Wednesday, October 13, 2010

When You Have Nothing More to Say

There is this feminist blog, which was the first blog I ever read. It was so popular at some point (in 2008-9) that Amazon was recommending it to readers. The blog was good but not fantastic, and while I was reading it I decided that I could definitely do at least just as good as its authors, and probably even better. So it was one of the reasons I started blogging.

This week, the authors of the blog in question announced that they will be closing it in the nearest future. One of the authors explained this decision by saying that she doesn't have much to say to the world any more. Another author shared that her life today consisted of deciding what to make for dinner and quibbling with her husband about who would get the lunch-box ready for tomorrow.

To me, this is seriously scary. You live an interesting life, have opinions, political convictions, get people to participate in important discussions. And then one day you wake up and realize that your world has been reduced to the contents of a lunch-box and the dinner menu. This isn't about blogging per se, of course. Whether people blog or not is really immaterial. What I find so mind-boggling is how does it happen that intelligent, educated, opinionated, talented people suddenly discover that their life has been reduced to nothing but a list of trivialities? And also, how do people reconcile themselves to this if they still remember the time when they had things to say to the world?

This is my definition of old age, and it has nothing to do with one's date of birth. An intellectual and spiritual stagnation is what makes you old, whether you are 15 or 95. And I hope not to live to see the day when I wake up and discover that I have nothing more to say, no more opinions to offer, and no more interests to pursue.


Conrad DiDiodato said...


I couldn't agree with you more!

It's my definition of old age, too.

Anonymous said...

I've seen this happen to numerous blogs that I really like.

How can people run out of things to say? If I ever do close my blog, it wont' be for that reason.

My problem is to know when to stop yapping!


SEK said...

I think there was a fair amount of self-deprecation there, as the bloggers involved (and I'm fairly certain you're talking about who I'm thinking of) are on Facebook and Twitter spouting opinions all the time. Honestly, I think it's a matter of format-fatigue: chatting with friends who agree with you constitutes an ideal audience, one much more seductive than Anonymous Internet People who force you to craft your statements carefully and compel you to defend them ad nauseam in the comments.

Richard said...

I would add that old age is when you decide that you have nothing left to learn and are no longer passionate about anything. Clarissa your passion for literature and teaching will keep you young forever.

KT said...

I think, like SEK said, much of these dying blogs come from overexposure of some sort. If there is a focus that doesn't stray too much into the unknown areas that the blogger can not follow through, we all can safely express our opinions and passion online for as long as possible, whether we be fifteen or ninety.

I won't be surprised if those guys you referred to go on to start another blog under new identities.

KT said...

...and some blogs do actually have a deadline.

NancyP said...

Exhaustion. Burnout. Considering your major non-work accomplishment of the day to be finding time to do the laundry before you run out of clean underwear. Depression. Babies, a full time job, and a lazy or absent partner.

How many more reasons do you need for lack of curiosity and lack of opinions?

Frank said...

It must be nice being content as you are, submerged in the sea of your superiority, incredulous over the choices of others where they veer from your own. You are obviously hostile towards a life that may in some sense stifle your unrelenting need for self aggrandizement, and have elevated your narcissistic pursuits into the principle striving of all humankind. What a lonely, smug portrait you paint.

Clarissa said...

It IS nice, thank you. :-)

I'm just wondering why all my detractors are always so incredibly pompous. Might the reason be that it's always the same person?