laugh at the "but I am kind of famous and people recognize me in the street..." thing. Is that one of those "only in NYC" sorts of things that us folk in the burbs wouldn't understand?

That said, the link by Josh? Yeah, what an ass.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:54 AM on May 22, 2008


I didn't know the New York Times lacked an editor. Either way, this boring woman should be shipped to 1986, where her influence can be contained.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:55 AM on May 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is a lonelygirl15 kind of thing, right?
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 10:03 AM on May 22, 2008


This is a lonelygirl15 kind of thing, right?

Actually, no. lonelygirl15 required imagination to create and was actually somewhat interesting.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:05 AM on May 22, 2008


That sucked.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:19 AM on May 22, 2008


My god, it's like the literary equivalent of that horrible Lisa Loeb song. And an extremely extended remix at that.
posted by malocchio at 10:21 AM on May 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


I've always wondered how some bloggers could live comfortably oversharing their lives online like that. Now I know that they're probably not living as comfortably with it as I thought. Interesting.
posted by geeky at 10:23 AM on May 22, 2008


ericb writes: IANAP, but she sure seems to exhibit signs of Narcissistic Personality Disorder . It's a fair bet she's started surfing the Net already to see what people are saying about her as a result of this online version of the NYT's article. Come Sunday she'll be in heavenly bliss as a result of all of the attention -- both positive and negative. Sad, really.

From an actual psychiatrist: Time's Person of the Year is Someone Who Doesn't Actually Matter
Being on YouTube, having a blog, having an iPod, being on MySpace-- all of these things are self-validating, they allow that illusion that is so important to narcissists: that we are the main characters in a movie. Not that we're the best, or the good guys, but the main characters. That everyone around us is supporting cast; the funny friend, the crazy ex, the neurotic mother, the egotistical date, etc. That makes reminders of our insignificance even more infuriating.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:50 AM on May 22, 2008 [2 favorites]




Live journalism school's modules for the Wintermass term :

1) Quantity not Quality 101 (30 credits).

2) Tools of the trade: Vanity & Verbosity (30 credits).
posted by munchbunch at 10:59 AM on May 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


I didn't know the New York Times lacked an editor.

You must not read the Style or the Dining sections.
posted by desuetude at 11:10 AM on May 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


What a small person. Her triumphs aren't high and her sins aren't low. If she wasn't physically attractive no one would care at all.
posted by maxwelton at 11:15 AM on May 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


LOOK AT ME OVERSHARING ABOUT MY OVERSHARING

Jesus. I know 5-year-olds with better developed senses of discretion.
posted by scody at 11:37 AM on May 22, 2008


Irritainment, thy name is Emily.
posted by NolanRyanHatesMatches at 11:37 AM on May 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Does anyone care about your life besides your mother?

Lots of people care. Crap loads of people read Dooce. And she's just one of the more popular examples.
posted by chunking express at 11:57 AM on May 22, 2008


She used the word "I" 392 times.
She used the word "the" 344 times.
posted by milkrate at 12:27 PM on May 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's as if Elizabeth Wurzel budded. So somebody who got paid to trash people on a blog got a taste of her own medicine? Boo to the fucking hoo.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:35 PM on May 22, 2008


Even the people I knew in LA were better at hiding their all-encompassing narcissism than many New Yorkers I've met.

No! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! This is why I hate this article- because it may lead people to believe that we're all like that (we being all young people and/or all internet people and/or all New Yorkers). No. No. No. The NYTimes is going to hear about this from me directly.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:36 PM on May 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


What a small person. Her triumphs aren't high and her sins aren't low. If she wasn't physically attractive no one would care at all.

Actually, no. No one cares about her highs and lows. No one cares about what actually motivates her life. No one really care about her average looks. If people did, people could ignore her more.
Emily Gould is gossiped about because internet dorks and nerds who feel they're above celebrity gossip still want to gossip about someone. People love to hate on Emily. It's why gossip exists and why this got posted to the blue and all the comments in this thread happened. No one person or group is above gossip. And as long as there are people like Emily Gould who seek out the love of the masses, the masses will gladly devour them. It's a cycle that everyone loves to be a part of and everyone in this thread is guilty of being a part of.
posted by Stynxno at 12:54 PM on May 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


A comment over at NYT:
Have you not seen great gaudy hothouse flowers,
Barren, without fragrance--Souls are like that:
Forced to show all, they soon become all show--
The means to Nature's end ends meaningless!

