That's Like 35 In Dog Years...
And now, a moment of celebration: today, May 31st, marks the five-year anniversary of Modern Fabulousity. Yeah. Five years on the internet is a mighty, mighty long time...back then, no one had ever heard of Taylor Swift or Mylie Cyrus. Facebook and Twitter were just made-up words. Britney hadn't yet married K-Fed, and Justin Timberlake had just tried to cover up Janet Jackson's boob during the Super Bowl. A week prior, Diana DeGarmo had lost to Fantasia on American Idol. The most important celebrity on the internet was Harry Knowles. And Barack Obama, well, he was just that nice guy from Illinois.
Modern Fabulousity (or, as Rod2.0 charmingly nicknamed it in 2005, ModFab) has been through its own struggles. It started out by winning a ton of awards and rapidly building a readership based on its (at the time unusual) mix of soft-core boy porn and cultural witticisms. My hope was to do for culture blogs what Wonkette was doing for politics...sharp insight with sassy wit. All through the lens of what it means to be a gay person in a straight world.
And then Perez Hilton, aka He Who Shall Not Be Linked, destroyed blogging. At least in my opinion. As my longtime friend Brilliant at Breakfast put it a few years ago, Perez sucked all of the air out of intelligent pop blogging...there was simply no room for thoughtfulness. Only sass, sex, gossip, and bitchery. And sure, that can be fun...for a while. But as I get older (and yes, I am getting older), it is less and less interesting to me. A lot less.
I'm unhappy with the state of the blogosphere these days. Over time, I've seen smart blogs get dumber (including some of my friends, who have gotten very successful by dumbing down their content). I've seen talented writers sell out their vision to the highest bidder. I've seen great bloggers decide to leave the battlefield for good (Peter, Damion, etc...you are still missed). Some blogs left their indie roots and became "brands," which is really just a cheap word for corporate. And a very, very few -- some of whom are linked in the sidebar -- have remained champion-level independent thinkers and writers.
But not many.
Longtime fans probably already saw my ambivalence before now...I'm not sure I've been hiding it well. My bogging has decreased in the last year or so. Mostly, that's due to five things:
- Gossip now bores me most of the time, and I can't work up the energy to write about it.
- No one seems especially interested in my music or photography links (both of which I really love), and soft-core porn is now on every gay blog in the universe.
- I became a victim of my own success, in some ways. Specifically, the theatre-centric columns got popular among Broadway folk. Unfortunately, the bitchy (but truthful) things I'd been saying in those columns -- not to mention the leaks about upcoming shows -- started to get me in trouble with some industry figures, so I pulled back.
- ModFab's bread and butter -- the cinema -- became useless. I started on the internet, 11 years ago, as a film critic. But movies have lost their way, I think; even independent and foreign films have succumbed to the tyranny of mindlessly entertaining the masses. Ironically enough, cinema's bastard stepchild -- television -- has emerged as the major global communicative art form of the new century (alongside the internet). If you disagree, I ask you when the last time widespread worldwide arguments occurred over a movie like the ones we recently had over Adam Lambert. (Brokeback? Get real. I'm talking Passion of the Christ. Which was, you guessed it, five years ago.) And finally...
- The real world is significantly more interesting these days. I continue to write and direct plays, and have discovered some new passions. One is poetry; after winning a few awards for individual pieces, my first collection, GlitterDirt, is being published in 2010. The other passion is photography; after recently shelling out over $1000 for a camera, extra lenses, light meters, and training classes, I've started a photoblog, GlitterLens. It's not much to look at yet, but I'm learning, and I can easily say that photography is the most exciting new thing in my life.
Reading this back, it sounds like I'm quitting. I'm not. Modern Fabulousity will continue on, erratically and capriciously as always. But it will be, more than ever, a blog that chases MY moods and thoughts, MY observations and critiques, MY reactions to the world of art and theatre and music and culture and society. After five years, I realize that successful blogging, for me, means being the anti-Perez. Which means no faux journalism, no daily newspaper imitation, no star interviews or podcasts, no links to the same big story of the day that's on every blog. It's about a singular perspective. I'm trying to get back to that.
I hope at least two or three of you will be interested. And yes, I'll have Tony predictions next week. :-)
Oh, one other thing: I love my readers. Really, truly, I LOVE them. All of you. For those of you who've been around for most of our five-year stretch, I want to say "thank you." Your comments, your e-mails, your willingness to be a part of my life has been something I've never taken for granted. I appreciate anyone who has stuck by ModFab as it grew, and who are willing to see where it goes next. From the bottom of my heart, I say: free handjobs for everyone. Here's to the next five...
Labels: ModFab News