Trainwrecks and the Writing on the Virtual Bathroom Wall
Are you like me? Do you also find it very difficult to look away from a good trainwreck, no matter how much you hate yourself afterwards? When I talk about a trainwreck, I mean one of those cultural productions that is just so bad, so very very bad, that it is able to defy the standard rules of taste–like the movie that is so bad that it actually goes back around the other side of bad, and becomes good again? Think Madonna in The Next Best Thing. Or, that late night talk show Magic Johnson had in the mid-to-late nineties. Or that one guy on one of the first seasons of American Idol? I never watched the show, but I remember people claiming that he was so bad a singer that it was actually enjoyable to listen to him? I think his name was William Hung. Which BTW, that name is also a trainwreck, when you think about the possibilities it presents for nicknames.
Why is there the capacity for such enjoyment in failure, misfortune, misjudgment? I don’t know. It’s one of the more distasteful aspects of my personality, now that I actually think about it, that I take pleasure in a show like Cheaters, for example, which is so bad and which documents the lives of people who are so unfortunate as to deserve our pity, certainly, and not our ridicule. But like Yahweh, I am that I am. And I feel I can confide in you, internet, about my love of the trainwreck, because I suspect I am not alone.
I think many people have a guilty pleasure in the trainwreck. I am particularly guilty of it, and that’s why I read sites that are set up primarily to mock successful bloggers, like Chickenliver and Violent Acres. I don’t necessarily condone what they do, but I do find it amusing and, in that sense, I suppose I am part of the problem. But it’s an aspect of my personality I have come to accept–some people’s weaknesses are for the trainwreck of the celebrity gossip variety, but mine tend more on the side of internet gossip, gossip about famous people who aren’t really famous, or gossiping about people’s lives that we think we know about, when we really don’t.
This is all an extra oblique, roundabout way of introducing an upcoming site feature for which I’m soliciting entries. If any of you are fans of Her Bad Mother, you might also be fans of Her Bad Mother’s Basement, which is a site set up for people to post things anonymously that they cannot post on their own blog for one reason or another. For example, maybe you want to talk shit about your mother in law, but you cannot because she reads your blog. Or maybe you want to talk about a fight with your husband, but don’t want all of your friends to start nagging you about it? Well, what you do is, you email Her Bad Mother and she posts your post on Her Bad Mother’s Basement, anonymously. And then you get it all out, and those of us who like trainwrecks can read it. And everybody is happy.
Announcing . . . ABDPBT’s latest site feature: The Bathroom Wall!!
So basically, I am going to totally rip off Her Bad Mother‘s idea, appropriate it as my own, and put an ABDPBT twist on it. For ABDPBT’s new section to be launched shortly–aka The Bathroom Wall–I am now soliciting any and all talking shit about people anonymously posts from anyone and everyone, whether you have a blog or not, to be posted on The Bathroom Wall for all to see. What you do is, figure out something you need to get off your chest. About anything and everything, including me. That’s right–maybe there’s something I do that really annoys you? Great. Send it to me at thebathroomwall at abdpbt dot com. And then I’ll post it. And we’ll all comment. You can even use a fake email that you make up for this purpose, and you can comment under a different name. Whatever. Anything goes on The Bathroom Wall.
Once things have been up and running for a while, I’ll be able to give better instructions about how long it will take for your post to appear, etc. And those of you subscribing in a feed reader should know that The Bathroom Wall has a separate RSS feed, thereby allowing those who are strong enough to resist the trainwreck to continue their days unsullied. For the rest of us, check out the new digs here and subscribe at the top of the page. If you don’t know what an RSS feed is, then don’t worry about it, just follow the link.