- a line from Cyrano de Bergerac
posted by ericb at 12:55 PM on May 22, 2008 [4 favorites]


And as long as there are people like Emily Gould who seek out the love of the masses, the masses will gladly devour them.

This is true. You cannot win the love of the masses because they will never love you back. Individuals seek love, but the masses seek blood in the water.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:59 PM on May 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Jimmy Kimmel interviews Emily Gould (as mentioned in her article) [video | 05:28]
posted by ericb at 1:14 PM on May 22, 2008


Whoa...she does poorly in that CNN interview.
posted by ericb at 1:18 PM on May 22, 2008


Uh, Stynxno, did you actually read people's comments, here or over @ the NYT's site? She's being "devoured" because it's a shitty and long self-involved essay on the cover of the NY Times Magazine. I was always a pretty big fan of her posts @ Gawker (until 1/2 of those posts were weird Julia Allison adverts), but christ if this piece doesn't illustrate the Grand-Canyon gulf between being a great blogger and being a great writer. They're really different skill sets, and that's the only thing I can take away from Gould's piece.
posted by NolanRyanHatesMatches at 1:26 PM on May 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Reads like scrip[t for Sex and the City...and, as a male, who cares?
posted by Postroad at 1:28 PM on May 22, 2008


Blogrunner: Reactions From Around the Web.
posted by ericb at 1:43 PM on May 22, 2008


Ah yes, NYMag manages to stay it, too:

What troubles us about Gould's oncoming article is not that it will be a rehash of everything we've seen before. It's that people will mistake her perspective on the Internet, writing, and fame as the perspective of an entire generation of bloggers. (Much the way, as the Observer noted, Joyce Maynard's essay in the Times Magazine in 1972 seemed to speak for a generation of young women.) In our experience reading her work, she rarely ventures outside of her own head. Hence, not the best representative of a social subclass.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:49 PM on May 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


All I heard in my head as I read her essay was the voice of Alexandra Chilton from GTA IV.

I spend too much time playing video games.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:17 PM on May 22, 2008


Emily Gould is gossiped about because internet dorks and nerds who feel they're above celebrity gossip still want to gossip about someone. People love to hate on Emily. It's why gossip exists and why this got posted to the blue and all the comments in this thread happened.

I can't tell you why she is gossiped about, or why people are commenting here. I can tell you that I posted this here not because I "love to hate on Emily." I'd never heard of her before, never read her blog, have only once or twice glanced at Gawker in my life. It was an interesting, if deeply flawed, piece about the pluses and minuses of choosing to expose your life, that seemed like it would be of interest to a community where each of us grapples with choices about what to reveal and what to conceal on a very open stage.

She's not very insightful, but she inadvertently manages to point out a lot of interesting contradictions -- she has hurt herself personally, but has benefited professionally; she is partially aware of how her success in finding an audience for her openness has depended on her being an attractive young woman, but unlike some other bloggers she appears to show no desire at all to reframe this or assert a more complicated relationship with the viewer's gaze; etc.
posted by Forktine at 2:40 PM on May 22, 2008


Wow. That CNN interview. Jimmy Kimmel was a condescending prick, but WOW was she unfuckingbelievably bad.
posted by desuetude at 3:07 PM on May 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Many writers would-- and clearly sometimes do-- sell their soul for a front page story in the NYTM. The piece did make me think about my own relationship to self-disclosure, which is love/hate like hers. But I think the reason I don't hate myself excessively for it is that I have always at least attempted to use my self-disclosure for a good cause.

So, yeah, I sometimes write about being a former IV drug user-- to argue for needle exchange or better treatment for addicts and for drug policy reform. I write about being on antidepressants-- to make the case that these drugs are complicated and that one shouldn't feel required to suffer through therapy too if a pill actually does relieve the suffering of depression for you. Though I didn't always manage this as well when I was younger, I try to keep myself out of the story unless there's a real good reason for me to be there.

