Re: Dooce


I'm pretty sure ogged introduced me to her writing, which was excellent. I hope she's at peace.

Posted by: von wafer | Link to this comment | 05-11-23 8:11 PM
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Hers was one of the first blogs I read on a regular basis. (This one and fafblog were the others.) I haven't followed her in over a decade, but I was so shocked and sad to learn of her death.

She was such an engaging and charming writer. I remember reading (I think in the NYT -- this was after I stopped keeping up with her blog) about her divorce and how her readers felt betrayed by the fact that she had not previously told them about her marital problems. That reaction is now obviously ridiculous (why would you ever feel entitled to access the personal life of any public author), but she was so good at creating an illusion of intimacy that it made sense to me that people were upset. The apparent candor of her writing invited parasociality before Instagram and Twitter made that kind of relationship to quasi-celebrity so common.

Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 05-11-23 9:22 PM
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Searching for info on her (not having thought about her in years) resulting in seeing a lot of trans/terf gear-grinding. Not sure what that was about. "Parasociality before Instagram and Twitter" is how I'm going to describe the big-blogger era to my kids...

Posted by: Counterfly | Link to this comment | 05-12-23 4:26 AM
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The trans stuff was sort of explained in a MetaFilter comment thread. One of her kids is trans (non-binary I think but I'm not sure) and she put up a big post fairly recently about how it's social contagion and not a good thing, and then she took it back down.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-12-23 4:42 AM
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I was surprised how much this got me in the feels. Of course there's the tragedy of it all, but what I remember is that Dooce was cool. She spoke her mind in that dynamic writing voice, she was hot, she made a boatload of money from blogging, and she didn't apologize for being herself in full. And of course it marks the passing of my own youth, and also of a time when the whole online world felt new and small and exciting.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-12-23 6:19 AM
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It's probably worth opening the thread up to reflections on the early blog era in general. Do any of your favorite posts still hold up, ogged? I never read her stuff. (The "middle aged feminist blogger posts gender-critical rhetoric" is hardly a surprise.) The idea that the medium could bifurcate into Twitter and Instagram would surely not have seemed like an elegant solution to anyone around 2001. I'm curious to know what particular things people think have been lost in that transition -- modes of thought or representation, accuracies and inaccuracies, excess, the bad as well as the good.

Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 05-12-23 9:30 AM
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Also, we definitely crossed over to "On the internet, everyone knows you're a dog" some time ago, right?

Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 05-12-23 9:33 AM
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This is probably a good time to mention that I'm pregnant with quadruplets!

Posted by: heebie | Link to this comment | 05-12-23 9:45 AM
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See? Dog.

Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 05-12-23 9:46 AM
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8 is an awesome comment.

Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05-12-23 9:46 AM
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The Brady Bunch was going to do the same thing, but lost courage and went to "Cousin Oliver."

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-12-23 10:20 AM
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Ha, Lurid, I have always already rejected this exercise, and in a post that mentions Dooce, no less. The link in that post is broken, but here it is. I think it does hold up, and sure is poignant now.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-12-23 10:41 AM
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Oof, that is a good letter. It's a lot less of her DOOCE MOTHERFUCKER shtick, too.

Posted by: heebie | Link to this comment | 05-12-23 2:35 PM
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6: Tangentially (orthogonally? paralellly?), just read Highsmith's Talented Mr. Ripley (1955) and the saturation of newspapers was really striking. Multiple papers picked up every day from the post office in Italian fishing town, multiple papers scanned daily for news of nefariousness, a Venice-Athens ferry having a

ship's paper, a little one-page mimeographed sheet that appeared every evening at each place on the dinner tables,
on the dock at Piraeus
a familiar paper of Rome. It was only three days old. [...] three more Italian papers and the Paris Herald-Tribune.
There's probably some arc (sine wave? spiral? debris scatter?) to be drawn from 17th-century news sheets (13:21) to broadsheets to tabloids to blogging to twittering, but I don't know who's drawn it.

Also, there should be a book on the Newsprint Horizon. Ubiquitous disposable wrapping/cleaning/dropsheet/kindling material. And ending, or over.

Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-14-23 6:12 AM
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14: As a one-up, an example of the lust for news before newspapers via Ada Palmer:

Later in the letter Machiavelli says that he is trying to come up with ways to actively stir up trouble among the monks he's staying with just to entertain himself. This sparks a hilarious sequence in which Guicciardini starts sending Machiavelli letters with increasing frequency, and stuffing them with random papers to make the packages fat, to get the monks to think that some important political thing is going on. At one point a letter arrives saying that Guicciardini instructed the messenger to jog the last quarter mile so he would be sweaty and out-of-breath when he arrives, and Machaivelli describes with glee the increasing hubbub and attention he receives in the monastery as people become convinced that something of European import must be stirring. Unfortunately a later letter hints that Machiavelli thinks they are on to the prank, and the correspondence ends there.

Of course, at that particular moment news of European import often meant "another army is about to rampage through Italy."

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-15-23 11:40 AM
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To my great surprise, Penelope Trunk has a take on Heather's death.

Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-15-23 6:51 PM
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I fell into a bit of a hole with that Penelope Trunk post. This struck me as an interesting take.

Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 05-16-23 1:57 AM
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15 is fantastic and reminds me slightly of this Saki story:
and indeed of this even better one

Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-16-23 4:35 AM
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