Baby Belugas

Sometimes I think I understand or should understand
a topic and then the more I think about it the more I get stumped and wonder if
I've actually done damage to brain cells over the years. Ostensibly, I always
say ostensibly, work in online marketing but I'm not a marketer and often will
read an online/mobile/social advertising article like five times because I
don't understand what's being done.

This is how I feel about Tumblr, which I'm fairly
certain I've said before multiple times. (If I were being current I would ponder the point of Vine.) I toyed with replacing this
blog with one a little over a year ago because it's quicker and dirtier, but
quickly got turned off because it only seems to make sense if you have a bunch
of other Tumblrs to follow and vice versa where I just like reading things
anonymously and not feeling the pressure to cultivate an online circle of
admiration. (It makes zero sense food blog-wise since I don't read any
food-based Tumblrs–or am I missing out?)  I find the social aspects terrifying. I
haven't had a blogroll in years, partially because it's out of style, but also
because I don't like having to identify who I approve of and it's presumptuous
or embarrassing if the link isn't reciprocated. Like what if you follow a
zillion other people on Tumblr but never get notes or reblogs (not getting
comments here isn't quite the same because for better or worse, for me blogging
has been more broadcasting than socializing).

The real world version of this is that I
occasionally see blog types in the wild (I'm talking food now not
writer-personalities) and I know who they are, but no one knows who I am. I
don't bother saying hi. One, because I'm not well-known. But in many cases,
neither are the bloggers in question. This could be attributable to my research-loving
(i.e. stalkerish) personality. I like knowing about others, big name, little
guys, in other countries, in NYC, what people are writing, saying, etc. whereas
it seems more commonplace that bloggers only focus inward and upward. And while
I'm doubtful, it's possible that there could be people who I do this to (I did
start becoming more selective on Twitter specifically because people I don't
view as being big name didn't reciprocate, but I also will follow total
strangers who reach out first if they seem marginally  non-boring and don't post diet tips,
kid-friendly recipes or inspirational quotes ) because we're all existing on
varying planes of self-importance/self-preservation. But perhaps if I cared
less about what strangers were doing I'd be more productive.

Anyway, this is all a very drawn out way of saying
that normally I don't read Emily Gould's Tumblr, but a post, not really about
hot sauce, got linked to a lot last week, presumably by a legion of Tumblr
followers who have larger online platforms. It was the previous post, though,
that caught my attention.

"I was standing outside a bar near the corner
of Houston and Avenue A, smoking a cigarette, and so was a jolly Courtney
Taylor-Taylor, looking substantially more burnt than he does in this photo but still
very rockstarish."

I've given no thought to Courtney of the Dandy
Warhols in 15 years. And I didn't really give much thought to him in the '90s
either, but the use of "burnt," by which I'm assuming meant sun burnt,
brought back a forgotten nickname. A friend and I use to refer to him as
"burnt beluga" because he looked charred and baleen. We did not know
him personally, but a mutual friend did and now I can't even remember if they'd
dated or if she just had a preoccupation with him, though I'm pretty sure there
was a story where she was a member, maybe just an observer, at some orgy he was
being gross at.

So, if I was a Tumblr type, I would reblog that post
and add a comment, a far more abbreviated version of what I'm blathering on
about here, or maybe not, just a pithy title, and then others would see it and
I would be known, if only the duration of a millisecond skim, to the original
poster's readers/followers?

Like I said, I find Tumblr behaviors, intents and
outcomes difficult to parse.


36 thoughts on “Baby Belugas

  1. Lisa: Oh, I’ve never heard that usage (don’t think it’s an age thing) though I suppose it’s of the same ilk as “fried,” which was very much a descriptor of my youth. I just couldn’t read the word burnt and not think of that guy’s horrible ’90s face.

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