Monday, July 25, 2016

Reader's Diary #1345- Douglas Sovern: The Blogger Wolf

At last year's Folk on the Rocks, Yellowknife's annual music festival, I noted a lot of people taking photos of the crowd. How funny it would be, I thought, if Waldo was hiding in that crowd. Everyone could have their very own, and unexpected, game of Where's Waldo? when they got home. So this year I ordered a Waldo Halloween costume and did just that. (And hey, Waldo's a pretty good Halloween costume for a librarian, so it's money well spent.)

The festival, by the way, was fantastic. And if you ever get a chance to see the Lemon Bucket Orkestra live, spend hundreds to do so because they're worth every penny. Of course, as in any crowd situation, there was also a lot of opportunity for people watching. At one point though I got a bit disgusted at myself for being too judgmental. So what if every hipster male in his mid 20s has a beard and man-bun. They may be sheep, but who are they hurting? So what if the two bros at front seem to think that the Barr Brothers are LMFAO. They're having fun. It was an important realization to have, especially considering what happened at the end of the night. Having spent the day having strangers laugh and say "I found you!" I thought most people appreciated the Waldo joke. But then I had a rather odd reaction from a couple of acquaintances who seemed bizarrely offended or bothered by the get-up. "What's the deal?", eye-rolls, and the whole bit. No explanation seemed satisfactory. I still can't quite put my finger on why they were so annoyed. Too attention seeking, maybe? Bitterness about having never actually found Waldo? That can't be it. In any case, I was glad to have had my epiphany about hipsters and bros earlier as I'd hate to come across as that sour and judgmental. To each their own.

I bring this all up, because the tone of Douglas Sovern "The Blogger Wolf" begins with a similarly judgemental vein. A traditional journalist is put off by a new young blogger just joining his news organization, judging and jumping to all sorts of conclusions that turned out to be incorrect (and unfair). The story should be one of comeuppance, but the narrator, having done some pretty difficult ego-acrobatics, manages to (hilariously and tragically) miss the point.

(This is a pre-scheduled post to appear while I am vacationing in the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, and San Francisco. Sovern is from San Francisco, but this story-- wonderfully told in the 2nd person, by the way-- is set in New York.)


Anonymous said...

We need to be reminded that we're not required to judge everyone. This is very hard for teachers, I have to admit, but I make the effort. I love the Waldo costume. I think it's awesome that you went out in public dressed as Waldo.

While San Francisco be sure to visit City Lights Books and Green Apple Books.

And get a coffee at the Philz near the Asian Art Museum. That's the best one.

John Mutford said...

Excellent suggestions James and I thank you! Unfortunately I wasn't able to get to any of those places, purely due to lack of time and location. We could definitely have used an extra day or two in San Francisco-- but whenever we wind up saying that we always take solace in the fact that we now have an excuse to go back. And, fortunately, we enjoyed in so much that we would definitely consider that!