June 18, 2004

Deconstructing Layne

The things that happen, blogwise, when you take a coupla weeks off: Apparently the weblog I've referred to as "the codependent lesbian train-wreck blog" was, ah, fictional.

And it's also no more. Some fawning Canuck groupie snagged the domain once it lapsed.

There are several sites that have roundups on the whole affair, but frankly, none of them sum it up very coherently; discerning what definitely did occur from what may have occurred requires lengthy forays through +300-length comment threads. Who has time for that?

Oh, wait: I do. At the expense of, let's see: laundry, kitchen prep work, vacuuming, mail-checking, showering . . . .

I'm bad that way. I love detective stories, number one. Number two, so help me, I totally miss that blog.

For the uninitiated who are still with me and who care, "Plain Layne" was, ostensibly, a personal blog written by a 27 year-old Minnesotan woman who worked in information technology for a company enigmatically nicknamed "Minicorp."

Describing it beyond that is difficult, but the phrase "soap opera" comes to mind. You'd read it to find out what happened next, and people, something always happened next. Usually involving lesbians.

Which made it slightly creepy at times, because I'd be sitting there by my nonlesbian self reading it, and hear the sounds of the boyfriend getting restless on the couch (the sighing, that's a big clue), and finally the question: "What're you reading?"

"Codependent lesbian train wreck blog."


"It's this blog, by this girl, and like she's really messed up, and she has a lot of affairs with women, except that I'm not really certain she's actually gay because apparently she was raped a few years back and I think maybe that's put her off men now, so--"

"Listen, what'd you want to do tonight?"

And that's when I'd realize, I'm sitting here reading about codependent lesbians while my boyfriend sits driven by the desperation of boredom to reread The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers for the 17th time and like, what does that say about me?

My boyfriend was always pretty tolerant of the whole thing, though. I think he figured women gotta have their soaps. Now I always disagreed with that notion. I do not, never have, and never will watch soap operas. But you know something, I think it's just that I don't really like television, period. In other words, it's the medium I object to, not the content. Codependent lesbian train wrecks are fine by me, provided you don't cut to commercials in the middle of them.

Oh, and lose the big hair and the cheesy dialogue, too.

Anyway, it seems Plain Layne had one other thing in common with daytime drama: She was likely a work of fiction, and possibly the reincarnation of another blogger formerly outed as a fake, Acanit. I'm fairly convinced of that much now, though I didn't particularly want to be. I just wanted my damn train wrecks without having to screw my life up so much that I'd get to see them up close and personal. Can't a girl with a stable, boring life get herself a vicarious train wreck anymore?

No. No, she can't. She can't because there's always some asshole has to make it his duty to Shine a Light in Dark Places! and Speak the Truth! and Raise the Tough Questions! and Demand an Investigation!

Props to you, ya jerk. I don't care what your motivations were, I don't care that this was an unintended consequence of your actions, I don't care that you're undoubtedly right about the whole thing. I care about the result. And the result is one less well-written weblog out there, five days after you Shared Your Concerns. Slice it and dice it anyway you like--that's the result. There's no getting around that.

It wasn't exactly a creative act, but it certainly qualifies as a destructive one. That's what all writers aspire to, right?

And you know, I never read Plain Layne thinking, "Oh boy oh boy I sure hope Layne's a real live human girl who looks just like her photos 'cause I'd really like to get me some of that" (although this was often an attitude Norton accused male commenters on Layne's site of having, and can you say "projection?"), so why the hell should I care if it's made up? Obviously, I don't. But I do care that it's gone.

I guess starting an entire blog for the primary purpose of tearing down the work of yet another blog authoress (and hey! How do you know she's real?) just wasn't satisfying enough.

You see why I take these vacations from weblogging? You see why some days it's like, "Who needs this shit?" Because for every solid creative effort out there you got like, what, 200,000 crapblogs, and too many of those are just devoted to crapping on each other.

Which I guess you could say is what I'm starting to do here. So I'll stop.

Hasta la pasta, Layne, and I mean that even if you are a balding Polish male techie with lefty politics and a fertile imagination and a serious lack of actual, versus pretend, nookie in your life. Because I have to grant you this: At least you're one up on Norton.

See, you can write.

Posted by Ilyka at June 18, 2004 08:47 PM in hell is other people