“No one thinks essayists are real writers,” s/he sighs, as s/he strokes a picture of a cat with the mouse on the computer screen. “All essayists in history have had real jobs, because they never got to be real writers. Montaigne and Bacon were statesmen. Addison and Steele were politicians. Bertrand Russell was an academic. Even [insert Reality TV celebrity] is a Reality TV celebrity.”
The blogger, who doesn’t want to be named, doesn’t want the blog to be named either. “It’s a sinking ship. Not that it was the f******* Titanic anyway. And I’ve grown tired of steering it.”
The blogger sounds bitter, and a consultant psychologist, who also wishes anonymity, had this to say about the case, “The patient sounds like a typical victim of the instant validation provided by social media. Withdrawal and distraction are recommended for now. Along with a reassessment of goals and regular therapy sessions for a more permanent solution.”
“What a load of rubbish!” the blogger says, when told about the psychologist’s assessment. “If I wanted validation, I’d be on Youtube, Twitter and Instagram, not blogging!”
After a long pause, the blogger mildly complies. “I suppose, there is some truth to it. The Brontes did not have to live on likes, views, comments and follows, did they? If I knew this was the future, I’d have made my fortune by age twenty, and lived in a remote island for the rest of my days.”
Frequent changes of mood, from agitation to bitterness to quiet acceptance, as well as mild delusion and arrogance, suggests someone clearly not stolid enough for social media. “I guess not. But, who’d give me a job or invite me to their wedding if I wasn’t on it?”
Blogger’s brutal honesty is refreshing, though somewhat frightening and discomforting. Blogger continues to stroke yet another picture of a cat. I ask if there was a special affinity.
“I want to get one.”
I suggest, maybe blogging about cats will bring things back to life for the blog.
“Absolutely not! Unlike Kim Kardashian, cats do not like to be photographed, even if they are bigger than her.”
“Cats are sophisticated, self-sufficient animals. We need to stop trying to provoke their self-esteem with likes and dislikes. Even if we catch them grumpy at times.”
“In fact, we should learn from them. We should try to sleep instead of blinking at some screen in the middle of the night. Cats are way too cool for tablets.”
To conclude, I ask what’s next for the blog. Will s/he quit?
“I should be a real writer, right? I should find an agent, a publisher, sign contracts, and if I can squeeze it in between, I should, maybe, write a novel.”
So, the blog is over?
“No! Where else would I go to rant about my misery and suffering? Real people would shun me, but on a blog I’d at least get a like.”
The victim is none the better. This blogger is only an example of a phenomenon as large as Kim Kardashian’s…
“I’m writing a book on my blog!” the blogger says, even as I get up to leave with one foot already out the door.
“Not that it would make any money. And who knew proofreaders charge so much? I should have stuck to it if I knew they made as much…”
I couldn’t care to listen anymore. Bloggers can dream as much as they want. I have a real job to return to.
– From our endlessly patient correspondent