I disclose to make a point, not *as* my point, basically, and I don't disclose things about other people in my life without anonymity unless I am sure that they're OK with it.

Where she crosses the line is in thinking it's OK to hurt people to get ahead.
posted by Maias at 3:55 PM on May 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


What a fucking horror show.
posted by fixedgear at 4:15 PM on May 22, 2008


Her facial expressions made that video hard to watch.
posted by liquorice at 4:18 PM on May 22, 2008


worst. ever.

represents everything i hate about the blogosphere.
posted by loiseau at 4:32 PM on May 22, 2008


Wow. That CNN interview. Jimmy Kimmel was a condescending prick,...

Wait. Full-fucking-stop. I don't watch CNN and haven't for years but the only way I can parse this sentence is that Jimmy Fucking Kimmel is now pretending to be a fucking journalist on CNN. I know that the mainstream media are shit, and I know that TV news is a fucking wasteland, but you can't actually mean that Jimmy Kimmel is performing a job that was once the purview of an actual journalist? Right?

Right?

Right?
posted by stet at 5:02 PM on May 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Larry King is an actual journalist?
posted by grouse at 5:18 PM on May 22, 2008


Rex Sorgatz talks about some of the backstory in a comment on his blog
posted by blasdelf at 5:44 PM on May 22, 2008


WHO THE FUCK IS THIS REX SORGATZ GUY?.
posted by dersins at 6:03 PM on May 22, 2008


WHO THE FUCK IS THIS REX SORGATZ GUY

He's the blogger who turned me on to Santogold.

Which up-and-coming musician I am now burned out on.
posted by everichon at 7:11 PM on May 22, 2008


she has hurt herself personally, but has benefited professionally

What's the benefit? I don't see it. Or maybe it's that I don't consider exposure success. Ok, you have an article in the NYTimes magazine- and? What next? Is this a steppingstone toward something bigger, something better, or is it just a continuation of the same?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:57 PM on May 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Doesn't this just make you pine for the good old Total Perspective Vortex?
posted by ikkyu2 at 8:02 PM on May 22, 2008


Samuel Pepys she's not.
posted by paulsc at 11:54 PM on May 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


What a fucking horror show.

Yes, it was indeed horrorshow!

(likewise, me finding somebody else who speaks nadsat)
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:18 AM on May 23, 2008


you can't actually mean that Jimmy Kimmel is performing a job that was once the purview of an actual journalist? Right?

Not quite as bad as that. He was filling in for Larry King on Larry King Live. There were two bulldog celebrity-lawyer types who were claiming that Gawker Stalker was really a stalker-enabler, and that they GUARANTEED that some celebrity was going to get hurt by a psychopath and that Gawker would get sued. And then Jimmy Kimmel pointed out how offended he was by a recent item claiming that he appeared intoxicated.

"Called upon to defend Gawker’s publication of anonymous e-mail tips of celebrity sightings, I was dismissive and flip. My untrained, elastic face betrayed the shock and amusement I was feeling about being asked..."

This is quite an understatement. She was an eye-rolling, gasping, giggling, unprepared mess. It was more painful than I thought it would be. (Why she didn't do five seconds of research and search Gawker for "Jimmy Kimmel', I have no idea. Uh, it's your job to trash-talk celebrities on the internet. Weren't you curious as to what your website had said about the dude who would be interviewing you? Preparation is part of the job when being a spokesperson for your company. It's called being a professional.)

She could barely articulate a description of Gawker, let alone Gawker Stalker. She could've said something about the feature being intended to a lighthearted take on celebrity-worship, and that there was an understanding by readers that that it is to be read as speculative and entertainment, not verifiable news. Instead, she compared it to US Weekly. Which, uh, does indeed use fact-checkers. When asked about the lag between sightings and printing of items, she was like "omigod, it's not like literally in real time, sometimes it's like hourzzzz! Whatevs."

TPS, of course she's benefited professionally. The article isn't just about her, she got a byline. That's a sweet clip for her portfolio. The NYT gives her credibility as a writer and raises her profile as a freelancer. (If she were a smarter girl, she would go on to query some major publications with some restrained, non-narcissistic articles, with possibly some research in them, and characterize this piece as a sort of character performance.)
posted by desuetude at 7:58 AM on May 23, 2008


There were two bulldog celebrity-lawyer types...

