Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Babies and Writing and Buying Things Will Not Save You

Steve Almond, author of the humor + parenting blog "Baby Daddy" on Babble, is calling it quits.

As a writer who puts myself out there in public a good bit, I’m used to hearing back from folks who think I’m an idiot. But both Babymamma and I were disturbed to discover that there were folks using the blog as a way of expressing their animus for me, or their perception of me. It made Babymamma, in particular, uncomfortable. And as much as I urged her not to let these trolls bug her, I could see why she was upset. When you make your private life public, when you seek attention in that broad a manner, you’re inviting not just the cool and the loving, but the angry and aggrieved.

It’s also true that Babble itself has changed. In its best incarnation, the site is a wonderful way of building community. But as with any new business, the bottom line is the bottom line. For all the wise and thoughtful writing the site offers, it also depends on peddling a certain kind of lifestyle, one that sometimes confuses emotional necessities with material luxury.

I enjoy Babble, but it frequently is much less "the magazine and community for a new generation of parents" (as its tagline suggests) than it is a showcase for people with vastly more discretionary income to spend on their child than you. Or at least, more than me.

Almond's place in the Babble-daddy-blog-a-verse now goes to Trey Ellis's "Father of the Year." This also makes it a showcase for people vastly more qualified and talented than me.

No comments: