Monday, May 26, 2008

Drinking and Blogging

The dedicated drinker, the avid drinker, the drinker still sporting more than a couple of fresh brain cells, the drinker who adores both the process and the results of drinking, when forced by reality or weakness to pursue activities outside the drinking arena can find some solace in the almost spiritual act of burrowing into a good read centered in or around the fine art of drinking. Besides the readily acknowledged holy grails (Frederick Exley’s A Fan’s Notes, Pete Hamill’s A Drinking Life, J.R. Moehringer’s The Tender Bar) countless novels, short stories, articles and treatises exist, and any self respecting drinking man or woman should consider it de rigueur to keep their bloodshot eyes open and on the lookout for additional sacred screeds. The latest New Yorker (May 26, 2008) offers us a fine piece by Joan Acocella, “A Few Too Many”, exploring the myths and reality of the omnipresent drinker’s companion, the hangover. By turns amusing and informative, Acocella explorations and digressions hit just the right tone, and the essay actually becomes just the sort of fertile talking ground that should be gamboled in by two parties' intent on some sweet liquid indulgence.

It is the compulsive aspect of blogging, combined with the steady and incessant doses of over sharing that make the vast arena of personalized blogging so off-putting, overbearing, and ultimately nonsensical. A blog that matters is one that offers opinions buttressed by insight, information, or specific knowledge, typically leavened with humor, originality, or an inspired point of view. Emily Gould's article ("Exposed") in the May 25th New York Times Sunday Magazine is purely another example of authorial and personal self-service, yet another 20 -something's pseudo-literary attempt at ego stroking, completely facile and thoroughly devoid of the obvious irony that she's back at it again-leaving her central thesis ("I was a naive and misbegotten tool of the internet") without merit. Let's not even get into the cover shot and accompanying photos, or the sad arrogance of a so-called serious writer who could actually title her blog Emily Magazine.

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