A (Post) Post-Empire Guide to Blogging

Well dear readers, I have an announcement to make. The screenwriter, (read here!) in addition to his close circle of friends and family, has been reading my blog. My suspicions were confirmed during a rendezvous in which he mistakenly (and drunkenly) quoted my blog (which reminded me of Homeland when Carrie let it slip that she knew Brody’s favorite kind of tea). But now that I definitively know that he has been reading my blog, I have had to re-evaluate my post-empire blogging approach.

When I first started blogging for DateDaily, I offered and favored absolute transparency. Obama was doing it (or he tried to do it). Dan Savage, one of my favorite writers and bloggers, writes about his private life in Savage Love without batting an eyelash. But the greatest champion of our new post-empire world is the writer who coined the term, Bret Easton Ellis.

Ellis’s somewhat controversial article, “Notes on Charlie Sheen and the End of Empire”, celebrated the demise of what he called The Empire (1945-2005) in favor of our new Post-Empire (2005-present) world. On Twitter, he defined the terms thusly:

“Empire: that you can like a person but not like their work yet “have” to keep quiet about it. Post-Empire: Anonymous sources equals idiots.”

“Just a fact now: Transparency equals true respect and connection. Anyone who thinks differently: move to Planet Empire and stay scared fake.”

I agree with Mr. Ellis’s positive assessment of our post-empire world and transparency in theory. In practice however, transparency is a nasty beast, especially if you are NOT a celebrity from whom transparency is expected, if not required. Charlie Sheen and Lady Gaga can be as transparent as they like and still make millions of dollars. I blog about my dating/sex life the last eight months and I have managed at various times to alienate my romantic partners, my friends, and my family. As I was signing a contract with the new job I start next week, I prayed to God that my employers had not discovered my blog. Transparency is as liberating as it is terrifying, and its repercussions cannot be underestimated. Ask this week’s Fox Mole, Joe Muto, about transparency now that he is out of a job, or Monica Lewinsky, who can’t get a job, or John Edwards, who had to drop out of the race for the most important job in the nation.

And what about the opposite of transparency, or privacy? Celebrities have none of that anymore, but regular folk like myself do. And I now see that in our post-empire, social media obsessed world that privacy is gold. What remains private is what remains wholly your own.

If a man I had been seeing started blogging publically about our private sexual life, I would be pretty pissed. Any time one appears on camera, one must sign a release form, while on the internet, one can write just about anything about anyone (unless you are Courtney Love or write for the National Review). The screenwriter appears to be ok with taking part in my blogging narrative, but at the same time, how is he supposed to take me seriously now (assuming he ever did)? A person willing to broadcast such intimate things about someone else on some level has no regard for their right to privacy.

The screenwriter and I are both aware of the hilarious and ridiculous situation in which we find ourselves. We are just another horrible premise for a Katherine Heigl rom com. A meta, post-empire version of You Got Mail. In a world where everyone blogs, what happens when two people fall in love through reading each other’s intimately private and yet completely public blog posts? (Don’t try to steal my fucking logline, Hollywood).’

The transparency required of our post-empire world can alienate, sure. But it can also bring people closer together. Once the screenwriter and I confessed to reading each other’s blogs (among other things, and no his blog is not transparent at all), I must say that we had a greater understanding of each other. And despite the fact that he does not want to enter into a relationship with me, I do feel that we are closer than ever before.

I am a former post-empire girl who will continue to write in her new empire column. Ellis is undoubtedly disappointed in me.

And for the record, the screenwriter and I will continue to have our midnight rendezvous even though I am not getting exactly what I want. After all, the sex is fantastic, and he is very well endowed.
(That’s for you, honey.)

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