One is an attorney-to-the-stars: Mark Geragos; the other a Hollywood publicist: Howard Bragman.
posted by ericb at 8:36 AM on May 23, 2008


she has hurt herself personally, but has benefited professionally

What's the benefit? I don't see it. Or maybe it's that I don't consider exposure success. Ok, you have an article in the NYTimes magazine- and? What next? Is this a steppingstone toward something bigger, something better, or is it just a continuation of the same?


Pink, she benefits from being able to say "I've written a cover story for the NYTM," and list that on her clips. That will get her in the door at any major magazine. One good clip can be the key to a freelance career.
posted by Maias at 8:39 AM on May 23, 2008


(likewise, me finding somebody else who speaks nadsat)
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:18 AM


(the lessons for which taking much pretty polly, and time where a droog could go for the old in-out)

posted by COBRA! at 8:45 AM on May 23, 2008


Blogging about sex is the literary equivalent of complying with "Tits or GTFO".
posted by meehawl at 10:04 AM on May 23, 2008


I thought it was 'dancing about architecture?'
posted by fixedgear at 10:12 AM on May 23, 2008


desuetude said "She was an eye-rolling, gasping, giggling, unprepared mess. It was more painful than I thought it would be. (Why she didn't do five seconds of research and search Gawker for "Jimmy Kimmel', I have no idea.

Duh, too busy Googling herself.
posted by loiseau at 10:15 AM on May 23, 2008


Was that clever self satire? It sure is close. wtfc. If not, cut her some slack, I guess. She's 24.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:28 AM on May 23, 2008


Emily Gould’s ‘Times Magazine’ Story: Give Me an ‘I’!
Number of words in "Exposed," by Emily Gould: 7,937
Number of those words that are the conjunction "and": 207
Number of those words that are the article "a": 225
Number of those words that are article "the": 344
Number of those words that are pronoun "I": 363
Number of those words that are the pronouns "I" or "me": 430
Amount Gould has earned, at a likely Times Mag rate of $2 per word, for self-referring pronouns: $860
posted by ericb at 11:18 AM on May 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Was that clever self satire? It sure is close. wtfc. If not, cut her some slack, I guess. She's 24.

I dunno. It's a pretty good argument against giving 24yos writing gigs.

perhaps i should paraphrase the article:

"so i was living with a doofus of a stoner muso guy, when i landed an editing job out of the blue. there was this cute guy in my office & we flirted like crazy until omg we finally kissed! i broke up with the doofus & started kinda seeing the cute guy, but he was, like, a douche & he had another girlfriend & left for europe with her. i was crushed, so i blogged about it (i had been blogging about other personal stuff all the while) but some of my readers were hating on me & my ex was hating on me too! it was, like, so stressful! so i had to rethink my whole approach to myspace livejournal facebook blogging for a while."

It's the exact kind of Degrassi Junior High pap that you'd expect from a teenager-on-steroids.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:23 PM on May 23, 2008


If not, cut her some slack, I guess. She's 24.

Actually, she's 27 y.o.
posted by ericb at 3:13 PM on May 23, 2008


NPR: Ms. Emily 'Gawker' Gould Debates Narcissism.

Listen to her interview.
posted by ericb at 3:16 PM on May 23, 2008


*Actually, she will be 27 y.o. in October.*
posted by ericb at 3:17 PM on May 23, 2008


Huffington Post: Emily Gould: New Gloss On An Old Story.
posted by ericb at 3:18 PM on May 23, 2008


New York Magazine cover story [Oct 15, 2007]: Everybody Sucks -- "Gawker and the rage of the creative underclass."
“On a chilly evening in September, Gould and I went out for sushi. She traipsed down Prince Street in a tight electric-blue shirt, the same color as her fingernail polish, and white knee-high boots she had polished up for the fall season. She had just been at her shrink’s, where she says she spends all her time talking about Gawker—‘It’s just such a weird cross between being an artist and working in a sweatshop,’ she’d said earlier. She tucked her hair behind her ears and sighed. ‘Plus I have gotten so much flak over the past year, from everyone from random people who e-mail me that I’m a bitch and a cunt, to my family, to Jimmy Kimmel calling me the devil—to my boyfriend of six years, when we broke up and I was moving my dishes out of his apartment, asking, ‘Why did you write that post about that Stevie Nicks song? Now it’s obvious to everyone that you were having an affair with your co-worker.’ ’ She shot me a lopsided smile.

I asked her how she felt about the upcoming changes in comments and pay at Gawker. ‘I can’t have feelings about that kind of thing,’ she said. ‘It’s kind of like you’re in jail and you have feelings about the color they paint the walls.’ Gould published a book last spring, and wasn’t sure if she should write another. ‘At the end of the day, your ideas in a book have less impact than if you had summed them up in two paragraphs on the most widely read blog at the most-read time of the day, so why’d you spend two years on it?’ she said, delicately picking up a piece of toro. ‘But there’s other ways to get noticed than the Internet, right?’ She laughed bitterly. ‘There’s always TV.’

Recently, she’d bonded with Julia Allison—the two went to a psychic in Staten Island together, driving in a Mercedes convertible Allison had borrowed (though the guy who owned it didn’t really know she had borrowed it), booming the stereo and singing along to the lyrics of Prince’s ‘Pussy Control.’ The psychic told Allison that she had to be more ‘real’ and Gould that she was on the road to love—but then she was not, so that was all a waste of time. But at least she decided Allison was cool. ‘It’s not like Julia keeps her enemies close and her friends closer,’ said Gould. ‘She doesn’t even make a distinction between the two.’

In an insult culture, shamelessness is a crucial attribute, was part of the point. Last week at Gawker’s book party, Allison appeared in a particularly revealing top and told me, ‘I figure if people look at my cleavage they won’t listen to my words,’ then winked. She and Gould were both wearing polka-dots, not on purpose, and they cavorted in their outfits for a photographer, slinging their arms around Allison’s boyfriend, even though Gould was sure to overdramatically grimace in some of the pictures.

By Gawker’s rules, Allison seemed to be winning the game. Still, the question remained: Could you be successful in New York without becoming a—well, a douchebag? It was something that Gould would have to ponder.”
posted by ericb at 3:34 PM on May 23, 2008 [3 favorites]


ericb, you never cease to amaze me with your ability to sift out the interesting background on any story.
posted by drezdn at 4:21 PM on May 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know, I've been thinking about this whole thing (and reading about it, because it's being talked about a lot) and I think there is a big distinction between this kind of so-called confessional blogging and personal writing.

That's because people who write about their viewpoints, lives and personal experiences can be very compelling. It feeds everyone's little voyeuristic side, sure, but also feels relatable and enlightening and humanizing.

Bloggers and other writers like Gould have words in abundance -- which is what makes people think they're writers -- but lack insight. She lacks the tools and characteristics to make her experiences worthwhile to others. She lacks the substance to create resonance or to transcend banality.

Here's one reason why: because people like Gould don't listen, don't observe the world on any meaningful level. To use words artfully you have to read and listen and see them used by other people, to build an understanding of the way people communicate about themselves. Because she's too busy spilling words and self-obsessing, she lacks that awareness, that grace, that ability to reflect and self-evaluate. Gould seems to be talking mostly to be heard, rather than to communicate -- these are two different things altogether.

Again, this is why I find so much of the blogosphere a big waste of time. Reading about someone's thoughts and ideas can be so interesting, and that's why it's so disappointing that this... this is not that.
posted by loiseau at 4:52 PM on May 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


tight electric-blue shirt, the same color as her fingernail polish, and white knee-high boots

What, no pants? Tart.
posted by desuetude at 4:53 PM on May 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


She lacks the substance to create resonance or to transcend banality.

That's it in a nutshell. You can string together a million words, but it still doesn't mean you have a single thing to say.
posted by scody at 5:20 PM on May 23, 2008


What, no pants? Tart.

well, she does like revealing too much.

You can string together a million words, but it still doesn't mean you have a single thing to say.


that's what i was trying to get at above. to me, it read like 95% banal college-age melodrama, with about 5% of insight into what it's like to be under public scrutiny. and what there was of the latter wasn't particularly remarkable or insightful - oh, so random strangers on the subway might or might not recognise her; nothing that any minor celebrity doesn't have to deal with.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:39 PM on May 23, 2008


It's not writing, it's typing.
posted by fixedgear at 12:20 PM on May 24, 2008


It's not writing, it's typing.

Ah, Truman Capote's comment regarding Jack Kerouac's books.

I can think of another Capote quote relevant to this Gould brouhaha. After four chapters of his unfinished book "Answered Prayers" were published by Esquire magazine Capote was ostracized by those in high society for the writings' thinly-veiled ("heinous") gossip about those who were previously his society friends. His response:
"I'm a writer! What did they think I was doing all that time at their parties? I was observing them, taking note - I'm a writer!"
posted by ericb at 1:57 PM on May 24, 2008


“…narcissism is indeed at the heart of Emily Gould's cover story in this week's New York Times Magazine. Gould's tenure at Gawker fed her self-obsession; every page view helped further her transformation from jaded Brooklyn resident into unhinged, egotistic snark beast. Gawker both expanded her horizons and terribly limited them; from the perch of her overflowing inbox, she could see everything in the world (or at least Manhattan). Yet quickly enough she became the only thing she cared about within it. The entire city of New York mattered only insofar as it was a reflection of Emily.

Yet, in some form, this worldview has always fueled the blogosphere, even in the political realm. And it is not always pernicious. Many of the successful early pioneers made a point of sharing personal details. Jonah Goldberg wrote about his wife, his dog, his favorite television shows; Andrew Sullivan wrote about his sleep apnea; Glenn Reynolds posted about his interest in digital cameras and science fiction. Matt Yglesias writes about basketball, indie rock, and living near U Street.

The professionalization of the blogosphere has reduced this to some extent, yet it's still evident on numerous popular blogs. Bloggers write about their lives, their interests, their cities, their friends. On many blogs, the author's life becomes part of the story -- you read these bloggers as much for who they are as for what they have to say. This is what accounts for the sense one sometimes gets that one ‘knows’ the blogger. Blogs serve as running commentary on the world at large (or some part of it), yes, but also as extensions of the lives of their authors. To become a regular reader is to share and take part in that life, and that's a large part of the blogosphere's appeal. It's also a function of both the frantic pace and pressure of the professional blogosphere: The easiest content to produce is that which is inspired by what's nearest to you.

The combined lure of easy content and personal attention is tough to resist; Gould didn't, and the distinction between her online life and everything essentially disappeared. The author and the subject became one. Does Gould deserve criticism for this? Perhaps. But it's also a function of the medium -- its pace, its content demands, and even its readers, who encourage personal revelation. The blogosphere always pulls this way. It's magnetized toward self-obsession.”*
posted by ericb at 3:35 PM on May 25, 2008


I finally got around to reading this, and now I dislike intensely both her and the inevitable book she's going to publish. I just pray it's not a best-seller.
posted by languagehat at 3:37 PM on May 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Ubu's tenure at MetaFilter fed his self-obsession; every favourite helped further his transformation from jaded Sydney resident into unhinged, egotistic snark beast. MetaFilter both expanded his horizons and terribly limited them; from the perch of his overflowing front page, he could see everything in the world (or at least the wide web part of it). Yet quickly enough he became the only thing he cared about within it. The entire internet mattered only insofar as it was a reflection of Ubu.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:44 PM on May 25, 2008


Video posted at YouTube: Emily Gould's Blog Mouth
"But ever since then I've been with considerably smaller dicks!
posted by ericb at 9:27 AM on May 26, 2008


Emily Gould Responds to NYT Readers.
posted by ericb at 12:52 PM on May 27, 2008


Are NYT readers all made of straw?
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:12 PM on May 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


um, i'd never heard of her.

apparently i'm glad i hadn't. until now.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 2:21 PM on May 29, 2008


" I think I was sharing the exact amount necessary, and I don't think this was a story that could have been gotten at any other way."

That was a story?

I thought it was hundreds of words not saying a thing.
posted by loiseau at 9:08 PM on May 29, 2008


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